I am really proud of all of the artists out there who keep on doing what they’re doing despite the financial instability that usually comes with the Artist Life. For those artists who have been lucky enough to make it big “up there”, I am happy for all of you, and I think that [some of you] really deserve the financial success you have in your lives today. However (and this is me speaking from the very depths of my heart), I am way prouder and happier for those artists who are not “up there” but are still practicing their art – not for the sake of money or social status, but for the sake of art itself.
That’s what I love about art, actually. When it comes down to it, there is no “up there” in the artist world. Because when you really consider the essential things (the truly essential things) like honesty, pain, love, chaos and beauty, you will realize that when it comes to art, “up there” doesn’t exist – only “in here” does. Because that’s what an artist does – to speak from what’s within him, to write, or sing, or play, or draw, or act, or paint, or dance whatever truth it is that he has in his heart; to communicate to the world the naked reality that society constantly and blindly rejects; to find in his soul and in his heart the fiasco that makes this world go ’round and the beauty that occasionally makes it still and smile.
So it doesn’t matter where you are in life right now. The point is you are alive. I don’t care if you are a bassist playing in a next-to-nonexistent local band in a rural area in a third world country; I don’t care if you are a frustrated writer who has tried a million times but never gets published; I don’t care if you are an ambitious actor who waits tables and mops floors just so you can afford that theatre workshop; I don’t care if you are a painter whose works have only been seen by his immediate family and friends; And I definitely do not care that you are not “up there”. Because let me tell you something: you don’t have to be rich and famous for your art to matter.
Keep doing what you’re doing. Keep dancing, keep playing, keep singing, keep painting, whatever. Just do not stop. Because as an artist, you can never find your success in any pay cheque, bank statement, Twitter and Facebook followers or your boss’ mouth; you can only find it in your heart. That, my fellow artist, is your success. That, my friend, is your ticket to a life not only survived, but lived.