James Sant. (1820-1916) Courage, Anxiety, and Despair Watching the Battle. Date unknown.
Francesca Woodman Self-portrait Talking to Vince, Providence, Rhode Island 1975
Shrouded Figure gives Landlord’s Son the Rent (dimension VI)
Garrett makes some seriously humbling stuff
waryalbatross asked: Hi John, there's a lot of stuff I want to ask you, but I've just had a terrible week of loss and rejection in my "budding art career" and it really sucks and it seems like something you would have a piece of wisdom for. How do you cope with putting your ego and life's work on the line over and over?
I tried to answer this a bunch of times but I don’t really know! You hold onto Berryman’s line — “It is idle to reply to critics” — and understand that the actual work isn’t the thing you make, but the process that makes it, whose inherent value and dignity is well beyond any debate, because it is an expression of your self and therefore nobody can really judge it.
this is an unsatisfying answer, I know, artists have struggled with varying degrees of success over how to deal with these problems forever. the simple terrible platitudes of kindergarten are actually applicable here — the ones that tell you your work is good no matter what anyone thinks of it — but they seldom help much in the short term. in the long term, they do. people didn’t get very excited about Get Lonely when it was new. we were bummed! we felt it was our best work. we thought we’d gone somewhere special, unique in our work, its own place. over time, the people who relate to our impulse on that record have found it and connected with it, and the people who didn’t care for it have stopped thinking about it, because not many people spend a lot of time dwelling on work they didn’t care for.
but as I say this is a question people struggle with, I don’t think there’s a “here’s what you do” answer (and I reject, with thanks, any allegations that I am wise). you keep your focus on the work, I figure. when your focus wanders, you bring it back.
"Learn to love solitude, to be more alone with yourselves. The tragedy of today’s young people is that they try to unite on the basis of carrying out noisy and aggressive actions so as not to feel lonely, and this is a sad thing. The individual must learn from childhood to be on his own, for this doesn’t mean to be lonely: it means to not get bored with oneself, because a person who finds himself bored when he is alone, it seems to me, is a person in danger."
Andrei Tarkovsky (via bikesinspace)
"When you feel perpetually unmotivated, you start questioning your existence in an unhealthy way; everything becomes a pseudo intellectual question you have no interest in responding whatsoever. This whole process becomes your very skin and it does not merely affect you; it actually defines you. So, you see yourself as a shadowy figure unworthy of developing interest, unworthy of wondering about the world - profoundly unworthy in every sense and deeply absent in your very presence."
Ingmar Bergman (via howtocatchamonster)