Short Thoughts – Corruption Sometimes Appears as Compromise – The Authentic Artist

The path of an artist is always going to be and is also well-known as being a difficult one. The term ‘artist’ I will use here in the context of someone who has decided to dedicate their life, or rather their immediate life for an unknown duration to the pursuit and lifestyle of thinking, making and reflecting on their art on a full-time basis. Each artist will have a certain initial vision or notion of their art that is obviously subject to change as the process develops. I feel an artist has to have an awareness of how corruption can sometimes fool us into thinking we are compromising. Everyone likes to feel they are able to compromise, as it shows a flexible and considerate attitude. I have noticed in others as well as myself that we consider opportunities we class as a compromise without initially realising it’s corruption sneaking through a back door. By corruption, I mean of our original purpose as artists. There are many pressures on an artist to give in, to stop making work, or even to change their style to make it more salable. Not to mention the competitive nature of self marketing. Each artist will have different pressures, but all will have them. Taking on a project, task, commission, collaboration, marketing drive, academic research or whatever it may be, if it’s done with complete awareness and choice based on reason and forethought then compromise can function as it should. If not, we are in the danger zone of corruption that can eat away at our self-esteem and becomes a poison to our authentic practice. The authentic artist is what we aspire to and what our potential audience desires. In England there was an advert promoting caution to children when trying to cross the street. It said, “STOP. LOOK. LISTEN. THINK”.

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