If everyone was single and you had to pair people up, who would you choose to go with who?
“Ohh…I love this question. If everyone was single…I don’t want to assume anyone’s sexuality, so let me go with what I know and guesses. I would say that Regina and Lena would make a hot couple. No offense to our broody moody Declan. I wouldn’t mind seeing Adam go out on a date with Claire. Strange feeling…but I feel like they’d really get along. Maybe Bash and Ray? Call it intuition. I’ll have to get to know the new faces I’m seeing before I can match them.” @addictiveregina, @handsofflena, @adam-westbrook-fbi, @xoclairewhite, @una-bash-edly, @raymond-marshall
If you’re an aspiring author, director, musician, startup founder, these long stretches of nothing are a huge reason why it’s important to pick something personally meaningful, something that you actually love to do. When external rewards and validation are nonexistent; when you suffer through bouts where of jealousy, wondering “How come so-and-so got signed/is successful/got a deal/etc?”; when every new development seems like a kick in the stomach, the love of what you are doing gives you something to hang onto.
Whatever it is that you do, imagine the result of your hard work only ever being seen by a single person, and then, forgotten.
I mean, would you even bother?
You know, there are fireflies in Brazil that are so luminous that in the evening, ladies stick them into their hair with pins. It’s very fine, fame, but see, it is to the artist what the hair pin is to the insects. You wish to succeed and shine. Do you really know what you want?
Now it’s important we don’t end up romanticizing all the difficulties Van Gogh faced. They were real, and in his last years, his internal battles became more violent and more devastating, but even the extremes of Vincent’s struggles were tolerable to him because he loved what he did.
Look for them, and you find the autotelic artist everywhere, people who know it’s not up to them to decide whether their next thing is going to be popular or successful, people who know it’s only up to them to do their work. You can’t control the external outcomes of what you do, so why even think about them?
Except, of course, that we’ve created a world where those external outcomes are valued more than anything else. And that’s our challenge today. In a world obsessed with popularity, will we do our work regardless of the consequences? Will we still make our art even if nobody is watching?
What drives us to create? Is there necessarily always a motivation, or can it be an involuntary process? For instance, what was the goal of the artists who painted the very first cave paintings tens of thousands of years ago? There was no audience, no critic, no flow of gallery visitors, and certainly no “like” button for anyone to click.
The act of creating art is inherently human and it’s something that has been with us since the dawn of time. But around a hundred years ago or more — roughly the same time as the emergence of Hollywood — society moved away from a culture of character to a culture of personality.
Suddenly our world became obsessed with the personality of others and how our own personalities are interpreted in return. Fast forward to 2016 and our world is drunk on fame. Artists still manage to create tremendous works of art, yet the goal has become muddled for many who find themselves more concerned with being liked and followed than anything else. In an era of fame obsession, it’s worth watching this terrific video essay by Adam Westbrook