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August 28, 2008
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What Lies Between the Lines...

They don't tell you about the nights when you'll cry; when you'll curse and rave and throw wadded up tissues at the monitor. They don't tell you about the number of times you'll want to throw your pencil or brush or tablet pen in the garbage disposal and flip the switch.

They don't tell you about the time spent painting insane detail onto tiny things that no one will ever see, ever appreciate, ever understand except to say "nice" or "pretty" or "wow"--none of which ever come close to how you felt when you painted it. How you felt when you stepped back and stared and were awed for a moment that you had pulled something like *that* out of your brain and your hands and your skill. They don’t tell you how it will feel, for that one moment, to glow like a god, having just created a world.

They don't tell you how it's going to feel when that isn't enough. They don't tell you that sometimes it will never be enough--there will always be someone whose second best, or tossed off sketch will always be better than your best.

They don't tell you about the long hours, the late hours, the hours that you lose when you're in the zone and the ticking of the clock is no more noticeable to you than breathing. They don't tell you about the nights when you'll lay there agonizing over a layout for hours; your eyes painting images on the ceiling; or the mornings when it will suddenly mesh together like magic and your brush will almost fly.

They don't tell you that you'll have to steal the time between other things, that putting the pen down will be as agonizing as chopping off a finger or a hand. They don’t tell you that you’ll have to do this several times a day.

They never tell you that sometimes, often in fact, the inspiration won't be there. Or that you'll have to find it anyway.

They don't tell you that it's never fair. That sometimes it's popularity that counts, not skill; that sometimes it's skill that counts, not talent; that sometimes it's talent that counts, not effort; and that sometimes effort is the only thing you'll have.

They don't tell you that you'll never really be respected. That you'll feel like the unicorn in the menagerie: a beautiful curiosity that most people will still suspect is a fake.

They don't tell you that you'll be expected to give it away, over and over, that they want you to be freer with your skills than a back alley whore, that they'll never even think you're worth a dime until you charge them 10,000 dimes for a sketch.

They don't tell you that the only way you get respect is to respect yourself and your skills and your abilities...and that sometimes doing that will be harder than you can possibly imagine.

They don't tell you these things, because in the end, it'd be pointless.

If you love it, you'll do it anyway.
Reposted here from my journal, because so many wanted the option of faving it. I also fixed a couple of noticeable grammatical errors and reworded a couple of bits that were too rough. Added a couple of lines that should have been in there before.

I wrote this as a form of catharsis, initially. I was thinking of all the advice I've gotten over the years about art--although this applies to a lot of other disciplines as well--and thinking about all the things no one ever told me.

Although I suppose, like it says, even if they had I'd do it anyway.
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:iconorangehuskie:
OrangeHuskie Featured By Owner Jul 23, 2014
I'm not exactly sure how to feature because I've never done it till now, but I needed to share this with my watchers. orangehuskie.deviantart.com/ My journal is near the middle... (I'm not good with words unless I'm short story writing, haha, hence why there isn't much written).

But seriously, you captured exactly how I feel. More often then not I find myself thinking my art isn't good enough, which is weird for me because I'm the type of person who doesn't usually care what people think. Then I ask myself 'Why?' Why do I put my art down? When I find myself proud of something I did, I also find no one sees it in the same light I do, ya know? 
I can honestly say though that I'm one of those people who favs without commenting quite often, but that's because I have nothing to say. It was great, I loved it, etc. I fav things because the art is saying something to me, portrays my fandom beyond words, or because it encourages me to be better, that I can be making things like you and other great artists I watch one day.
Yes, I know, everyone's style is different and there's no such thing as bad art (in my opinion), but I want to improve. And there's nothing wrong with that.

Thanks for making this. :heart:    
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:iconalyboxie:
Alyboxie Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
This captures exactly how I feel most of the time; but I wonder who "they" are?
Excellent work; your art is also amazing and I think it's awesome that you spend so much time and put so much effort into creating your artworks! :D
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:iconarkiel-pixie:
Arkiel-Pixie Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Y'know, for some reason this reminds me of a very specific thing. In Spirited Away, when Chihiro (and the bathhouse) pull all that gunk out of the river god, and then there's that final little pop and all that fresh water? This makes me think of that. Like you took all the nasty ugly stuff about writing and painting and art in general, and spilled it all out of you to get that squeaky clean feeling back.

Very powerful indeed.
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:iconnijjura:
Nijjura Featured By Owner Apr 27, 2011
beautiful! <3
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:iconnight-singer:
night-singer Featured By Owner Feb 27, 2011  Professional General Artist
Omg thank you, this is beautiful!
It really helps me, really to love art and to keep going with my art even though Ive had a lot of downs and dont have that much confidence in it.
Thank you! And your work is amazing! :D
God Bless!!
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:iconironhawkb:
IronHawkb Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2011
it is great Miss Mercuralis
greetinfs from very far away
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:iconlazlotitan:
LazloTitan Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2010  Hobbyist Writer
An absolutely PERFECT summary of being an artist--wow! I love everything you talked about, because really, no one DID ever tell us these things. Only the dedicated will prevail in this crazy art world. :meow:

I often find myself in artistic ruts sometimes, and I can promise you that whenever I get stuck in one, I will be reading this. A very nice pick-me-up, if that makes any sense! (I now know that people do indeed feel what I feel when they're making art, even when I think I'm all alone! XD)
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:iconnymph-of-artemis:
nymph-of-artemis Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2010  Student Digital Artist
Wow. That's just perfect.
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:iconlil-desa:
Lil-Desa Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2010
Thank you.. for linking me to this last night. I finally got to read it this morning and it is just.. wonderful. More so after all the Drama thats been going on lately that I've been witnessing. :hug:

I do find it sad that they never really tell us these things until it is too late.

As much as I do get frustrated at my own art and work things over and over until it looks right or close to 'right' as it can get, I never strive for "perfection", that fickle thing that is different for everyone so it never really exists [at least in my mind]. I've found its much easier to love what you do as an artist and share it with the world, even if you yourself do deem it as 'just a sketch' or something silly.

I love deviantART for the friends I've made and even some of the ones I've lost over artwork.

I'm going to feature this in my journal because I believe that more people need to read this.. and not just artists.
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:iconsitboy007:
sitboy007 Featured By Owner Mar 21, 2010  Professional Digital Artist
Dear God why hadn't I read this before? O.O
Thank you for your insight and understanding of what being an artist is. Thank you for not being afraid to put that out there.
The part where you talk about the "lack of respect" reminds me of [link] *shudder*
It's a strange, wonderful thing being an artist for a living (or wanting to be since I'm still in art school). It's like being paid to breathe. Art (being creative) is something I have to do in order to stay sane, in order to stay who I am.

I loved the lines about how there will always be someone better or more popular ending with how "effort is aetc. There were several of those. It's so true and I'm only starting to learn to move past those insecurities and keep going.

Thank you for this wonderful bit of wisdom you've given us. (^-^)
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