Artist And Malcontent

Salva Speaks

This post completes the trilogy of posts that I’ve made about being yourself over the past two weeks. I hope that my writing has helped someone out there who’s on a similar path. Sometimes, it can get a bit lonely when you’re chasing a goal that others can’t see.

Developing as an artist and a person is an organic process that takes place over the span of many, many years. It’s easy to say, “I’m now going to be myself,” but, unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. There’s lots of factors that play into artistic development: social, economic, psychological, etc. It’s an ongoing process that’s invisible to most people. Those precious small steps that you take along the way are, for the most part, overlooked by a majority of people — even those that are close to you. Development of talent isn’t what people want to hear about; they want to see success and money — they don’t give a shit about the small steps that led you there. It’s harsh to say it, but it’s true. If you’re lucky, you’ll come across a few individuals that will take notice of the changes that are occurring and the progress that you’re making. IF you’re lucky. Don’t count on it.  

Artistic development occurs over years; in today’s world, years is too long. If it’s not a click away, then the hell with it — no one gives a damn. In essence it boils down to this: if you’re not making x amount of dollars every month then you’re a loser. It’s always blown me away how the mighty dollar affects the way people view you; before any sort of renown, you’re brilliant and talented and afterwards, you’re still brilliant and talented, except now you have money. It’s all about money in our society and I double dog dare anyone to deny that. I know that it’s the truth because I’ve lived this reality. People can be real shits when you’re trying to work your way up; “You have to start at the bottom,” they’ll tell you. They say that as if you’ve somehow secretly been at the top — give me a fucking break. When you graduate from college, art school in my case, the only place to start is at the bottom. Come on people, get a clue! The arts are something that are grossly overlooked and misunderstood in this country, period. Art is viewed as a luxury item by most people. Why would anyone want to buy a $1200 drawing when they could go down to Walmart and buy some new patio furniture? That’s the pedestrian mentality that most people have until what you do becomes an investment — there’s the old mighty dollar rearing its ugly head again.

This drawing expresses different things that have been on my mind for a long time. I guess you could say that it’s very existence is tangible proof that we all reach a point where we know that things are no longer the same. When we know that that what used to work for us in the past no longer works now. You know that you’re no longer the same person that you were. Everything has changed. This is how it’s been for me; I don’t feel that it’s anything different to what other people go through, so no one should be surprised at all by what I’m writing. We all go through changes — some of us handle them better than others. In art, it’s all about perseverance; in fact, my favorite thing to say is, “Perseverance is when everyone else has given up and you keep going.” Ultimately, in life, it comes down to being happy. Happiness is a deeply internal thing that can only come from within yourself, and nowhere else; not from someone not from a place. Do what makes you happy, express how you feel, and screw what people think. Oh, and don’t forget to put it all down in your sketchbook.              

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