Question Lady Question

The Question Lady writes:

Do you think it’s necessary to be self-centered in order to create art/movies/books/music?

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I want to know.
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8 Responses to Question Lady Question

  1. Certainly creative types are often motivated by a sensitive, introspective nature, and given to self-reflection. In his book on H.P. Lovecraft, Michel Houellebecq writes:

    “Those who love life do not read. Nor do they go to the movies, actually. No matter what might be said, access to the artistic universe is more or less entirely the preserve of those who are a little fed up with the world.”

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  2. Matt Forney says:

    Just to create art?

    To create good art? Most definitely.

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  3. The Question Lady says:

    Most artists I’ve known have been self-centered. But so are a lot of business people I’ve known as well, not to mention people who just have taught my pilates classes. I think that a certain self-centeredness is necessary in order to make the time to create art, but pure self-centeredness never ultimately is very interesting in art. I think it’s a balance between being interested in others and yet being able to demand time for your art.

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  4. I think artists often look pretty self-centered to people who aren’t used to being around creative types. But are they really? Or are they just claiming the time and space it takes to do what they were put here on earth to do?

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  5. Processing all of the experiences that result in a provided work of art can be mainly custodial and without necessarily being self-centered. But taking responsibility for the outcome is a self-centered thing to do. A lot of artists don’t appreciate, however, that many people experience the result of some kinds of art work on terms that have nothing to do with the artist. Also, most artists are not known to many other people as artists, and among the many implications of that, making art “for onesself” is personal whether the emphasis is on exploration or on product.

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  6. The Question Lady says:

    @Malcolm Ryder — I agree about taking responsibility for the outcome being a self-centered thing to do. I think that’s perhaps more true right now than it has been for a long time as artists are put in the position of needing to be producers and publicists and curators for their work. It’s part of what one sees on Facebook, where people feel they need to push their art (and themselves). One of the things I learned from doing a lot of radio and tv interviews (about my work) last year was to *not* push my work, but instead engage in a conversation with the interviewer. But of course, the spotlight was on me for the interview, so it was a self-centered way of not being self-centered. And that’s very interesting, what you write, about “Also, most artists are not known to many other people as artists, and among the many implications of that, making art “for onesself” is personal whether the emphasis is on exploration or on product.” Hadn’t thought of it like that.

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  7. Gabrielle says:

    Everyone is self-centered, it just manifests differently. I do agree, as Laguna Beach Fogey suggests in his Houellebecq quote, that creative types tend toward inversion and introspection. In my experience, creative types need the world less. Instead of trying to engage with it, they seek to interpret it. They are equally ruthless with themselves, sometimes to the point of self-destruction.

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