What would you do if you were sure that you couldn’t fail? Or: Would you do if you knew that money would not be an issue?
These are very common questions and the coaching area, and these questions always lend themselves well to inspirational quotes.
I think, we have to add one more to them:
If you knew you can create anything you want, what would you create?
In a coffee shop in north London, run by a family – a soulful place where they take time for their customers and their customers are patient for them – a man sits at a desk in front of him is his sketch book. He’s bent over the block and with a fine pen he is putting tiny dots on a snake, that he has drawn in the lower half of the sketch.
I cannot tell his age. The man really looks older than he might be. He has a long white beard which gives him the appeal of one of these old wise guys in the movies – or of a mediaeval scientist. He wears a green cord jacket and matching trousers, he wears brown flet head, which completes the rural look.
The most noticeable thing about him is his hands – they are massive. I get the impression that he had worked with these hands a lot in his life, maybe as a woodworker.
From time to time, he looks up and strokes his beard. His brown eyes wander, looking into a determinate distance. This veil in his eyes remains even when he looks at me and asks for the time.
“How long are you working on this piece?” I asked him?
“I don’t know. For a long time – from time to time.”
“So, you are working on more than one piece at a time?”
“There are so many pictures in my head. I have to sort them, or they will drive me crazy.”
From his answer I would say the most important question we have to ask ourselves as artist is:
Why do we create?
And it seems that the most honest answer is: Because we must. It sounds like a cliché and this answer is deeply unsatisfying for me.
Because art can only exist, when it is shared. We are not only creating art for the sake of creating. We struggle to get our work seen we want to be recognized.
The other day I stumbled across the work of a fellow photographer on Instagram. He had developed a very distinguished style in his portrait work. But now he switched to digital art, because it gives him joy to play around with the new technology.
He managed to transfer his style from his portrait work into the ai generated images, which is kind of amazing to me. I appreciate his effort to dig deep into this. I don’t like all his works, but there was one, that made me pause, made me wonder and made me smile.
So, in the end it is about creating something that has an impact on somebody’s life, enrichen somebody’s life, making somebody’s life better – even if it is only for a very short moment on social media. And maybe that is all we can hope for.