Monday, May 23, 2016

Don't Tell Me It's Not Work

So, this morning I have both a little rant for y'all, and some line art.  First, the rant, which is about a premise I know we've all heard.  "Do something you love and you'll never work a day in your life."  We've all heard it, read it, shared it--I know I have--but it's actually pretty bullshit when you think about it.  Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that it's not worth doing something you love, it absolutely is and I would rather be writing and drawing than doing anything else in the world, but that doesn't mean that creative people don't work themselves to the bone.  Being good at writing or painting--or any creative endeavor--requires as much work and practice, as much time and dedication, as much sweat and as many tears, as being good at anything else.

We tend to fall back on this idea of 'talent,' a belief that creative people just naturally have this gift that lets us do what we do.  And while it's totally possible that some people are naturally more attuned to stringing words together or the way that shadow and light work together, that means exactly nothing if that person doesn't sit down and work at it.  More importantly, someone who doesn't have that, but still sits down and works on it, will always get better, faster, than someone who doesn't.  It's the work that matters, it's the time and effort that a creative person puts in that makes them good.  And saying it's not work undervalues all the time creative people put into their craft.  Writers and artists spend years developing their own styles, their own voices.  They spend years practicing and trying new techniques.  They spend years FAILING over and over and over again, until one day they finally get it right.  And if that's not work, I don't know what is.

There is a huge, cultural trend that undervalues art (written or visual or craft, whatever), and this trend doesn't just affect people who can't/don't 'art.'  Even we creative types do this to ourselves, because we're told that, since we're doing something we love, it's not work.  We're supposed to feel fulfilled just because we got to write or draw or sew or knit.  We're supposed to be thrilled to make any money at all, and draw a greater satisfaction from the work itself.

Now, of course, that doesn't mean that it's not tremendously satisfying at times.  I can't even articulate how awesome it is to create something and see other people enjoy it.  It's fantastic.  But there are also heartbreaking nights when it's 2 am and you're almost in tears because you can't make the words work or the forms function.  Or those depressing days you spend doing the same damn thing over and over and over so you can get it right, and never actually manage to.  The great thing is that nothing else compares to the feeling when it finally, finally, clicks.

So, maybe the saying should be something more like, "Do something you love, because it's worth it."  *nods*  And now?  Onto the line art!


This is another bit of Steven Universe fanart, because Garnet is just plain awesome.  I want to do more with this line art, but I'm just not sure what direction to go in, yet.  I think--think--I'm going to color it instead of sticking with a more graphic, black and white style, but that still leaves me with a lot of options.  So... Well, when I figure it out, I'll let you know!


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