"There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is nor how valuable nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep yourself open and aware to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open. ... No artist is pleased. [There is] no satisfaction whatever at any time. There is only a queer divine dissatisfaction, a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than the others."
- Martha Graham
Friday, April 5, 2013
There is a legend that Picasso was in a park when a woman approached him and asked him to draw a portrait of her. Picasso agreed and quickly sketched her. After handing the sketch to her, she was pleased with the likeness and asked how much she owed him.
Picasso replied, "5,000."
The woman sputtered, "But, it took you only five minutes!"
"No, madam," replied Picasso. "It took me all my life."
**Although I do not know the validity of the origin of this story, the message behind it remains pure and true. An artists work takes devotion and years of practice and development. Respect what they do. It is not one nights work you watch at a show. It is not one week, month, or year of writing you read. Or only one click of a shutter you see in a photograph. It is their whole life dedicated to bettering themselves and their craft to produce something so beautiful that it seems effortless, but in fact, took countless days of tears, fears, rejections, bouts of laughter, joy and success to find.
It takes us all our lives.