The State of the Artist # 1

by Marvin Kanarek

I’ll try as best I can to describe the journey, the psyche, the attitude, the denial, the acceptance and anything else I can touch upon that might illuminate this elusive universe that I call “The State Of The Artist? It’s a state of mind, spirit and necessity, that is highly romanticized, clearly misunderstood, sometimes overblown beyond recognition and other times, not given the credit it’s due.

There are no notes, no script or ultimate goal here. It is an idea that I know has been percolating for a long time. I am not sure what form it will take. I do know that I will only write when “The Muse” visits me. Otherwise it will be premeditated, intellectualized verbal masturbation. I do know one thing for me personally and that is, true Art and it’s creation cannot be premeditated or intellectualized. Those are to be left to the “after the fact” act of critiques and criticism. It will be raw, not proof read,full of wrinkles and definitely full of typos. I guess it will be stream of consciousness writing. Maybe my selfish “raison d’être” is to help me understand myself. Maybe my ramblings will help those already on the path, and those that don’t realize that they are already on it.

Maybe this can all be said on one page. Maybe it will justify a series of instalments. I don’t know. The Muse will be the final authority.
Well here I go. Wish me luck. Both the journey and the description of the journey are not for the faint of heart!

I am feeling right now that one of the most difficult stages for me was that of acceptance. Not acceptance by others, but the time it took for me to embrace the fact that I myself was and am an artist. As a matter of fact it wasn’t ‘till about a decade ago that I could comfortably call myself what I was. An Artist!

Why did it take me that long? I guess I knew from childhood on that I was different. I can’t remember why I felt different from those around me. All I can say is that there was a constant awareness of destiny. I don’t mean that in any romantic or spiritual context. I just knew that there was something waiting for me. As I write this, it’s as if I’m hearing this for the first time! I just learned something about myself! I always knew from the age of five that I would sing,or design houses and draw. I knew that so long ago. I’m sitting here now telling that child from decades ago that he was right!

I never once during my much hated high school years consult with a guidance counsellor to discuss the pros and cons of embarking on a career in the Arts. Even though I didn’t embrace and accept who I was until many years later, I knew one thing for sure. I was never going to compromise what I felt driven to do. It was an uncontrollable desire. I was only sane when I was in the process of creating. I would still have become who I am today with or without my parents support or guidance.

They, as Holocaust survivors, wanted only one thing. Survival for them and their family! They did as best they could to offer “passive” support. It became more a case of them begrudgingly accepting the inevitable. They couldn’t stop me. It wasn’t well into my adulthood that they finally with much frustration accept the fact that I was going to and had to pursue and follow The Muse. I am grateful that they lived to see some concerts and art exhibits.

So, this Muse thing I keep talking about is very interesting to me. It smacks of blind loyalty to some unknown mysterious energy that visits at it’s whim and fancy. Sounds insane doesn’t it? Well maybe it is, but I know when it’s coursing through every ounce of my being!

And maybe, this is the first salient concept in understanding this “State Of The Artist”. I know that Art (not commercial art), is something that chooses you. It is not something that you have any control over. Perhaps you might deny it’s existence, or even worse, doing everything you can to kill it. I understand that in many cases people have crushed the Muse because they felt that they needed financial stability or one or more of many other reasons that lead to the killing of childhood dreams. I can understand and appreciate their decision. At the same time, I feel compassion and regret for them.

Like I said, “The State Of The Artist” is not for the faint of HeArt!

The State of the Artist

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Part 7