I wonder if you were one of those people who sat in front of your teacher, or your parents and felt like some alien as you tried to explain how you wanted to spend the rest of your life being an artist. If you even dared to suggest it, then I’m also guessing you got the talk about having a real trade to fall back on.
When I was a kid we lived in a village, it had a butcher, a baker, a hardware store and a bank. I remember how my Dad would take me to the hardware store and buy a single screw, or a hinge. I remember how he took me to the bank, it was all wood panels and glass. We would go into the office of the bank manager, he and my Dad would talk about his business and shoot the breeze.
So what does all this have to do with your creative talents - a lot.
Now, if I want to buy screws, I need to buy 50 of them in a pack from some megastore on the outside of town. There will be 50 in the pack, not because someone gives a sh*t, but because industrialisation has ensured that every screw is efficiently packed, not with care, but precision. The same can be said for your bank, you have more chance of an audience with the Pope than a bank manager. They’ve all gone, they don’t manage customers anymore, they just manage budgets and the rest is down to a computer. You don’t get your Amazon order on time because someone at Amazon thinks “I can’t let Fred down” you get it on time because it has been systemized down to the last inch. This is the price we pay for efficiency, more people get more stuff, but less people get craftsmanship and individual care.
This is the result of post-industrialised, efficient world. The world is now run by industrialists and corporations. Artisans and craftsmen are few and far between - caring is now an art form, not a given. It is a fallacy that the family was killed by TV and that conversation was killed by social media. This happened during the industrial revolution when families, who had previously worked together in fields, farms or mills began to separate to go work in factories. Far less sharing and caring were the result. This is summed up with the absurd notion that we have a thing called “quality time” with those we love, the rest we can suppose is anything but.
Even worse, we were told this post industrial, work for 35 years, retire to do what you always dreamed of was true, that we would all have it. It may have been true for a short period of history, but not any more.
Now we have a fragmented society that is desperate for some kind of connection, for something, or someone to show them that there is something bigger than the ‘dream’ they were sold.
Your art is that connection, your songs and films are more needed than ever before. They help people transcend from the mundane and unfulfilling and help them, not to escape, but to believe in something that they once knew when they were a kid.
That was before someone told them to get a real job and stop dreaming.
Some of us ignored that advice, it’s a good job we did, as we bring those gasping for air, for something real, a chance of living once more. The world needs your creativity more than ever, so keep making your art - it’s a lot more important than most people would have you believe.