Why is creating art so hard on the artists themselves?
Leo Tolstoy defines art as follows:
“To evoke in oneself a feeling one has once experienced, and having evoked it in oneself, then, by means of movements, lines, colors, sounds, or forms expressed in words, so to transmit that feeling that others may experience the same feeling – this is the activity of art.”
He further adds that:
“If only the spectators or auditors are infected by the feelings which the author has felt, it is art.”
To create art is to dig deep enough into one’s own self, to give that feeling a form – an expression and to transmit that to one’s audience. The merit in our art is the extent to which our audience is moved by it.
But to move somebody requires art to be new, interesting and stimulating. That is what separates an artist from a manufacturer. A manufacturer is rewarded for producing sameness with absolute predictability. An artist sets out to make a difference that causes something within her audience to change.
Without this external change, art ceases to exist.
This external change starts as an internal transformation within the artist. It requires her to transform her identity and pour out a part of it into the art she is producing. To create art is to continually take away from our identity and lend it to our creations.
And that is difficult work.