There is a Dark Side to Hard Work

Ink on watercolor paper – Words: Erica Jong

When people find out I am an artist, in addition to allot he other things I do, many talk about how they are not creative or don’t have any talent. I do not believe that. I agree with Erica Jong, everyone has talent. Everyone has some way they are creative. Be it in the arts, in how they create an inventive spreadsheet, how they organize a space or how they are able to bring out the best in other people. Everyone has talent.

I also agree that not everyone is willing to follow their talent to the dark side. Art is not just fun, it is a great deal of work, loneliness, self doubt and often unappreciated work. To really find their voice and artist must spend lots of time alone creating, failing, trying, succeeding and then failing some more. All along learning and hoping that when people see the work they will appreciate it or understand. Most artists create alone, which is why artists struggle with finding their place and a place where their work is accepted.

Our culture admires talents of all types – writers, performers, musicians, models, scientists, inventors, even chefs – all varieties of talented people. What those types of talent require is the ability to create, invent, try, fail, try more and then get back up to do it all again tomorrow. Some people make a great living as a creative while others always struggle to make ends meet or even to feed their family. The famous creatives make it look like it just happened overnight, the honest talents share their story and encourage others who are in the midst of their creative journey. And we forget the pressure to always be relevant, new, different, even revolutionary in their field otherwise they are forgotten.

To shine in the light we have to face the dark side of life. Working hard means time is not spent doing other things. The gift of talent and creativity requires a focus and energy that not everyone has the courage to embrace. Give thanks today for the creative people in your life, let them know how much their talent brings joy to your world.

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