Art is its own reason for being
I had a moment. It was when I was typing in search tags into my YouTube window, preparing a video that was scheduled to go live the following week. I would type possible tags into the search window and almost every search term was linking to an incredibly popular YouTuber.
It was 2 in the morning.
I leaned back from my computer screen and peered around at my empty workspace, devoid of anyone else possessed by their passion this late on a Saturday night.
“What am I doing here?” I wondered.
What is any of this for? Especially when I can expect a view count of 20?
As artists, I think we all have those moments of deep uncertainty. When our vision, once so clear, shimmers like a mirage in the desert, and we see past it to the emptiness beyond.
You have two choices in that moment. One is to let the vision permanently fade. Embrace the emptiness. Maybe find something else to temporarily fill the void.
Knowing a nagging voice will always remind you the void is still there.
The other is to lean into the mirage. Embrace the truth of art: that it is it’s own reason for being. Yes, the art you create, like the body you use to create it, will disappear, rust, and be forgotten.
But everything will be. Since when is that an excuse?
There will always be a reason to stop creating, to give in to failure, to let your dreams die. If you’re looking for one of those, you won’t have to search far -- but you won’t find it here.
Don’t stop creating. Even if you’re the only audience. You’re enough.