Advice

On being pretentious.

Painters paint. Real artists have a burning desire to create.

Really? I don’t know what that kid’s story is or what your story is, but don’t you lot get tired of Rilke’s intolerable religiosity? So what, you read Letters to a Young Poet and now the only measurement for a “true” artist is that she perishes if she doesn’t exercise her artistry?

You know I’m immune to your sarcasm, right? I’m sure you’re used to making people second guess themselves with that holier-than-thou tone, but the full weight of your smirking ego doesn’t count as a valid point.

The measure of an artist is her art. We have a word for people who call themselves artists without a body of work to show for it — pretentious.

Funny thing, it’s the same word we use for smug college students who try to impress people with their summer reading list.

Standard

One thought on “On being pretentious.

  1. Chris says:

    Agreed. I produce a lot of work – most of it will never be read or seen – and have had so many not-artists try and tell me how to operate. One of these people is always going on about her novel (zero words written).

    One day she said, “you know what I hate about your writing? You always write about things you don’t know about.”

    “You know what I hate about your writing?” I replied. “That you insist on calling it your writing. You haven’t written anything, and until you do, it’s just annoying.”

    I may never earn more than a poverty-level wage off my art, but it stands alone and speaks for me – what I have, and what I lack.

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