I live in south central Nebraska. It's a beautiful place. We count more cornstalks per square mile than people so there's lots of landscape from which to draw inspiration. We don't have, however, alot of folks to share artful conversation with. I'm not talking about the snooty, nose-up-the-air kind of conversation. The kind where we kick Thomas Kincaid under the bus and speak in hushed tones about the latest paint-thrower or wordsmith. I'm talking about the kinds of conversations creative people have when they want to wonder out loud about something to someone who will not stare back at them until drool creeps out from the corners of their mouths.
I have two dear friends who are working at creative endeavors. Friend A is an aspiring artist of the paint variety. Friend B is an artist of the pen and ink kind. Very different genres, but many of the same topics to discuss.
The issue that comes up the most in our conversations is whether we actually work. As in, "You don't work, so you can write/paint all day long. Must be nice."
It's often frustrating for us to have nothing to show for our labors at the end of the day. No pile of bricks moved from one place to another, no stack of papers in our out box. I'm not saying that we didn't accomplish alot, but it's often times in our heads, or doodled on a napkin or written in the margins of a book that's being read. Those kinds of things are hard to measure in this culture of "I got this much, how much you got?"
To Friend A and Friend B, thanks for listening. I hope you felt listended to, and honored for your hard work. Thanks for sharing your struggle with me. I know I'm not alone in my creative endeavors, and neither are you.
Do you work?