I've found that most artists are pretentious. Ranging from Johnny Depp's refusal to see his own movies (because then it becomes about money *cough* "Pirates of the Caribbean" *cough*) to my Drawing I teacher kicking a girl out of his class permanently because she used "purple" instead of "violet." And then there's the ubiquitous Kanye West (now a fashion designer of really ugly shoes with tassels) who constantly uses capital letters because what he says is so important that he has to use the internet equivalent of SCREAMING (although I have this weird admiration for someone who thinks he is the Jesus Christ of the pop music/rap/fashion/political/artistic/everything else world).
I'm not exactly sure from where this sense of entitlement comes. It's like they have access to some unreachable plane of existence that normal humans just can't comprehend, so they come off looking and sounding like Lady Gaga, sometimes just for the sake of being weird. "It's all about the art." Sure. Whatever.
As an artist, I actually feel rather shunned by the artistic community. My paintings are mediocre, at best, and my photography is akin to a child getting a hold of his mother's camera and taking pictures haphazardly because he's not quite sure what this contraption actually does. When I go to a painting exhibit, it's usually, "Ooooh, I like the color scheme" rather than, "Oh, I can totally see the pain he was going through in this blade of grass because of the harshness of the brush strokes. How deep." I listen to pop music and do not spend my days searching for obscure bands just so I can say I found them first and that they are bad now that they are mainstream. And I don't watch various plays and dances that I consider weird and carry on for hours about the brilliance of the performers. For example, I still don't understand modern dance. I understand it takes skill, but when you're just throwing yourself about in what looks like an epileptic seizure, I'm not going to inundate you with praise. I'm not saying it's not art, because it is. However, I'm not just going to gush about it and ask for an encore because it's supposedly my responsibility as a fellow artist.
Take John Cage's 4'33". He says it was his most important work. Well, it's just silence. The sheet music just instructs the musicians not to play anything for four minutes and thirty-three seconds. Sure, I understand that the ambient noise is supposed to be the music, but come on. That's 4:33 that I will never get back, and the money I might have spent on that concert could have been used for a picnic in the park, where I could listen to silence for free.
But I love my art. I am passionate about my sketches, character designs and, in some cases, my attempts at using acrylic and oil paints. I spend countless hours researching for my stories and articles, and I treat them like they are more valuable than children (because they are). I keep scraps of paper with story ideas or quotes in case I can use them again, which means that I have umpteens of notebooks and boxes of loose leaf notebook paper with random scribblings, most of which are not related in any way possible. I'm sure there is some manner in which I could organize them, but I just haven't the time or the energy.
Still, I find that I'm usually sort of offput by artists. I don't find myself better than they are, but I feel like they expect me to be a certain way. I have more in common with tattoo and graffiti artists than I do with most writers, painters or what have you.
Gah, they just don't understand me.
* I'm actually not sure if Kanye does approve of this, but just so he can't come after me with his terrifying 5'7" self, I'm posting this disclaimer: Kanye West does not have anything to do with this blog, and in no way are his opinions expressed in this entry. By the way, Kanye, if you are reading this, I heart you and think we could be great friends.