Staring off into blankness, nothingness.
Blank space. Not trying to quote Taylor Swift.
An acknowledgement of how small you really are.
Everyone knows the feeling AFTER having read a great book; or, watching a fantastic movie. It feels like the whole world stops for a moment in time and you can hold on to a truth that is tangible. As if you finally understand a concept that has been eluding you and after finishing your book or movie the concept becomes MORE than a concept.
That is the feeling you get when you have played a beautiful piece of music enough to finally understand the emotion behind the writer’s pen, or the painter’s brush.
That is the feeling in which embraces my mind in admiration and exhaustion during the current taps of characters on my iPhone. Feeling the full weight of expression that has been loaded and fired, as if from a gun, through the emotional feelers in my body.
The movie “La La Land” has actually become somewhat of an inspiration for me. An anthem for the creatures who create. A light for “The Fools Who Dream”, in a “City of Stars” that seems to “shine just for me”.
Yes, some creators dream of Oscars and Grammys and sugar plums and fairies. Others dream of making a tangible difference in the minds of individuals. From personal experience “La La Land” did both.
This year has been rather a dark time, with the death of my grandparents. My grandmother taught me piano, which I now use on a daily basis. My grandfather taught me to live for something bigger than yourself. Most importantly they both taught me how to love myself and others.
All that to say, some art, such as the music in “La La Land”, can take you places and transcend the movie itself. Some music and words can become a beacon of light and hope for individuals wandering what feels like an endless dark path. THAT is why you should do art. Yes, Oscars and Grammys may come along the way, but they should not be your driving force. Even money. Yes, you need money to survive, but you should not do art only for money.
A big question I have often is: Will my wife and I be able to live completely off of money earned from our art in our band 7000apart? Eventually, I’m sure we can if we keep working with music. Although, many times it is terrifying in a world that requires a steady income to survive; Nonetheless, and much more importantly, my biggest question is: will we be able to make a difference with our art in a tangible way, like “La La Land”? I certainly do hope so.
After writing about doing “Art For the Right Reason” last week, I felt like it was necessary to do a follow-up, a sequel if you will, to show you some of the highs and lows of doing art; especially as a profession. Also, to show the hope that we all should have as artists. That you will eventually succeed with making money if you keep persisting. But..MOST importantly WHY are you doing your art?
“In order to succeed, we must first believe that we can” Nikos Kazantzakis
Written by: Jonathan Kresin | A music producer | Musician | Writer | from Green Bay, Wisconsin in the band 7000apart