In the end we go public because we must. We go public because it is part of being human. We go public because we can not remain private any longer. We go public because we will wither if we do not. We must share!
The artist who insists on staying inside himself and his studio will eventually start to diminish. His inspiration will retract upon itself. If there is no benefit to the people around him, no communal experience of his art at all what is it?
Certainly there is a private benefit to following through on something and creating a piece. For the novice who does it as a fun hobby on the side that may be enough. Though even then there is probably a familial experience of the piece.
“What is that?” “I didn’t know you painted.” “That is really good.” Etc. A small group of family and friends will weigh in. But if enough people see it and sing consistently of its praises one can not help but think there is a calling in there somewhere.
The part that feels like compromise for the artist is subjugating ourselves to the “rules” of the economic system. The system is an amoral set of almost mathematical realities. There is no purity in beating the system or figuring out a way to make money.
It feels cheap. It feels below an artist, who should not be thinking of such things. And of course the great ones had the luxury of not having to think about it too much, at least it seemed. They seemed to be well-funded by patrons from this side of history.
The reality, of course, is that they struggled, at least at certain points of their career. They all got to those breaking points where they had to turn something up or else. And life sort of requires we get to those squeeze points to find out who we are.
Do we have a catalyst in our lives? Do we have someone who can push us? Do we have someone who can translate our art into a viable living? Do we have a business partner, or manager? Is there such a person whom we can actually trust?
For Adele (and many others) it was probably Mark Ronson, someone who stays off to the side. He helped get her going. She actually opened up for Amy Winehouse in 2008. But isn’t that always the case? Everyone starts as a opener.
That’s something the process requires. For Adele the journey probably seemed like a lifetime. To us the public it went rather quickly. From 2008 to her huge hit album in 2011-12 to her 4-year hiatus till now. Whoa. Perfection.
And of course no one could have seen that happening in 2008. Amy Winehouse was the star. She had everything going. She has the voice, the intrigue, the sultry thing, etc. What a turn around a few years can bring. Only God knows.
Our job is not to know. It is not even to predict. Our job is to envision success. Our job is to imagine the outcome with hope and life. What could it look like? Don’t get hung up on the process or the details, just get to the end product!