If History Teaches Us Anything

If history teaches us anything, it is that defeats are rarely final or decisive.  No matter how powerful and seemingly permanent your vanquisher appears to be, even this, too, shall pass.

Artists are often on the receiving end of critical punishment for having had the temerity to present their art to the world.  They are left bereft of friendly words, isolated, ignored, ashamed and shunned, for the sin of expressing themselves, in perhaps the only authentic way they know how.  Their very souls have been attacked and left bleeding.  Many artists consider giving up entirely and adopting a quieter life, where they are safe from savage reprisals against their work and their person.

Whenever a people or a person takes a beating, you can be sure that there will be retaliation and rebalancing, however long in the coming.  Nothing is ever the very last word on the matter.

Modigliani, a man who reputedly couldn’t raise enough money through his art to put food on the table and who perished from the diseases of stress and poverty, now has his works hung in the permanent collections of national galleries.  It doesn’t help him in any material way, to be sure and it is all too late, but he was right.  His art was deserving of respect and appreciation.  He did show the world a new way of seeing.

Your vanquisher might crow and rub your nose in your defeat, but their hubris will not be forgotten.  The universe has a way of restoring equilibrium, or something approaching it, however long it takes.  Nobody remembers the people that shunned and ridiculed artists like Modigliani.  Nobody cares who they were or about what they left behind.  There is no known monument to any critic and no museum that displays their criticisms.

It is for this reason that you should take courage and present your work in whatever form you feel you need to present it.  If it is pilloried, then you’re doing it right.  You’re disturbing the comfortable equilibrium.  You’re path finding and way seeing.  Mediocrity will abhor your outstanding strength and clear sighted vision.  Conformity will seek to bludgeon you into submission.  Ordinary banality will seek to smother your freshness and originality.  The greater the ridicule, the more you know you are challenging orthodoxy.  From this well spring comes progress.

Next time you feel you are losing or taking a beating, remember that one day you will have your chance to shine.  If you don’t, someone sometime will win on your behalf.  No defeat is forever.

About tropicaltheartist

You can find out more about me here: https://michaeltopic.wordpress.com/. There aren’t many people that exist in that conjunction of art, design, science and engineering, but this is where I live. I am an artist, a musician, a designer, a creator, a scientist, a technologist, an innovator and an engineer and I have a genuine, deep passion for each field. Most importantly, I am able to see the connections and similarities between each field of intellectual endeavour and apply the lessons I learn in one discipline to my other disciplines. To me, they are all part of the same continuum of creativity. I write about what I know, through my blogs, in the hope that something I write will resonate with a reader and help them enjoy their own creative life more fully. I am, in summary, a highly creative individual, but with the ability to get things done efficiently. Not all of these skills are valued by the world at large, but I am who I am and this is me. The opinions stated here are my own and not necessarily the opinion or position of my employer.
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