If You Don’t Suffer For Your Art Can You Even Call Yourself A Real Artist?

“It is frequently the tragedy of the great artist, as it is of the great scientist, that he frightens the ordinary man.” – Loren Eisley

Do you know what the worst kept secret in the art world is?

No, it isn’t that Monet was a talentless hack who set us back a millennium and is directly responsible for inspiring the dredge of all the bad “art” we see today – although it is related.

Claude Monet

It’s that the art world has been plagued by pretenders for years now.

This is a problem.

Every other guy and girl is trying to create something nowadays which only makes discovering true talent harder.

As someone who runs in these circles I can tell you real artists are fed up by kids with deviantArt and tumblr accounts trying to push their works as anything other than trash.

We just don’t see kids with the drive anymore. It isn’t like the good ‘ol days where you had to get a mentor and train for 20 years by envisioning perfect art in your mind before you even picked up the brush.

Where you spent years torturing yourself so you didn’t embarrass your family name by producing bad artwork.

Unfortunately this isn’t a problem limited to painting. It has infested all forms of art.

In music, we have the urban youth promoting their Soundcloud pages trying to make it as rappers rather than stable, respectable careers as dentists or orthopedists. Page after page of indistinguishable clones of artists all producing trap or vaporwave or sampling retro video game OSTs.

Not to mention the Europeans who abandoned their roots and are trying to become EDM DJs instead of classical music composers.

I speak for the majority when I say most of us would rather listen to the sound of a garage door opening and closing or two trash cans banging together than the music some of these so called artists like to put out today.

Black youth are falling behind academically because they’re doing this in class instead of solving math problems.

Then in photography, we have the chic and trendy urbanites (mostly women of Caucasian descent) posting photos of meals taken at their local homeless shelter (too poor to afford food when you have student loan debt) and Hypebeasts taking polaroids of themselves looking at the ground or squatting next to someone’s car wearing Supreme.

Where did people get the idea that you can just take pictures like that without any real life experience? True photographers travel to war torn countries and put themselves in life threatening situations to capture life at its rawest. They look for the starving, the diseased, and the dying and then immortalize them through the composition of their photos. They understand suffering is essential to art. They don’t take pictures of food or their friends dressed in some Mickey Mouse clothing

“B-but I’m not a photographer! I just t-t-take them for my f-friends! For fun!”

Stop it. You’re embarrassing yourself.

By the way, we haven’t even brought up drawing and the tumblrinas trying to peddle the amateurish drivel they call sketches of their favorite cartoon characters as art, or the graphic designers creating garbage-tier logos with embedded special meaning that “works on the subconscious mind”, or the poets who actually think free verse is even considered real poetry or the writers working on that next hit sci-fi novel set in a dystopian future (aka trash).

Did any of you pretenders stop to think “Hmm is there anything I can do about my overwhelming lack of talent?”

sway got answers


You must suffer to create.

If you’re not suffering you’re not creating art. You’re pretending.

Listen there’s no shame in being a janitor or a sewage manager. Regular everyday jobs are for regular everyday people.

Not everyone has what it takes.

Not everyone has the dedication to suffer for their art.

Exhibit A: It is a well-known fact that Vincent Van Gogh cut off his ear to paint better. Do you have that much dedication for your art?

Exhibit B: A little less known is that Leonardo Da Vinci used to have date nights with “the devil’s cabbage” in preparation for some of his greatest masterpieces like the Mona Lisa and that Michelangelo used to “chase the white dragon over the mountain” before embarking upon painting the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.

These artists battled voluntary drug addictions and became social outcasts to create great art. They went face to face with the divine and punished their bodies to find beauty in the suffering of life which they then captured in their medium of expertise.

Anyways, these are just some of the topics me and my art buddies have been discussing lately in between our nature walks and meditation sessions (it is essential to balance out all the suffering we go through with moments of peace).

So that brings us to the real reason you’re here…

Read more on the next page.