Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Fresh Air & Vapor Trails

I forgot why I wanted to be an artist.

I haven't been able to even think of calling myself an artist over the last year. I've lost count of the people who I pushed away, and the people who just straight-up abandoned me. I lost almost all of the people I wanted to write and draw for. I lost the only audience I ever wanted. To try and start over now would feel like an empty gesture. I thought to gain success and personal achievement without them would be a hollow victory.

Why bother? Why bother getting all of those stories in my head down on paper? Why bother trying to learn anatomy, or research trans issues to better portray the characters in a comic book project? Why bother finishing NaNoWriMo this year, when I failed every other year I tried it, and no one will read it? Why learn to code, so I can design a game for vile, stupid underachievers who feel video games are their to masturbate them? Why should I learn to write a screenplay, for a fascist film industry that has brainwashed a generation into eating its' own regurgitated shit?

Why did art and entertainment matter to me to begin with? 

When I was young, I'd come home after going through the eight-hour long public flogging that is public education and play video games. Just non-stop. Because anything is better than the world I live in. I remember how they mended my broken soul after every school day. After every lonely weekend, and uncertain night. They made me forget that I am going to die one day. That I cannot escape it, that no one will love me, that I am inherently worthless just because, and I always will be.

These things held answers for me I cannot find in any religious text. They were there for me at a time in my life when my family was in constant pieces, too broken from the weight of their own lives to help save mine. 

The latest episode Game Grumps is something you can't miss. These two dorks take a break from dick jokes to put into words something a lot of us think is unspeakable. The feeling that there is something inherently unfixable with us. An overwhelming sense of defeat with the body and the choices we were given from birth.

And the idea that we CAN heal and be healed. That pain is not something we have to live with or tolerate.

We don't always need something else to speak for us. But all of us, especially when we are young are so lost for the tools to express our fears, our frustrations and our hurt that we look outward. We reach for something, anything that can put our struggle into terms we can understand, that others can sympathize with. We hold on for dear life to any particular song, or film, or book or video game or person that holds special meaning to us. Something bigger than us, that speaks for us, and lifts us out of somewhere terrible. A teddy bear that keeps the monsters away.

Someone out there is waiting for me. This is something I've only just now realized. There is someone out there, right this second, somewhere close by and far away, somewhere brand-new and ancient, someone like me and beyond anything I can understand. Someone needs me to finish that story. Someone out there is depending on me to give them the characters and events they need to feel better.

I am an Artist. I have a responsibility on this Earth to create. It is my job to put into words the impossible grief, boredom and joy of being alive. To give voice to people who are having trouble speaking their most private feelings. My worth is not bound to how much money I can make, or how many Tumblr followers I amass.

My work is not done until someone is healed because of it. Not until something I have made has become a permanent and sacred piece of someone's existence.

Only then am I allowed to die.



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