The Wounded Artist

The sole people I would care to be in his campany now are artists and those who have suffered: those who really know what beauty is, and people who really know what sorrow is: nobody else interests myself. – Oscar Wilde (De Profundis ) artist adesina

In the recent past I confronted disillusionment as a playwright and creator of beneficial theater. This experience has been instrumental understand the abuse artists are usually put through to, the traumatic acute wounds awakened, and the process of recovery. Essentially when the naivete and idealism of my artist mixed with avarice and dirty work, I was challenged to grapple with and move through metabolic stress and bitter cynicism. This process catalyzed critical shifts artistically and emotionally, which subsequently infiltrated the remedy classes I facilitate with a multitude of diverse performers in NYC. Hence, my experience compels me to share about the agonizing hurdles the artist incurs, and the psychic cost and resultant wounds received. Likewise, I also want to identify ways to champion the artist, so that these struggles and wounds can finally contort into wisdom, power, and success. 

Author of “The Artist’s Way” Julia Cameron j., said to create is to surrender and line up with a higher will. Cameron expounds that artwork is a mystical deal, which unearths within the artist his purest fact. To risk bringing to life ideas of personal beauty and meaning and bravely share one’s artsy work is to uncover vulnerable aspects of what humanistic psychologist Abraham Maslow termed as the real do it yourself.

Yet often we are stymied by our coexisting quest to actualize ourself, and the pull towards safety. Our formative activities influence where we find ourselves on this array of safety and actualization, as do myriad external factors that can dissuade the expression of natural creative gifts and prevent artistic expression. We see this conflict personified in the archetypal reality of the wounded struggling designer.

In NYC artists are often lacking resources to create their work. The cost of real house, labor and materials, make it exceedingly challenging for artists to thrive. Varying varieties of treachery encountered in the dark underbelly of the art world hurt the artist’s soul. The rigors of public mortification, copyright infringement, transitory approval, theft of intellectual property, and corporate theft of one’s work where higher ups regularly usurp and take credit for the work of the nothing artist are common incidences. Hence, high-minded goals and creative ambitions are typically dwarfed by these difficult challenges. To survive, working artists may cobble collectively sundry art related careers or undertake a day job in an entirely different sector. Balancing work together with suite tasks may require moving and/or giving up on artistic pursuits that require touring or long several hours in a studio.

Imaginative agency and idealism may need to be subordinated to allow those who funding artistic expression. This may take the form of private collectors, angel buyers, producers, directors or business organizations. Endeavors to exercise entrepreneurial aims may expose unethical narcissistic motives penetrating these collaborations. Successfully browsing through this complex social and political terrain requires knowledgeable, healthy pride and powerful humility.

However, many performers are not equipped to withstand these challenges. A foundation of healthy narcissism is needed in order to formulate the capacity for valuing one’s unique creative gifts also to withstand the onslaught of public overview, duplicity and rejection. In the event that throughout one’s life one is inadequately maintained, refused and inconsistently supported, it is likely there are narcissistic wounds that prevent one from successfully browsing through these difficulties and totally owning and manifesting hopes. Under these conditions, the injuries incurred by demonstrating or merchandising one’s fine art can catalyze creative wachstumsstillstand, blocks, and traumatic enactments rooted in one’s record. Moreover, vulnerable to having revealed personal truths through one’s artistic work, the artist can be hidden up by primal needs for admiration and authorization. Deep-seated longings to be ‘special’, perhaps to pay for and master uncertain betrayal and rejection, can set the artist on with a proverbial land.