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Honor the Muse

Many years ago, a dear friend and artist wrote me this . . .

Art is a form of communication. If an idea can be better expressed in writing, it should be poetry or prose. If it can be best expressed through sound, it should be music. The visual arts express something other or more than what can be expressed in words, the gestalt thing again. 

We see in paintings and photos what we absolutely cannot express any other way. We use a whole lot of metaphors trying to do so, but there always remains a little more that makes it work. 

I don’t really believe that the artist’s intent matters much. It matters even less the more wrapped up he may be in his particular agenda. If the work is good, it will be appreciated because it’s good, period. 

Most of us don’t see ourselves as artists. I think that’s both too bad and wrong. Somewhere in there, we all have the impulse to create and put something into the world.

Honor that muse.

It gets interesting when the urge directs us not down the normal path but in some new direction. Instead of a computer, we pick up a pen. Instead of prose, we write a poem. Instead of taking a picture, we make a sketch.

Follow that muse. Respect your inner artist. Do it just once, and you’ll do it again. You’ll be happier for it.