My Job As An Artist Is 50%, The Other 50% Is You

Ali Kaukas

This morning before a surf I was sitting looking at the sunshine and deep blue rolling in and a Barneys and ran into a friend from town, he said, “A book, what an accomplishment. How is it doing?”

I looked at him and said, “No idea.”

He laughed.

My publisher is controlling all sales and distribution–and to be honest, I’m not interested in sales or how many copies or blah, blah.

I spent 28 years getting ready through experiencing and writing and living and sucking and loving and succeeding and falling and learning and moving and being and saying and not saying to create that book.

I spent 1.5 years choosing and re-choosing what poems to let out first.

I spent 6 months choosing a order that flowed like honey to my soul.

I spent weeks with different talented artists on my book summary, author bio and photograph to accompany it.

I cracked over fonts, the feeling of paper, spacing, formatting, colors, covers–I put the time in.

I have a personal belief that my job is as an artist is 50%–creating something I am proud of–that is my job.

But once I hit submit, publish, send, release–then I have no control.

Then I let go.

Then I detach.

Then I am finished.

The other 50% of art is you.

The other 50% of art is what people feel and connect to.

How the book does out in this world, or the film or the poem.

As far as I am concerned the book was a success the second it left my hearts hands–the second I wrote my editor the final “THIS IS IT!” it was a success.

I could care less about the other 50%.

I did my job–I created something that I will timelessly be proud of sitting on stoops and in corners and with coffee cups till after I am dead.

I am a success already, for I have contentment in my craft that is not touched by the failures or successes we deem on a 50% that is not mine in the first place.

And in that, I am free. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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