Quit Your Art

The Squid And The Whale
The Squid And The Whale

Artists, thinkers, and the rest of you: it’s time. It’s over.

Quit.

You’ve thought about it. You’ve felt the strangle of tension around you, felt the anxious fear of a couch you couldn’t afford in an apartment you couldn’t afford at the house- a house!- of a friend who has a business card.

So, stop. Give up. Bend your fucking neck and live like a human. Your rebellion isn’t holy: it’s childish, a spasm of a tantrum against a truth you fought to obstruct and hide.

Why be an artist? Really. You can play dress up with any job. Wear a cardigan, drink expensive coffee, linger and read in your own time. You want to produce? Fuck you. Art is garbage. Your art, if you can call it that, is worse.

Besides, isn’t it tiring? Art is crammed, filled with ambition and talent and youth and other words that, increasingly, feel forced when applied to yourself. Everyone is a rival; you hate them all, mirrors that twist your dreams out onto a newer face. You don’t how to stack their accomplishments against yours. Everyone in the field is a foe, every smiling goof in your UCB class or opening in the same dreary club on a Tuesday night. You do mental calisthenics to keep track of, exactly, how you’re lacking. What’s a podcast’s value versus a large Twitter account? But it’s sand, it’s dust, it’s all for nothing. And you should be ashamed how strongly your petty hate binds you.

Look at what art has made you.

So, leave it behind. Grow up. Take up a noble, high-paying, real job you can feed a family from, like saying “synergy” while wearing a suit, or being employed as the guy who cares, and I mean cares about the personality you’re marketing with the new Chevrolet Impala.

Fuck it. Opt in. Get a job. Get flown out to meetings that make no sense, surrounded by blurry-eyed equals who understood what you ran from. Play grown-ups on somebody else’s dime for once and tell yourself it’s what you wanted.

Hey, buck up buddy. You can still, you know, art. Art in your spare time! Art after work. Art, years later, on a whim, and wonder, wow, why haven’t you art’ed more? But a career? Are you crazy? Be honest with yourself. You aren’t good enough to do it, and even if you don’t love it enough.

Bet you haven’t heard that one. Nobody questions your drive, after all, or your devotion. After all, art is all you talk about. But that’s it. Talk. You’re a fan. Don’t you get it? You’re deluded, a fool who thought they could just want something into being. Because if you weren’t — if you really weren’t — you’d be doing it, not talking about it. You’d have been working. You’d have been doing. And you sure as hell wouldn’t be spending hours on hours on screens, on Twitter, on thinking and pacing, on staring at empty documents you can’t even edit your piece of fucking shit, you garbage, you motherfucking scum.

OH, DID I GET YOU?

That’s because you’re not unique. You’re a repetition, a redundancy made flesh, and you make me sick. You are all talk, a babbling dream that couldn’t wake.

***

It’s easier to write a diary in second person. TC mark

Related

More From Thought Catalog