I get it now. It all makes sense to me.
It's hard to articulate something that is so abstract (even ethereal), but I think I've managed to construct a concrete understanding of what it means to be an artist.
I started reading a book a while back called, 'The Storytelling Animal' and it goes into depth about the origins of storytelling, why we do it, and what makes it so important. As artists, we get to be storytellers. And the awesome part is that, we all do it in a way that is unique to us.
This is not to say that it's an easy road. The lifestyle of an artist is not like others, because it is not linear. Not only do you endure the
ups and downs of your own personal life, but you must do the same with
your career. There is no certainty in what we do, but that is what it's all about. It's not about safety, and it's not about getting it right. It's about being truthful and present, even if that means being uncomfortable. It's about surrendering to the possibility of experiencing something you had no idea could happen; allowing yourself to be vulnerable and real, because people need that. In fact, they crave it. We can spend so much effort into appearing like we have it all figured out, instead of admitting what's really going on, and so we seek comfort elsewhere. Art lets us know that we are not the only ones who feel this way, and that we are not alone.
This is our job. This is what we do. And when we do it well, others welcome it gladly. As artists, we must go to the places that no one else dares to, seek out the unknown, experience it, and then report back. Sharing these stories is essential to our nature. It's what makes us human.
And everyone loves a good story.