Communication And The Artist

From time to time I get discouraged that I’m not a painter or film maker or singer or songwriter. I get discouraged that I can’t communicate in drawings or melodies or capture video that’s perfectly framed. Words are the one communication method I cling to, though those aren’t always on my side either.

My hypothesis is that any idea, thought, or story can be equally shared through any form of art, if the artist is skilled enough.

If a writer penned a novel about a life cut short with the effects felt by the family long after, a painter would be able to convey the same emotion and feeling into a painting. A film maker would be able to create a movie one in the same, and even a video game programer would be able to tell the story with the same power through game play.

I’ve always measured myself against this untested, comforting and horrifying, hypothesis. Even though I may at times long for a different way to express thoughts, I’ve found comfort that with enough time and effort, words will accomplish what a song, painting, film, or other piece of art could. The horrifying aspect that comes along is that if writing hasn’t accomplished the power and emotion a different kind of art could, then my work wasn’t good enough.

It can be intimidating to hear a spine tingling music album, only to have to write about it with flimsy words that are left pale in the sight of rock ‘n roll. After finishing a emotional page-turning journey, living in the author’s world for so long, only to then see your silly toy guitar not as an instrument, but as strings hanging off some wood. A movie with both visual and audio connections to the audience can easily make a few colored paints seem childish and inferior. Great art with great conviction often inspires, but for those with similar creative goals, powerful art, in any form, can occasionally be a fierce blow.

The thought, “I could never do something that great,” has struck us all at some point.

Ultimately though, the world spins on inspiration, not art forms competing against each other. The olympic athlete about to compete in front every nation dons a pair of headphones and sinks into a world of sound. The musician sits at home and watches the spectacle of the best of the best running the race and is inspired. The event, captured in photographs, later seen by elementary kids too young to remember at the time. Years later, remembering the glory captured in those photographs, one of those kids decides they want to run the race too.


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