Thursday, June 25, 2009

Stay Hungry

Excerpt from Duma Key by Stephen King:

How to Draw a Picture (Part 3)

Stay hungry. It worked for Michelangelo, it worked for Picasso, and it works for a hundred thousand artists who do it not for love (although that might play a part) but in order to put food on the table. If you want to translate the world, you need to use your appetites. Does this surprise you? It shouldn't. There's no creation without talent, I give you that, but talent is cheap. Talent goes begging. Hunger is the piston of art.

For those of you who are blessed (or cursed, depending on your perspective) with the desire to create, what drives that desire? What do you hunger for?

It is the ultimate luxury to be able to make a living doing something you love. Sure, there are parts of every job one might consider drudgery, but such is life.

As I've mentioned, I am a painter. And while I can't say with a straight face that it's a living, it is a job I love. While I certainly utilize my creativity in my work, most projects are hardly art. Murals are the exception to this, but they do not represent the majority of my work.

I often hear leaders in business and ministry stress that you should not take criticism or rejection personally. While I agree with that to a certain degree, I guess I'm hard wired to believe differently.

How can you pour your heart into a creative endeavor - writing, creating music, painting, poetry, etc., and then NOT take it personally when your work is criticized or rejected? Especially when it is rejected by the so called experts?

I'm learning only the bravest of souls dare to subject themselves to this type of abuse.

Hunger is indeed the piston of art.

I still don't dare consider myself any type of serious writer, and my limited exposure to the world of publishing has temporarily put any personal aspirations on hold. But then I remember one of my favorite quotes, and it gives me a bit of courage. Hope it does the same for you.

"What you really have to do, if you want to be creative, is to unlearn all the teasing and censoring that you've experienced throughout your life. If you are truly a creative person, you know that feeling insecure and lonely is par for the course. You can't have it both ways: You can't be creative and conform, too. You have to recognize that what makes you different also makes you creative."

- Arno Penzias, 1978 Nobel Prize winner for physics


Chris Sullivan said...

Great question. I don't know why I write other than I feel like it is what I'm supposed to do. I feel like it is a call God put on my life and I'm not sure what he wants me to do with it

Candace Jean July 16 said...

You may be a painter, but from where I sit, your keyboard is your brush and you paint words together beautifully. In that sense, you must be starving, because your writing is indeed art.

And then I have this 19 ft wall in my family room that is a blank canvas, and it's waiting for you.

Helen said...

That last quote really is something to think about. Can't create and conform at the same time. How true!

Billy Coffey said...

Love that quote. It's perfect. And so are your words.

sherri said...

I think the creativity within doesn't really give us a choice. It's always there and bursts through regardless of how we try to contain it.

The extremely creative are usually very unsettled as it overshadows every aspect of life and others around them have no clue.

Steph @Red Clay Diaries said...

Thanks! I needed this today.

Feeling more unique than I care to be, and it's nice to think that creativity might be to blame.

Jon H. said...

A wonderful quote! And I appreciate your writing more and more as I get to know it and you. Thank you for your courage to put things "out there!"

We need reminding that behind every strength there is weakness - behind every vulnerability there is strength. We need to be able to embrace both. To reject vulnerability - may be to cut ourselves off from a strength we could use. We need reminding that there are many different kinds of hunger - we tend to only think of "one or two".

Thank you for encouraging me today! -Jon

L.L. Barkat said...

"You can't be creative and conform too." And how. [the non-conformist says, smiling]

Still, if we create completely outside of understood forms (is that even possible?), we create no bridge for connection. Art's a tricky thing that way.

katdish said...

Chris - Hopefully, He will let you know. Keep writing.

Candy - You're such an encourager, thanks. And I really do need to get to Iowa and paint that wall.

Helen - I think that quote was made for us, no?

Billy - Thanks. Coming from you, that's a huge compliment.

Sherri - that was very profound. May I quote you? Too late. I already did on the twitter! So sorry/thanks.

Steph - That's always my go-to excuse.

Jon - Wow. That is an incredible statement. Two quotes today that are going in my big book of quotes. And thanks for encouraging me.

katdish said...

L.L. - So true. Tricky indeed.

Tina Dee Books said...

Oh, I needed this!

Thanks, Katdish!

Love the way you painted encouragement in us with your words. You are an artist, my dear. Love it.

Beth said...

Man, I must be a pretty good artist because I get hungry a LOT. Oh wait...I'm supposed to stay hungry? Boo.


How do you put all these things together in that brain of yours?? That's what I like best about your writing. It's like a bit here, a bit there, and it all ties together and I always just get it.

Peter P said...

I knew I'd like it if you wrote a post like this.

This was awesome.

Some people may not like your stuff... but I sure do!