I have been thinking about something lately–that I want to be as much a great commenter/person as I do artist. This is not to say my art is the best there is, but rather, that I want to grow personally as much as my art does. This includes, lately, commenting and being present in specific artists careers and walks, and taking the extra time to dialogue with their work or posts, even if I don’t get a response.
I know, this is common logic, and often something we all think even if we don’t always do–but it is worth mentioning out loud and on “paper.” Mainly because, for me, just thinking it shouldn’t be the end result. I should do the thing I think of, if I believe it should impact my life professionally as well as personally.
If I want to be apart of the art community, on any level, then I need to engage it. Life is often about time management and about engaging with what we believe is well worth our time and effort. If we do not stand behind what we do, where we go, how we live, how we think, what we believe, then we are wasting our lives in simply trying to “exist” and not with actually living. I have a job that is full-time, but I’d like to believe that if I didn’t love even a part of my job it would not be worth going to every day. And that is something I need to remind myself daily–that I am blessed to work at a library, to be around a center of learning and knowledge, and of the potential of growth in the written language, or in a visual medium such as audio books, dvds, cds, etc.
And I think this extends into my Instagram, twitter, and other art/life sites. I want to be apart of artists lives, see them grow, support them in their growth and projects I support and do so with my full attention. Even if they only read it once, never comment on it, or even, perhaps, never see it–I want to know that I have showed up for my part–dialoguing and communicating for the things I supposedly “love” or “like.” Loving and liking something, in my opinion, has become synonymous with lazy thinking, observing, and appreciating. We have become lazy in how we engage with people’s work and their lives, and for that I am ashamed, not just for others not getting the full potential, but for myself, when I have fallen into that rut. Because ultimately–these words are for me, to me, and about me.
I don’t want to stop learning or supporting work without taking the time to express why I love it, why I support it, and why it matters. Taking the time to slow down, and truly admire or study the work I am looking at, or to truly take in what I am reading–this is fundamental to not only the potential growth of the artist/writer I am commenting on (or dialoguing with) but in my own growth.
For here is the point: we should never compartmentalize our life into some waffle-shaped box. What we believe about life and the world should trickle into our activities, and what we do in these activities should speak to how we engage the world, our time, and should speak back into our beliefs. I do not say this to mean we only do what we love, or that we only acknowledge what we agree with, but rather, that we are real, authentic human beings that believe that everything we do matters and has substance. We should not believe we should work hard only in our work, but to take that into our personal lives.
And I believe, more than ever, that even commenting, supporting, and impacting other’s lives will one day feed back into mine, and help me grow and learn–and to appreciate when someone takes the same time for my life and work as I have done for someone else.