Fail, fail, fail, fail, succeed

Thoughts On Being an Artist in 2021

Let me be clear: I don’t want to write anything that would cause pain for anyone reading it – and I have never written anything with the intent to do so. But is it possible I may have done this inadvertently? Absolutely.

It’s my natural inclination to write about things that I find interesting and provocative. For example, I’m fascinated by extreme manifestations of human behavior. Often these things are spurred by personal experience extrapolated into fiction. Ideas can come up that might be a way of interpreting traumatic events. By definition, this is going to be triggering to some people.

But it’s never gratuitous. It was never written to shock – it was written to provoke thought.

I am aware that I live in a time where this might be difficult to parse because artistic intent is not always obvious.

Here’s the thing: I believe nothing should be off-limits in art, that art should sometimes make you uncomfortable, that art should overstep the boundaries of what is acceptable.

The problem is that what once would have been called transgressive now seems to be simply unacceptable.

I’m not sure how to navigate this environment except to say my intention is never to hurt; it’s to heal. At least on a personal level. Healing, however, requires reflection on events that have wounded you.

That’s always hard.