Being an artist in our present culture is often extremely difficult. We
can get a perspective on this by considering the long list of cultural myths surrounding artists that is familiar to artists and non- artists alike.
For example, we expect:
- Artists are weird, eccentric individuals, by definition at war with
society at large.
- Artists must suffer in order to achieve anything of significance.
- Artists are emotional, undisciplined and perpetually childish.
- Artists, on the other hand, have access to realms and ideas that non-artists (the “masses”) are too dull or stupid to comprehend.
The total effect of these myths is to create an on- going hostility between those whose primary occupation is artistic, and those for whom such endeavor is not a central or even peripheral concern. The result is general cultural impoverishment: The artist has no grounding in the community and therefore no contextual basis for his or her creativity, and the community at large is cut off from access to and participation in the creative process – a necessary component of mental health and the birthright of all human beings.
Laurel Black - Finding A Place For Art In Community 1984