“The arts are not for the privileged few, but for the many. Their place is not on the periphery of daily life, but at its center. They should function not merely as another form of entertainment but, rather, should contribute significantly to our well-being and happiness.” -John D. Rockefeller III
Artists are now at the center of society.
I come from a long-line of artists. Raised by ballet dancers, I was surrounded by concert pianists, architects, writers, photographers. My childhood was nothing short of magical.
I grew up thinking that seeing theatre, world-renowned art museums, and foreign films was just a part of everyday life. While my friends were hangin’ at the mall, I was in rehearsals. Chopin and his fellow musical geniuses were the only sounds that filled our house. If you’d asked me about pop culture back in the 80s I likely would’ve given a blank stare.
Over the years I somewhat caught up on what I missed but it got to a point in high school where I just wanted to be like everyone else. I wanted to date a good ol’ boy, have barbeques and do normal teenage stuff. This was when I broke away from my mold.
In college I majored in Nursing, English then Journalism and fought the urge to take theatre classes. Then, finally, upon graduating I took a “normal” job in marketing.
That lasted a whole of four months.
Six months later, I was acting and dancing in LA. I did later use my marketing/PR background to help numerous startups launch and become successful but that was because I believed in the vision and art of the companies. Proof that nothing’s wasted in God’s economy.
Seth Godin believes we are entering into the Age of the Artist. A time when the only job security we have is through our art. In his eyes, the age of the Factory Worker, the age in which we were all raised, is dying. I highly recommend his book Linchpin for artistic empowerment. He will banish any doubts you have about pursuing your artistic dreams.
J.D. Rockefeller believed that the arts were at the center of society. I’m going to take it step further and say the arts are at the center of humanity. Once we find our art, we find ourselves.
So how about you? Did you ever allow society to convince you your art was a waste of time? What books helped encourage you along your path?