Friday, November 13, 2009


This week on Friday Night Lights, Matt, who is interning with a cranky artist, asked this question: what is the most important tool an artist needs?

And the answer was SELFISHNESS.

It sounds harsh, but it's also honest. Creating art does require selfishness. Ultimately, that's what art is about: the self. And that's who we should create for: ourselves.

That doesn't give us permission to be jerks, though. There's an art to the selfishness. It means we've got to carve out time to create, we've got to tell our kids, "No, Mom is working." We've got to tell friends we've had for twenty years that yes, we would love to get together, but no, we've got a deadline and just can't.

But then, at some point, we've got to come out of that cave and act like regular people. Which means remembering and expressing appreciation for those essential people in our lives who endure and support our creative efforts.

Otherwise we'll end up like the guy on the show, drunk most of the time, and alone. Or worse. And no art is worth that.


  1. Great post Irene. So true :-) I can't wait for your book to come out!!!!!

  2. I keep hearing about this show. I must tune in.

    Whew--absolutely true. I think artists have to distinguish between self-expression and ego. I've met so many talented artists who are nothing but ego.


  3. Irene, sometimes we need to give ourselves permission to take care of our own needs, albeit, physical or spiritual. Selfishness sounds like such a negative word, but in the right situations, it is necessary. My daughters still have a hard time with Mom's creative time, but the are learning!

    Very good advice!

    hugs and love,


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