Discourage an artist… and you get absolutely nothing in return, ever.
A comic on Gavin Aung Than’s popular webcomic site called Zen Pencils really caught my eye, and it’s called ‘It costs nothing to Encourage An Artist’, which I find to be very true. The message relayed with this fantastic piece of work really resonates with me, being an artist as well. Many times in my life I have been praised and encouraged with my art, and I find that it only makes my passion for it grow stronger. People who really put their heart into things are absolutely crushed when someone doesn’t react the way they wish for them to, and I know that all too well. Two weeks of work on a project only to get an ‘Okay’ when asked if it looks good can really put a damper on one’s spirits.
If you encourage an Artist to do their best each time, their skills will only grow and their love for their work will only grow. Not only does this apply to artists, but musicians and glassblowers and anyone else that truly loves their craft. Do not discourage anyone from doing something they’re really passionate about, because you will get nothing in return for putting their dreams down. When you discourage someone, you take away their passion and they begin questioning everything they’ve ever done. Most often, people express themselves through their medium and when they show their work to you, it’s a sign of deep trust.
They trust you not to hurt them, but there’s always that risk that someone will toss their work to the side and tell them to do something better. Artists take that chance each time they risk showing their work, but they’re proud of what they’ve done and want to share with you. Please keep that in mind the next time someone shows you something they’ve worked hard on. Even if you don’t care, you should encourage them to do their best.
Zen Pencils Comic: It Costs nothing to Encourage An Artist
I’m sure that by now, most of you have heard about the refugees trying to flee Syria thanks to the Syrian Civil War that has drove them from their homes. But do you know what’s happening to them after they leave? Most Syrians trying to flee the conflict in their homes are paying tens of thousands of Pounds to get on ships that are over their boarding capacity that may or may not make it to Europe. Most of the time, they capsize before they can even reach the shores of another country in hopes for work and safety. As stated by CNN, “The number of Syrians seeking safety in Europe has more than doubled in the past year. Many left Turkey and other countries for Europe to ask for asylum, a status that allows someone to live and work legally in another country.”
I feel that we have failed Syria by not noticing such a thing sooner; a toddler washed up on the shores of Turkey on September 2nd and that was what sparked such passion towards taking in Syrian refugees. Until we see something as moving as a little boy laying face-down, drowned, we do not have the attachment to the numbers flashed in our eyes telling us that another thousand people drowned today because an over-packed ship couldn’t handle a wave. Families are being ripped apart and countries are doing next to nothing about it until people start to roar about what is going on.
“The war in Syria is so hellish and unrelenting that more people have left that country than any other in recent years. One of every five displaced persons in the world is Syrian.” Why have we not, until now, been paying attention to the goals of the Syrian people? We have failed; we have failed to uphold our unspoken bonds of Interdependence and have turned away more people than we have tried to help. The US is not free from guilt here, despite having recently stated they will take 10,000 more refugees that have been displaced. I am saddened that today, when discussing with my partner about the issues with Syrian refugees, that they had only heard about it just now from me.
Spread the word. Take charge. Try and make a change for these people who only want the war to end, not to leave their homes.
You can read more about this crisis by referring to this article by CNN: Migrant and refugee crisis: War uproots 1 in 2 Syrians.
My writing life not only exists outside of my schoolwork, but it often flourishes there when inspiration strikes and my favorite ball-point pen is forced and a mixture of cursive and standard handwriting is strewn across the page like spilled coffee. Words that litter my mind do not necessarily reach the page, as something is lost in the translation between my brain and my fingertips, but the soft classical renditions of my favorite songs playing in the background influence me and drive me further. The scent of coffee diffusing in my room and putting me entirely at ease can do nothing but fuel my inspiration and bring my mind to a focal point.
However, with my deep-seated insecurities, my literary work is often shown only to one person unless it’s ordered that I force my penmanship upon others for a class exercise such as this one. I would love to expand my writing life because when the pen stops or that last key is pressed, a feeling of satisfaction washes over me and I realize that I have done it. I have created something with my own hands that can convey emotion to others, and I desperately wish to be heard despite having nothing to say. I am an artist, and when I cannot create works of beauty with brush strokes, I know that my pen is by my side and cannot abandon me the way an artist’s muse can. Maybe that’s why I like to work in ink, because the stain of the paper is permanent despite the imperfections.
I am not a hero, marked for greatness by the scars of my past, but I can create people who are. Imperfections in characters, and imperfections in my own character inspire me to write works of fiction more often than not. I grew up reading fiction novels, much like any teenager this day in age with their Harry Potter and Eragon series making memorable marks on their childhood. Darren Shan was my favorite author in middle school and I think he personally fueled my morbid curiosity with the darker sides of fiction, and I would love nothing more than to expand my horizons and write like he does.
This blog will be dedicated to prompted writing exercises generated by my English IV Honors Teacher for generative writing tasks. I will be posting on a weekly basis, as prompts arise, and hopefully will enjoy the opportunity to sit down and focus while writing for a change! Being a Senior in high school is tough; generative writing topics aren’t tough to challenge.
September 1st, 2015