The Closet Artist

Closet Artists are everywhere. In fact you may know more than one. You might not even know they are a closet artist, until one day, out of the blue, you accidently discover the most amazing art that has ever been created! Ok, that’s a bit extreme, but you know what I mean. I’m talking about those talented individuals who keep their talents and art hidden,  who have cupboards filled with paintings, hard drives chocker-block-full of amazing music, or short films in boxes in the garage. These are the closet  artists, highly talented, but terrified of sharing it with the world.

Why? In this time of internet opportunity, upload and download artist self-management, and free tools under our fingertips, why do closet artists still work overtime in order to keep their art under wraps? Sure, they might show it to those who are close, those whom they can trust to be mindful of their sensitivities, but what about the stranger on the other side of the globe who is seeking just the kind of art that they have created?

The answer is because it’s hard. It’s a tough gig to open yourself up to criticism. You see, the closet artist is smart. He or she knows full-well that there are going to people out there who will poo-poo their work, who will criticise, moan, rant and even detest their art. And it might not just be strangers. There are some, whose jealousy is so great that they will make up complete lies just to denounce an artist and their works. It may not be thwarted outwardly, but it will be thinly veiled.

I know only too well the pain of criticism. For years my own mother (bless her ignorance), kept asking me when I was going to “get a real job”. She had no problem telling me “I can’t stand that music”, and during my work on one project told another family member that she thought I was involved in a cult, lol. Criticism hurts. It feels personal. Your creative expressions are a part of you, and to have someone shit all over them is as painful as them telling you you’re an awful person.

So, now that I’ve got that off my chest, here’s the thing…every artist in the history of mankind has been criticised overtly. Every. Single. One. How do I know this? Because it’s human nature. Some criticise to make themselves appear important. Some do it out of jealousy. There are those who take delight in making others feel miserable, and there are some who just want to make noise, and your art happens to come into their field of view. But you know what? I don’t give a toss about them. I know that no matter what I do, how I am, or what kind of creative expressions I make, these people will always moan and whinge about it and about me.

I make art for those who care. I make music for those who want to be moved. I write to share to those who seek, and I give because I can. I think of my ability to create as a rare thing, as unique as myself. I know there are people out there who would give everything they have to be able to do what I do. I know that there are people out there who have been touched by what I do, and who value that so much. I know because they have told me. I know because they have shared their stories, their journey. It’s for these people I share myself, not for those who just don’t understand.

It’s hard when you’re a closet artist, because it’s easier to not do anything and therefore not take a risk. But imagine there is person out in the world, just a single individual, who’s life could be touched if only you could find the courage to reveal your creative beauty. Imagine that person never finding you. It only takes one single soul to connect with your work for your talent to truly be complete.

…and then it’s time to make the next piece…

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