Share your art.
A few weeks ago I had a chance to see a 90’s rock cover band led by a singer that looked like an angry Jerry Garcia and sounded eerily similar to Eddie Vedder. When the band played “Alive” by Pearl Jam, I was taken back to my transition days (as I call them) where I was growing into the skin of a young adult and dealing with the complete confusion of who I was.
As I “Dad swayed” to the music, I was comforted by my memories imbedded in the song. I thought about the first time I heard Pearl Jam, walking into an old house in Madison where dozens of UW students were drinking and being 100 times cooler than me. The music alone stopped me in my tracks and the lyrics shocked me. “Can you really sing about that?”, I thought. It was probably the combination of being on my own, at a really cool (and dirty) house party and dealing with some issues from my parents divorce, but that song changed my life.
Great art is new and pushes into a place that others haven’t been. This cover band brought back the feeling of that time, but it wasn’t art. The band members were very talented and I’m sure, artists, but it wasn’t art.
I believe art is everywhere. It’s in a great haircut or a perfectly worn raspberry beret. It’s also in the music that you hate or the $200,000 sports car that makes your stomach turn. Art lives in the margins, it’s polarizing and risky. Some people might think your super cool Wonder Woman t-shirt is stupid, but you wearing it, could inspire a young woman finding her voice and that’s cool, that’s Art.
I left the concert asking myself, Have I done what I could to bring my art into the world? Did I have the courage to push towards something new?
Artists push into the unknown and take a chance. They open themselves to others and knowingly invite judgement. It’s so much safer to be in a cover band, copying things that work. I’m ready to be an artist and I implore everyone to find that artist inside themselves and share it with the world. Some people will hate it, but it could change someone’s life.