The artist’s problem

Artists spend all this time, effort, money, struggle, pain – all this life – gathering inspiration and material to put into their art.

And then they create these masterpieces packed with analogies and twists and subtle hints at the life they’re injecting into their art.

Then they release these masterpieces into the wild, to people who didn’t live the life the artist lived and don’t know what all those hints mean.

And the people don’t get it.

And the artists don’t get why the people don’t get their art.

It’s like we paint a scene looking out from a deserted beach to an ocean. Because one day our four-year-old son waded out into that ocean, slipped, hit the back of his head on a rock, and drowned in 20″ of water. And by the time we got to the scene, everyone had left the beach, the paramedics had come and gone, his mother had already screamed after finding her baby covered in blue skin and 20″ of ocean and cloudy blood. And that scene is so filled with tragedy and pain and “why didn’t I go to the beach with my wife and son that day instead of thinking my day job was somehow more important than spending even five minutes with us all, together.” But somehow, everyone who sees our painting of the ocean only sees an ocean, not the ocean of meaning it means to us.

And, “People just don’t get our art.”

And we’re frustrated.

That’s the artist’s problem. We showed them art without any context, painted them the ocean without sharing the story.