One of the neighbourhood kids was over yesterday for a playdate with my son. She's 8 years old, and seemed quite fascinated with exploring our house. In particular, my microphone and recording gear were quite interesting to her.
"What is this?" she asked.
"My recording equipment." I responded.
"Why do you have it? What's your job?"
"Well, mostly my job is being Gabe's Mom, but I am also recording a CD."
"So you're famous?"
This one caught me off-guard. Unsure how to respond I stammered... "Well no, but I'd like to be.. Um, I mean not really famous, like those people who are stalked by Papparazzi or anything, but..." How does one explain the concept of an independent musician who creates music for love, and has long since given up on the dreams of super-stardom that may have plagued her earlier days?
We moved upstairs, where she turned her attention to a multimedia art piece I am working on. It's a tree through the seasons, with painted canvas and punched accents of leaves, flowers, and snowflakes. Again, the questions: "Did you make this?"
"So you're a famous artist?"
Wow. The fame thing again. And I wondered, is this just a natural response for someone who has grown up in our fame-obsessed culture? Is it assumed by today's youth that to pursue an artistic calling is really a pursuit of fame? Because I'm pretty sure that the majority of creative people have absolutely no interest in fame whatsoever, and in fact many creative people are quite introverted. Finally I found a response: "No, I'm just someone who likes to make things, it makes me happy."
And that's really what it's all about for me. I still have dreams of achieving a level of success that would allow me to make a living through my creative pursuits, but when it comes down to it, I make things, whether they are recordings, art, or otherwise, because it is what I do, because it makes me happy. My goal is to live my life artfully. Charles De Lint summed it up best when he said "All endeavor is art when rendered with conviction."
I want to make art out of everything I do, from the way I parent my son, to how I decorate my house, to how I throw a party, to how I write a song. It's all the same thing. Because at the end of my life, it is not the level of fame or not-fame that will define my life. It's whether I lived true to myself, whether I made of my life a work of art. So here is to the artful endeavor, and to all the creative people out there. May you live your days beautifully, and find joy in every creation.
Thank you to Vancouver Mom for the nomination, I am so honoured! To check out more of the nominees, visit their site. I plan to visit all the Top 30 in the next few weeks.
Have a beautiful day!