There is no high or low path really. There is the path you choose, and the ones you neglect.
There’s not gonna be an abundance of choices, sometimes it’s a grind you need to get through to give yourself more options. But everyday, the most important choice is intangible. It’s found in the ways you decide to look at things. The habits of mind, are what make the difference. There will be no big opportunity if you’re not used to creating the little ones for yourself.
Ground yourself in the daily more.
It’s all a high wire act of skill and performance, or artistry and exercise, of practice and improvise.
I know we’re naturally introverts, just embrace it, don’t feel the pressure to pretend. Embrace your love for dreaming and quiet, coffee and cooking, early mornings over late nights. The ideal hierarchy is not dancing queens versus wall flowers, you are both. The real gauge for where you are is built on the fluctuating path to your best self. The labratory, junk shop, bodega of our room is your own half way house for making ideas real. You’re still kinda gonna be there at 25, but when you’re wondering if you’re wrong somehow, caught up in someone elses idea of you, please, stop wasting time.
This stuff is hard to talk about, in large part because artistic choices are often indistinguishable from commercial ones. … The best work is often created in conversation with audiences, not by an artist talking to himself or herself in a windowless room. All art is compromise, too, because we’re working with flawed materials and trying to speak the angels’ secrets in the language of humans.
At io9, a fascinating discussion of what it means to “sell out” and why the term itself is fraught.
As Steven Pressfield put it, “To labor in the arts for any reason other than love is prostitution.”
As Lynda Barry keenly observed, the arts should be “not this thing that is going to get you somewhere, in terms of becoming an artist or becoming famous, but rather a way of making being in the world not just bearable but fascinating.”
Ultimately, David Foster Wallace nailed it in his now-legendary Kenyon College commencement address: “Selling out is usually more a matter of buying in. Sell out, and you’re really buying into someone else’s system of values, rules and rewards.”
Pair with history’s greatest definitions of art.