What do you think an artist is? An imbecile who has only his eyes if he is a painter, or his ears if he is a musician, or a lyre at every level of his heart if he is a poet, or, if he is merely a boxer, only his muscle? On the contrary, he is at the same time a political being, constantly alert to the heartrending, burning, or happy events in the world, molding himself in their likeness.
I've been relying very heavily on my instincts as of late, and my songwriting has come to depend on my ability to surrender to the inspiration whenever it strikes. When I clear my mind and let the music take over, my hands seem to move on their own, and my voice utters words I haven't premeditated. This is pure instinct. It's like riding a wave. You just take a deep breath, hop on, and hang on as long as you can. That's basically how I songwrite when I'm composing impromptu pieces. It's a lot like channeling. Or free associating. And it's super fun, because anything can happen! It's pure creativity.
Whoever says artists can't deal with corporate pressures because they have frail minds, is missing out on the potential the artistic mind has to boost company morale and increase productivity. Most artists would just as soon quit once they become conscious of their exploitation and that is a sign of strength not weakness.
Art isn't only a painting. Art is anything that's creative, passionate, and personal. And great art resonates with the viewer, not only with the creator.What makes someone an artist? I don't think is has anything to do with a paintbrush. There are painters who follow the numbers, or paint billboards, or work in a small village in China, painting reproductions. These folks, while swell people, aren't artists. On the other hand, Charlie Chaplin was an artist, beyond a doubt. So is Jonathan Ive, who designed the iPod. You can be an artists who works with oil paints or marble, sure. But there are artists who work with numbers, business models, and customer conversations. Art is about intent and communication, not substances.An artists is someone who uses bravery, insight, creativity, and boldness to challenge the status quo. And an artists takes it personally.That's why Bob Dylan is an artist, but an anonymous corporate hack who dreams up Pop 40 hits on the other side of the glass is merely a marketer. That's why Tony Hsieh, founder of Zappos, is an artists, while a boiler room of telemarketers is simply a scam.Tom Peters, corporate gadfly and writer, is an artists, even though his readers are businesspeople. He's an artists because he takes a stand, he takes the work personally, and he doesn't care if someone disagrees. His art is part of him, and he feels compelled to share it with you because it's important, not because he expects you to pay him for it.Art is a personal gift that changes the recipient. The medium doesn't matter. The intent does.Art is a personal act of courage, something one human does that creates change in another.
Mockingbirds are the true artists of the bird kingdom. Which is to say, although they're born with a song of their own, an innate riff that happens to be one of the most versatile of all ornithological expressions, mocking birds aren't content to merely play the hand that is dealt them. Like all artists, they are out to rearrange reality. Innovative, willful, daring, not bound by the rules to which others may blindly adhere, the mockingbird collects snatches of birdsong from this tree and that field, appropriates them, places them in new and unexpected contexts, recreates the world from the world. For example, a mockingbird in South Carolina was heard to blend the songs of thirty-two different kinds of birds into a ten-minute performance, a virtuoso display that serve no practical purpose, falling, therefore, into the realm of pure art.