The past weekend, I was heart broken by the tragic events in Orlando. Please keep the victim's family and our world in your prayer and thought. Words cannot describe what they are going through. You might not think there's much you can do as an artist or even as a person. But start with the people around you. Show them love and kindness. Show them respect and compassion.
It was a few month back. One of my friend attended a workshop of a well known artist(whose name I will not mention here). She has been admiring his work for quite some time, so it was supposed to be an exciting opportunity. Turns out it became one of the worst workshop experienced for her.
During the workshop, the artist harassed and said inappropriate things to her. And he also marked up the price of his paintings when he noticed the student likes it a lot. My friend felt very disappointed about it and told me she's done with that artist. The reason I am sharing this story is not to talk behind another artist's back, but to encourage and remind you the importance of morality as an artist.
We are living in the day of age that social media saturates our daily life. People are notified within minutes when something big happened across the world. Public figures has more influence than ever due to the ability to spread their message across the world. So us artists have access to the vast resource and channels to make ourselves seen by the public. If you are one of the artists who make yourself seen, then you are responsible!
You are responsible for how the world perceived its artists. You might not think you are a famous artist (I know I am not right now), but people are looking at you. I am working hard everyday to make myself known, to establish a brand and to become a better artist. If one day I become that person, others will start to look me up, dig up my past and ask other people who I really am. If I've been living right, have good moral and be kind, I have set a good example for the art community. The world is looking at its artist for inspiration and leadership. If we messed it up, we undermined that privilege. I understand that everyone has different opinion and belief. But no artist should compromise on morality.
Our work and our life should be equally inspiring. If people compliment on my artwork but are unimpressed by the type of person I am, then I will not consider myself a successful artist. To be an artist is an incredible privilege, let us take up the responsibility on showing the world what it means to be an artist!