I was watching a show earlier, Iconoclasts, and the episode I was watching featured Quentin Tarantino and Fiona Apple. I was already kind of a fan of the infamous director but the singer… not so much. I’d never bothered to listen to any of her music or anything. That’s not going to be the case anymore ’cause I plan on at least giving her songs a listen over the next few days now, but there was something they both talked a bit about and I’m just not quite sure what to think of it.
It came up when they both talked about their six-year breaks, something they apparently have in common, and some of it made total sense to me. I’m all for valuing the art over the career, the creation and doing things my way over making “wise career choices”. The idea of not forcing myself to write when I just don’t feel like I have anything? I’ve felt that way for a long time. Why the fuck should I force it? It’ll just fuck up whatever it is I’m trying to do at the time, at best.
Or else it’ll just be a hollow, empty gesture, made to please other people.
The problem I have is… Fiona said there’s no rule that says this one thing has to be your only career, that you shouldn’t make art if you’re not overflowing with something to put into your creations. I guess I kind of agree with that, but only to a point. See… if you’re a famous singer, rock star, writer, director, or what have you… I can see expanding into other things from that, but I can’t see letting your accumulated accomplishments go to waste in the meantime.
There’s a certain level of “don’t force it”, definitely, but on the other hand you kind of need to keep your ass in the game. You’ve got to push yourself. Dig inside yourself for something to pull out.
It couldn’t be more true that there’s no point at all to making or doing something when your heart isn’t in it. But on the other hand, that doesn’t mean you can’t look, rail against the emptiness. Struggle against it. Doesn’t mean you can’t hunger for more. I mean c’mon, you make it big enough for people to know your name only to fade into obscurity? That, to me, takes it to far. There’s not feeling trapped by your own choices, and then there’s shooting yourself in the foot.
The only question is how far you take this idea of artsy integrity which, when you get right down to it, is usually a joke. Nothing but a way to feel better about not having more success, more recognition, more fame. A way of feeling superior when you’re not. There are exceptions, for sure, but they’re pretty few and far between in my opinion.
(This post became way longer than I meant it to be so I decided to break it into three parts. You probably don’t need to read all three of them to understand what I’m getting at, but just fyi each part is just one big continuous free flow of thought broken into smaller pieces, bite sized rather than such a huge mouth full. The rest was posted right after this first part.)