There are seasons of the year just as there are phases of life. The tortured, starving artist is a infantile winter state in which rapid and dramatic internal growth can be achieved, (katabasis, negredo, shadow work.. ) though extreme pain and suffering can be inflicted as the artist is subject to growing pains of having to adapt and evolve so quickly or perish, more often than not to the submissive world of ' normal ' work, such as a coffee shop or a art supply retail chain store. The starving artist state makes or braked an aspiring artist, just as winter often weeds out the weakest. Only in chaos, adversity, in trial, do we create a stimulus for growth.
The phase of the starving artist is so romantic and pure to us in our modern mythology for many reasons. Firstly because there is drama and excitement in the austerity and forced evolution. Secondly, modern man has been led to believe that only through misery and submission can true 'work' exist. Basically, if you enjoy it, it's not work, which might be one of the bleakest and most destructive axioums of this nothing diwngoing kali yuga age. Thirdly, the modern man is confused in his spirit and doesn't understand the value and place of art and artistic pursuits and how it can have any meaningful affect in the modern world of technological advances and smart phones and television screen and the ten thousand other things. And lastly, society is without its shamans or its meaningful aesetic archetypes. The modern man has put the man of aesthetics, often wrongly sometimes rightly into the realm of the aesetic. This infects the aspiring artists mind as well and sentences his future to a frustrating shamed existence of trying to make a living while adhering to a ill-defined ethical and moral code that was unconsciously thrust upon the arts to have a unhealthy relationship with abundance and wealth.
It is true, You must be willing to suffer for your craft, to do the necessary work both inner and outer to become an 'artist', though this certainly does not only apply to the physical arts of drawing and painting ecetera, but really any sort of creative pursuit that breaks the institutional societal norms of what most accept as a ' career ', ' job ', ' occupation '. Any magickal act!
Often times I believe artists get stuck and artificially try to prolong or cling to this starving, famine season of thier artistic journey for its precieved purity, if only often mentally and subconsciously, manifesting through a bad and ineffective relationship with money. The answer to this can be seen in tantric and zen schools as well as the traditionalism of Evola and Nietzsche l, all of which we can find this idea of living in this world but not being of it, 'Riding the Tiger', 'Surfing the Kali Yuga' Artists need to but be wise enough to know when it's time to fall into predictable routines, and simulate a sort of womb like protection from which they can grow over a greater period of time at a slower pace, :f:inding sanctuary where they can refine and do quiet work for a time, introducing more controlled forms of chaos to elicit progression. Both can create different forms of growth and are needed at different points along any artists maturation. We sometimes need a Shakti and sometimes we need Mahakali.Read More