People always confuse the Monster with the Doctor. One is an automaton created from stitched together body parts. The other is the devilish mind behind the process.
As an artist, you become your own Dr. Frankenstein, breathing life into the lifeless. Your poems, your stories, your songs… They are simply a collection of words until you give them life.
Not trying to be overly romantic here. It’s just that the whole creation must be greater than the sum of its parts. The most skilled painter will still produce motel room art if they don’t strive to imbue their work with a soul.
How many times have you flicked through Instagram or Facebook, seeing all these amazing works of art and it beats down your own ambition. You think, how can I possibly compete with that?
Or maybe it’s with a book or television series, and the writing feels just too polished and perfect. You wonder if you’re just spinning your proverbial wheels.
Listen, your stitched together creature of art doesn’t have to be pretty (Boris Karloff sure wasn’t) but it does have to be honest.
Walter Mosley put it best when he said that your art “ is a living being that you’re creating from your soul”. You have to put a bit of yourself into the work, or it won’t come alive.
Don’t worry. You creation won’t become a rampaging monster that terrorizes a Bavarian villainess. You can slip in the correct brain this time (nothing Abby Normal). This is what the revising and editing process is about. But it needs that spark of life to start with.
And in terms of your internet scrolling? I make it a habit of following what I call “ugly art”. The kind of stuff that looks childish or simple. But when I see it, I can feel the soul beating within the lines and color.
Give me art with soul over a technical masterpiece any day of the week.
Go on, be the Doctor. Create your art-monster. The world needs more soul breathed into it.