Being in the arts for the long haul can give a person a unique sort of spiritual growth. The allure of a counter-cultural lifestyle is irresistible to many young adults, but when it becomes clear that there are downsides to any chosen path, it takes a special brand of commitment to see things through to life’s later stages.
Not everyone involved in the arts has a counter-cultural or bohemian outlook, but genuine artists do need to have the ability to perceive things with out of the box sensibilities. The ability to tap into ideas that can stand the test of time whilst also having the discipline and staying power to see those ideas through to fruition is a divine gift that is given to only a few.
Much has been written about the role of art colleges in the development of the successful acts of the British music business in its golden age (ie, from The Beatles, through to the late 1970s). One of the main reasons for the decline of remarkable creative energy emanating from UK musicians has to be the shifting of focus of artist development back to old fashioned showbiz values.
When the Punk and New Wave eras came along, there were a lot of debates about the merits and demerits of musical technique and skill. Having spent many years of my young adulthood attending post punk and indie concerts, I’m inclined to believe that ideas and dexterity are equally important as factors in the creation of art that truly matters.
Creative energy needs to be nurtured. Some folks are fortunate enough to be born into circumstances where support is easily accessible. Others have to struggle to protect their inner flames. Is the notion of wider opportunities simply a pipe dream?