Some books are classics because the are great works of art that have stood the test of time. Other books are classics because of tradition. It is important to remember that every classic was once a young up and comer. This means your creation from today may be a classic tomorrow.
It is always interesting to see an artist at work. No matter what the form the art takes; no matter whether writing, music creation, painting, dance or singing songs. The creation of new art forms and new pieces of art is a time of nervousness and excitement for the artist. There is something beautiful and precious about artists who enjoy what they do and want their audiences to enjoy it as well. It is not easy to string together words, phrases and sentences in a way that will resonate with readers. That is why not every poem becomes Langston Hughes’ Mother to Son. Not every bunch of notes put together becomes Charlie “Bird” Parker’s Birds of Paradise. Similarly, not every bit of choreography will become a classic like Alvin Ailey’s Blues Suite.
When all of those artists came forward and began creating things, they were not conventionally thought of as creators of classic pieces of art. None of those things that are now recognized as great pieces of art, were automatically thought of as things we would be enjoying and even studying years later. Langston Hughes came to the fore during the Harlem Renaissance. At that time, the written work of black writers was not seen as something that would or could be studied by students at large across the United States. Even Charlie Parker who is now thought of as one of the greatest musicians of all times was once seen as strange before his new form of jazz was recognized as genius. When Alvin Ailey first formed his dance company of African-American dancers in New York city, it was unheard of to go see a ballet made up of only African-American dancers.
Sometimes when an artist creates something new, she is told that her creation is too new, too different or to unmarketable to be a success. The artists who have names that survive, the artists that are talked about for decades and even centuries beyond their death are the ones who continue to create even after being told they would never make it. The creation of art is truly not something for the faint of heart. It is not an area for those who cannot take harsh criticism in stride. When it comes to art, everyone is a critique and everyone thinks they know more about art and what a piece of art means than the artist who created it. If you are going to succeed as an artist, you must develop a thick skin, put forth your best efforts and keep creating the art. If you want to succeed and create things that are of value long after you have gone, you must believe in the power of your creations. After all, success is not given to the weak, but to those who persevere until the end.
Way back when many of today’s classics were written, there was no way of imagining that the work would last beyond the lifetime of the creator. Today, we know better. We know if we want our creations to last, we must create great work at the start.
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