Save Yourself

The Point of Being an Artist

I was a daddy’s girl on every count.  He was my superhero in khaki pants, and I’ve saved every letter he ever wrote to me.  Every few years I pull them out of the shoebox they’re in and rediscover just how timeless his wisdom and humor were.

So I wanted to share these lines of a letter American novelist Sherwood Anderson wrote to his son because they reminded me of something my dad would have said.  At the time of this letter, Anderson’s 18 year-old son was studying art in Paris:

“The object of art is not to make salable pictures. It is to save yourself. [...]  The thing of course, is to make yourself alive. Most people remain all of their lives in a stupor. [...] The point of being an artist is that you may live.”  (See the full letter here!)

I totally believe that art is somehow at the center  of everything, but then again, I got a liberal arts education from a party school.  Don’t let this lead you to the mistaken assumption that I wear hemp jewelry.

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