Our world is a strange, fascinating, place. What we call justice – cause and consequence – is not linear. 1+ 1 doesn´t always equal 2. Not in Egypt, the La La Land Kingdom, not anywhere.
A writer I studied with complained about a specific minor,
let´s say mediocre, author who sells more books than him. He mentioned the prizes he won and the critics´acclaim but those didn´t affect him as much as the commercial success of that particular author who, in his (and my) opinion, doesn´t know how to write.
There are similiar phenomenons in every field – less than talented people being publicly recognized while geniuses remain unknown and unappreciated. The world isn´t always prepared for quality. More often than not, it´s McDonald´s which takes the prize home.
This wouldn´t be of much importance if public recognition didn´t equal, at a great extent, finantial freedom. An author who sells a lot of books earns more money. Therefore, she/he is able to buy time, peace of mind and comfort to keep writing more and better books. The opposite may also happen. We all know about poor, unhappy writers who produced master pieces but those are rare and, let´s face it, uncommon twists of fate. In general, if we´re given better conditions to create, we create more and better.
Dealing with the unfair, random & absurd, sides of life has been a challenge for me too. Although I don´t waste time checking who are the mediocre dancers/writers who enjoy commercial success, I´m not blind. I see what´s going on around me. I know where value is. And where it´s not. That doesn´t change reality, the same way complaining about the injustice doesn´t eliminate it. As a creator, who lives to/from/off her crafts, I´ve come to terms with what is, reaching the point of accepting – even appreciating and laughing at – the madness. If not, creating becomes hardship instead of pleasure.
When we see the BIG PICTURE, we realize what matters the most. Commercial success is great and, I repeat, it guarantees, at least for a certain amount of time, the freedom to live and work better. But it´s the DOING, putting ourselves to work – testing our limits and eventually breaking them – that matters the most.
If the world we live in doesn´t always recognizes quality, we play with it the best we can. We laugh at it, with it, beyond it. But we don´t get stuck in it. That would be a double defeat – not so smart.
We roll. If artists are not of this world, and I agree they aren´t, they may act accordingly.
P.S: Just make sure your business skills are enough to keep you alive, well fed, healthy and happy. The rest will come, in its own time, as the cherry on the top of a cake you didn´t even see coming. It will probably feel absurd, when it happens; off reality. Some folks will probably wonder why you were given that cherry. They, too, may feel an injustice has been committed.