Artists see the world differently than ordinary humans. Artists can have all the money in the world, or no money or some money, but no amount of money can buy their happiness, nor can fame, nor can glory, as no amount of these human pleasures get the artist's joystick going!
What is happiness for an artist?
If you are married to an artist and you ask, "What can I do to make my wife or husband happy," the answer my friend is quite simply this...
An artist has to create something; a play, a performance, an opera, a dress, a car, a painting, a garden, a great soup, an invention. It's as simple as that. The act of creation (being like God), is the end all and the be all for an artist.
Yet creation is only halfway to happiness for an artist.The final half is to be told by another human, " I love that!" Then you really "make my day."
The worst thing you can say to an artist is, "I find your work interesting." We prefer you say, " I don't like that. It's not my cup of tea." We can except that we are all different, but that statement reads indifference. It is dismissive. If you are craving communication and understanding you hate being dismissed.
Creation is not only godlike, creation is communication. It connects humans. Artists are often attracted to other artists as friends and lovers. My first husband was a Hollywood makeup man, a great artist who could draw, sculpt, cook and garden. We rode motorcycles, looked good, hung out at cool places and worked at our art while we raised two boys in France, a dream place for artists to reside.
However, we were both dreamers, both very competitive over our successes and maybe we never had a serious conversation in 20 years as "reality" was not part of our equation. Having a lot of famous people love our work was our magic.
Luckily, I listened to a French astrologer who said to me after my divorce, "Find a man in a different category. Don't marry another artist, marry someone who doesn't compete with you."
Fortunately, I took his advice and married a fishing boat captain, an ex Marine and a man of the earth. He can wake me up from my dreamy worldscape and say, "The roof is leaking," while I am enjoying the peaceful sound of soft water running while I draw.
The non artist is a reality lover, living in the here and now without a desire to dream up anything. The non artist, like my husband, thinks without a desire to create, he leaves his thinking to everyday life and a down-to-earth ability to fix things, build a house after a good plan, find food, and solve the real problems like, "What school should my children attend," "What TV shows our children should watch," "What car should I buy," or simply, "Your tires are flat." He tells me, "We need a new refrigerator," or "This electrical fence is not pretty, but it keeps deer away from our vegetables," or "Your pink vintage decor on our porches is hiding the snakes!"
The artist has a hard time caring about anything "serious" like how good is the kid's school, how the TV or the car works, let alone think about snakes!
Ram Dass says," When you wash the dishes, wash the dishes... Be Here Now." I try to be here now, but my eye is drawn to a great shoe, the color of a leaf, the ombré of the greys in the sky, and what blouse fabric would show it well, or a mountain in the distance and imagining how I would paint it, in oil or in acrylic ? And boom, I crash my car! So far I have totaled five cars. I don't drive much.
In Hollywood art directors say, "If you can dream it up it will happen one day." The artist has a world in their head; today's world or the next world; life on Mars when we get there or the Matrix world that you live in simultaneously; the undersea world down in the ocean deep that leads to another entrée to the 13th Matrix world!
I do often feel as if I'm living in several dimensions at once. If we dream it up in movies, then humans will be there soon.
The artist exclaims, "This is the past, present and future as I see it. Look and see what I see." This idea I see makes me happy, and it will make you happy to understand life as seen thru my eyes. Finally, this desire to communicate between humans is the fundamental motor behind all art.
I have already written a piece on "Art is whatever the artist has to say." I have plans to write whatever I want to say from now on, as I started writing at the age of 60. I plan to only paint my last years from 80 (when my thinking should get impaired), until my death. To paint I don't have to think.
I have told my children to send me back to Paris to die, so I can eat French and have great oil and brushes to paint like Grandma Moses (who began painting in her late seventies), as Naive art (my style) is a perfect medium for old ladies, with small canvases, manageable brushes and soft, easy brush strokes.
I want to die with a brush between my toes and plan on doing my art, whatever art, whatever I have to say, until I die.
When you rest, you rust.
When you stop moving they throw dirt on you.
Vicky Tiel began designing clothes 40 years ago in Paris and still owns a boutique there. See Vicky and her NEW Collection on HSN and online. Her couture is available at Bergdorf Goodman and Neiman Marcus, and her perfumes are carried in Perfumania. Her memoir, It's All About the Dress: What I Learned in 40 Years About Men, Women, Sex, and Fashion, was published by St. Martin's Press in August 2011.