Artists are the underbelly of the uncreative majority’s dreams.
We strive to be heard and seen, with the respect we deserve. When we are seen, we are often trivialized and sacrificed for the sake of “the greater good.” When we are heard, our needs and material necessities are dismissed, considered to be as shallow as the hunger in our bellies.
The romantic notion of exposure is pushed on us as if we should be grateful for the nods in our direction given by those who do not understand our work. Those who buy our work for the sake of decor. Those who impose their ideals on our designs, their stigmas on our sexual nuances, their judgment on our morals.
We are told that if we do not work for free, we are selfish.
We are told that if we do not work for the betterment of the community where we can be seen performing physical labor for the colony- our efforts behind closed doors do not count.
We are only validated by our visual art, because of the science whispered between believers who demand proof for their hope.
Our spoken words and spaces occupied do not count to the laypeople. We are considered creators to be summoned at a capitalist’s whim. They believe that we should be grateful for their acknowledgement, as if they have any significance to contribute to our process.
At least, any significance past fueling the fire within us that yearns to press against the grains of superficiality. The parts within us that refuse to make work palatable and pretty enough to satiate the audiences dumb and numb to the realities of our minds and lives. Minds and lives that do not feed off of our reputations, likes, “oohs” and “aahs.” Minds and lives that do not survive off of follows and shares, but real food and real shelter, just like real humans do.
We’re real humans, too.