What are you waiting for?


My husband and I always have the same debate when we visit the Walker Art Center. Gazing at a work that shows a black square in the center of an all white canvas, my husband will comment,

“This isn’t art. I could do this in 10 minutes!”

…to which I will always say,

“But you didn’t. This artist did.” And that’s what makes it art.

Art is a funny thing. When it’s comfortable, it’s beautiful, familiar and inspiring. We gawk at the sheer talent in the strokes on the canvas.

When it’s uncomfortable it’s deceptively simple. It’s surreal or ugly. It’s plain or poorly rendered. We avert our eyes, confused at the meaning.

John Waters summarized this dichotomy well in the July/August edition of Walker:

There is a certain humor about something that takes someone two seconds to draw that maybe goes on auction 30 years later for $10,000,000, but that’s great. That’s the magic trick of art! A lot of the art I like brings out the most unsophisticated thing you can possibly say about art, which is “My kid could have done that.” And, the thing is, “Well then, stupid, why didn’t he? It just sold for $2,000,000. who’s the moron?”

At the heart of both types of notions about what constitutes “art” is one simple thing: the act of creation. In the moment when intention becomes action, art comes alive.

I realize this is all starting to sound very cerebral, so let’s get to the lesson here. Artist or entrepreneur, the thing that separates wishful thinkers from success stories is action. Taking that first step. Putting ink to paper, paint to canvas….typing out a business plan, taking out a loan. At risk of rejection or failure, they push forward. They do.

So….what are you waiting for? Embrace the act of creation and provoke a reaction.

Picasso's "Dove of Peace" is deceptively simple, but what if he hadn't created it?

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