Day 60: Be an artist right now!

How many reasons do you have for not being an artist? Too busy, not enough money, not enough talent, unsure what to do? Korean author Young-ha Kim tells us we were born to play, and outlines why we should all make art.
The first sentence of Franz Kafka’s ‘Metamorphosis’, reads; “One morning, as Gregor Samsa was waking up from anxious dreams, he discovered that in his bed he had been changed into a monstrous verminous bug.” Kafka wrote an unjustifiable sentence and continued in order to justify it, producing one of the best works of the 20th century.
Kids play in a similar way, coming up with an idea and justifying it. Primitive art experiences; learning to play the piano for the first time or performing a play in the back yard; are often quoted by children as amongst their happiest memories. At some point this play ends. Kids go to school and while they may take horse-riding or piano lessons, competition takes the fun out of it. Continuing to act like an artist as you get older means people ask kids to behave properly. Young-ha tells the story of himself as a child, punished for making a drawing of a palace into a piece of abstract art.
Contemporary art is full of these examples, where the artist fills the void with explanation and interpretation. Picasso stuck two handlebars in a bike seat and called it, ‘Bull’s Head.’ Duchamp placed a urinal on its side and called it, ‘Fountain.’
Little artists who are locked in or banished don’t lose their artistic tendencies. TV is full of people who do what we hoped to do, but never got to. They dance, sing, cook while we criticise them.
So what should we do? We need to start our own art. Turn off the TV, get off the internet and do something. The artistic devil will tell us nothing we do is good enough, or ask why we’d bother. But art isn’t for anything. It is the ultimate goal. Young-ha dreams of a future where we all have multiple identities; at least one of which is an artist.


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