The oppressive elements in society needs us to suppress our creativity in order to maintain the status quo. To send this message, artists, those who have dedicated their lives to art and creativity, are targeted. A friend of mine said that artists need to live in water deep enough to drown them. And that is what society does. It submerges the creative in all of us.
The messages that are broadcast in our society about artists are that we are irresponsible, stupid, drug addicts, mentally ill, have questionable morals; and that art is frivolous, a diversion, not serious work, it’s only for some people, it’s stupid, and can’t pay the bills. In order to maintain the status quo, we need artists to remain on the fringes of society, barely visible, always teetering on the brink of poverty and irrelevance.
These messages get enforced from a very early age. Imagine an adult asking you, with pleasure, if you are going to be a lawyer or a dancer when you grow up; what about a firefighter or a painter? From a very young age, we are steered away from art-making as a life choice. The marginalization of the arts and of artists means that art-making as a life choice is extremely hard to accept. We all, at some point, have suppressed our own creativity and locked it away in order to live in the “real world”.