Watching this Tiny Desk Concert it occurred to me that what we usually see of each other is the performance, not the slog.
But even if what we see is the joyous end result, these guys have to slog through the same daily stuff that any person does – doing the dishes, paying the bills, getting the oil changed in the car.
Only seeing each other in performance can give the impression there is only performance – the joyous outcome – and there is none of that unartistic, often unpleasant, seemingly time-wasting daily stuff.
But it is there and it always will be.
So maybe, instead of seeing it as the enemy, we should see it has part of the ecosystem. If you never shower, if you never do the dishes, if you never sit down to actually pay your bills, the ecosystem will start to fall apart. Unless you’re practicing a certain kind of art, it is awfully difficult to be an artist over the long run with no clean underwear and a life infrastructure that is completely falling apart.
And it is interesting that it is, in fact, in the slog, away from our art, that we often times have the insights, epiphanies, and mind-shifting ideas that give us the spark to keep going and to build something amazing.
Light needs shadow. Art needs slog.