Art and Suffering

You often hear that “art is born of suffering.” We all suffer, and so it can be used as a common denominator in art as one way of making a connection, of saying “I’ve felt that pain too”. But we shouldn’t let our suffering be the focus of our art. Our art should be a celebration of our healing, not the suffering we went through to reach it. A point is often best made through contrasts, so showing the suffering in order to highlight our joy can be effective. Embracing the suffering only leads to more suffering, however. Whatever we give the greater part of our attention, effort and emotion too is what we will draw into our lives. Why do you think so many great artists weren’t recognized when they were alive? Why they were miserable, and often died alone and sick? Because their attention was focused on suffering. It wasn’t until they were gone and their energies were no longer focused on suffering that their art was able to be seen for what it was. I want my art to celebrate joy, healing and peace. If your art only celebrates suffering, you can keep it.

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