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Art During a Bad News Cycle

I rarely like to express frustration in public, but this topic has irked me for some time.


Every time there's something bad that happens in the news, artists (especially female artists) feel like they shouldn't continue making or creating. Their explanation is always something like, "because we live in a capitalist society, I have to ask you to buy my artwork so that I can survive but it feels wrong."


Trust me, I know where they're coming from and I have in the past struggled with this conundrum as well.


But we never go into fast food chain and ask the employees to stop serving milkshakes because there was something negative on the news that day and milkshakes are a frivolous food commodity.


And yet as makers of work that is beautiful, inspiring, and thoughtful, there are artists who feel like they aren't contributing to the greater good. The saddest part is that there are followers/commenters who reinforce this mentality by saying, "yes, you need to stop what you're doing because art is not the answer right now. It's insensitive."


Imagine if a poet couldn't put to words how we felt.


Imagine if a painter couldn't add color to an otherwise drab world.


Imagine if a musician couldn't express hope.


Imagine if a designer couldn't create a better way of living.


If that's what people want, a world without art, then count me out. I think it is so much harder to create something beautiful than it is to destroy. We all know that in an instant, the world as we know it could be taken away from us by some natural disaster, or a corrupt politician.


Art is a reminder of our traditions, it's how we can cling to hope, it gives us answers, it defies all the tyranny and sacrifice of humanity. Art is what gives us our humanity and to take that away would be nothing short of tragedy.


Please, for the love of all things good and great, keep making your art.


Thanks,

Caitlin


P.S. I'm not saying to ignore what's going on or to not speak up against something you believe to be wrong/an injustice. But your art matters now and always.