I had no idea how much a bad experience with you, a writer, theorist and historian (who has not been an artist practitioner for a long time), affected me until I found myself in tears off and on several weeks after believing I had recovered from your snubbing and disregard of me after I thanked you for your acknowledgement of my work on Vimeo.
You must know, deep down inside, that you cannot go back to any glory that you might have had in your youth after you spent 25 or 35 or 45 years away from making the art that won you that glory. There are those of us who never had an important job that gave us prestige and perhaps a lot of cash; and who have plodded along still making the art that might or might not have already gotten us glory 25 or 35 or 45 years ago. In this, I mean specifically cultivating and regularly practicing the habit of making art and not getting gigs and/or getting cash.
The track records of us plodders have accrued, however, just like yours did during your distinguished career. Just like yours, except that our accrual was hours and hours and hours of the habit of hands-on practice. We cannot and will not be pushed out of our practice at 62 or 65 or 66 or 72 as you will be at 62 or 65 or 66 or 72.
Please be a really good teacher for a moment and share this truth with your students: “No matter how you well you own and romanticize your own aging in 25 or 35 or 45 years, you will not get a do-over. If you want to be an artist, do it now, today and tomorrow and the next day and the next day, and on and on, and never stop.”
Please tell them to cease the chatter and the theory and just do it. They will be sorry if they don’t, won’t they?
Originally published on Niume.