Lately I've heard several friends who I love and respect as artists speaking about the struggles of continuing with the grind. There's always a moment - and sometimes more than one - when we ask ourselves, why the hell am I putting myself through all this?
I don't really know why, I can't give a definitive "it's for love" answer because that's not how I feel at the end of it all, but rather, because it's what I should do, it's what I love to do, it's what I feel makes living on this earth worthwhile...sharing, creating, and inspiring others to do the same.
It hasn't been an easy trajectory for me to reject the capitalist mentality in which I was raised. I am regularly fighting in my head against wanting to capitalize on my work, as well as trying to figure out when it is necessary to capitalize on the work in the interest of paying the artists, as well as suffering when I re-realize that in order for art to survive in today's world, there is always a consumerist component, whether it's the art itself or the drugs *legal or not* sold on the sidelines to keep the venues going.
In the end, it's always those around me who inspire me. It's been easy living the last two years in Berlin - where everyone's an artist, there's venues that give their space to artists for exhibitions for free, and no one's really competing with the next one to be seen or heard. We live in an artists' utopia - which is changing as the city gentrifies - but remains at least until today.
I had this moment riding my bike to the exhibition on the last day, feeling exhausted, bruised, stressed, tired, and at the same time, weirdly calm, when I realized that this bullshit hallmark phrase about something that separates the good from the great being perseverance or persistence or determination and I thought: NO. No. No. No. NO.
What separates the good from the great is the help that they had from the people who surrounded them. For me, it was Juliette, Darren and Louis above all, followed closely behind by Kiki, Zafire, and Alex. Idan, S Ruston, and Allison pulled their own weight and Evan inspired the whole idea of the exhibition, though he wasn't able to participate much apart from that.
Either way, I'm grateful for every single one of these amazing, incredible, inspiring people who made this event possible and I think if you want to do something great, my best advice is to find great people and let them show you the way.