As creators, one of the main struggles is making something we want to make (something to fulfill our creative urge, to experiment, to play, to try something unexpected) vs making things that others need (the trending, this is sure to sell, the thing that works and people will like).
This leads to the question: are artists selfish if we choose the first option? Firstly, the word “selfish” is often perceived as negative. But I disagree. That is not always the case. Sometimes you need to focus on your own needs and priorities, see the world from your own unique eyes. You need to be selfish at times in order to become selfless.
Art in a way, is selfish, because the creations come straight from the artists’ soul, from their life, from their experiences, from their perceptions, from their identity. Art is selfish because you need to lock yourself in a room and need that alone time, sometimes for hours at a stretch, away from everyone in order to create. Art is selfish, because some days you choose it over everything else.
But it is also selfless. Because you are sharing the 100% true, authentic version of yourself with the world. Because those days you devoted pouring your story on paper people relate to and get inspired by. Because by creating things that stir your heart, you are spreading your beautiful light and helping people.
The same applies to life as well. When you take a day off, or tell your circle “I need some me time”, when you take some time to check in with yourself, you bring the best versions of yourself to your family, friends and even strangers. Because by putting yourself first, you are more fully present to the needs of others.
So let’s redefine what it means to be selfish and see the good in the word because in the end, everybody wins.