We are only on day 20 of 2016, and already we’ve had to say goodbye to some amazing giants the creative world, from voice actors, tv and movie stars to an amazing legend in the music business who’s influence spanned decades and generations. Mourning has been great and vast, and completely understandable. As one tweet reminded us:
And while it is heartbreaking to realize we will never get to see anything new from these artists that doesn’t stop their influence or their lessons. As Lin-Manuel Miranda said another tweet:
“The work’s not going anywhere.” And this I have to protest slightly, because yes indeed, the movies, the music, the shows, the images are not going anywhere. You can still hit play and learn something about yourself, about the world, that isn’t changing. But because their work is still around this also means they will still continue to inspire. So I have to say to Mr. Miranda, the work is going somewhere. It’s going into the minds of generations to come, to boys and girls and every gender in between who will find the work they left behind and will grow from it and then put even more fantastic, jaw-dropping, world-changing work out into the universe as an homage to their idols. The wheel turns, the cycle begins again.
For me, I see this somewhat great exodus of artists as a thing, not of sadness but one of hope. The path is clearing, and new art is on its way. Because as I write this – as you read this – there are people going about their business never knowing how they will shape the mind of another and change the world as we see it. The girl struggling to save up to finally quit that job they despise. The screenwriter complaining to their friends about the scripts they are working on for no pay. The boy making that latte for that annoying and demanding customer while their mind creates the next scene in the novel that will be made into a movie that yet another young person will see and create a work of art based off that.
The death of an artist is never the end, there may be a pause, and it may not be the same but art is ever growing, ever changing. Art is one the most vital things in our existence. No matter what a school system will tell you or teach you, no matter what is funded, what is paid for, what is considered more important, art or a “real” job. Our history books maybe peppered with facts but what connects us to the past is the art. We have museums upon museums filled with sculptures, paintings, and even to this day books from the 1400’s are still around. So when thinking about how to honor these amazing artists we lost, I say do not just lose yourself in the past work left behind, but put more work out there. Scare yourself silly by going and doing and CREATE something amazing and inspire the next generation.
Good Luck my fellow artists, goodbye to my dear old friends, and hello newcomers, welcome, what have you got to show us now?