Known Unknowns

There's a point when you just have to open up Final Draft and face that blank screen representing the page. When all else is failing you: marriages, finances, joints, football teams, that blank page will be your salvation. It will be your counsellor, your money tree, your lover. As an artist when I am confronted with the unknown, I create a known. Our lives are not like others with it's linear ingestion and then excretion. There's something about those that pursue the creative life: an aloofness and yet an immediacy; a passivity with the sharpest reactionary interference. Starting is not even the starting point and trying to make people understand a beginning is not the beginning and the end is not the end can cause even the most patient to lose faith and indulge the beast that is incredulity and cynicism. Explanations can be given and theories can be written but if what was so inexplicable was so there wouldn't be such a fascination. The enjoyment of the mystery is everything. I'm not a great artist and perhaps it's because I still tether myself to certain secular rationales in order to maintain a degree of status quo and peace. This maybe related to the fact that instead of exploring my independent thought as a writer, siloed in my singular understanding of the world and conducting my art with little consideration for how it is conceived as much as it is received, I became a filmmaker where a degree of collaboration and elaboration are required to truly achieve the scope of vision as designed in my mind. It is a strange and taxing work, forever rewarding and punishing. However, the expression of the artist is purely a heightened version of what we would like to achieve in life: an unapologetic creation that is embraced merely for it's existence and lauded for it's qualities inherent rather than any sense of prescribed expectation. What unfortunately arises is the question of patronage: someone needs to like it and someone needs to buy it. In art, the see-sawing of the seller and the buyer market model has created dynasties and destroyed industries. The accidental fallout of this and where many artists and individuals get mauled is in the replication. Only a few artists are truly making original work and are being paid for its singular artistic merit whereas the rest of us are paid to churn out something similar. We all want to be one of the few but the selection process is fickle and non binary. Attempts are made to articulate this phenomena in the form of help books, guide books, tips and tricks, short cuts, cheat codes, hacks etc but if it was so easy to define then every output that arises from those manuals should be great. These observations masquerading as advice always come with a disclaimer which is usually broadcast frequently by the author: there are some things you just can't teach. So what do we do? Our confidence is low, our output is lousy, the money is drying up, the attention paid is sporadic and there is no hope in sight but to throw up your hands, rejoin the disillusionment, content with the 40 hour weeks, peak time holidays and decant tales of your forays with ever increasing vapidity yet consoled because at least you can deliver it in nicer clothes. What do we do? We open up Final Draft. We pick up the camera. We set up the easel. We do exactly what we're meant to when faced with the uncertain and the unknown: we make it up as we go.