You may also find them as excellent examples of procrastinators because they always want perfection in their projects. So, what they could have finished and let go immediately, they wait for inspiration, correcting, adjusting, dismantling or just waiting for the right time. Like religion, art is inspirational and meditational. Therefore, most artists naturally love serenity, even when what they produce borders on hilarity or laughter, music and theater. They take their inspiration from the beauty of nature, quietude of the night and the cemetery, solitude of the prison cell, loneliness and depression from disappointments, longing for their distant or lost soul mates and bereavement of their loved ones. In such situations, they often come up with their masterpieces.
If an artist is an atheist, never mind; it is because the faith you are inviting him seems lacking in the spiritual vitality that accentuates his creative impulses and energy. His filial and social relationship may be poor; it is because those around him cannot understand him. Have you ever wondered why the true love of many artists is not necessary their spouses, but concubines? Should we not be concerned that they find comfort in the bossoms of “some strangers” when their legal partners are at home? Are we not surprised that the death beds of some artists are the laps of their mistresses when they could have breath their last in the hands of their family members?
In many instances, the real friends and soul mates of artists are actually in some strange lands, to whom they pour out their emotion and relief their pains through long letters, e-mails and poems. In “Letter To A Poet”, L.S. Senghor reflects the emotion of an archetype artist as he captures his own personal mood in anticipation of a Latin American compatriot for Aime Cesaire. “To the Friend I love and the brother, my blunt fraternal greeting” he opens that elegant poem, letter to A Friend.
“The sea gulls, the far traveling canoes masters have brought me the taste of your news, mingled with spice and fragrance…
They have told me of your standing, the prominence of your forehead, the flower of your subtle lips.
Like Senghor, the quintessential artist expresses his love in poems, lyrics and ballads for his beloved; sculptures and paintings for his soul mates.
Every family has its own artistic prodigy, every epoch and clime have their geniuses and masters. But many have been wasted because their world and era did not recognize or appreciate their talents. Parents may be responsible for the rebellions of their children prodigies; the society may be blameworthy for the deviance of their gifted ones. Husbands and wives may be behind artists’ desperation and depression, eventual failure or suicide.
Let’s no longer destroy our creative giants and potentials. Let’s show them love, understanding and respect; Let’s no longer be the reason for their disorientation. Let the art masters live and thrive, whether they belong to the science genre, technology, humanities, the graphics creative or fine art music, and architecture. Let us not push them to ends like that of medieval Van Gogh or the erudite Ayodele Awojobi whose AUTONOV IV is wasting away at UNILAG. The real true worth and wealth of the artist is in the depth and richness of his creativity, which must no longer be squandered.