How to Get Strangled By An Artist


by Madman Filtered

You will know, I have been an artist for a minute, once or twice a year I create something truly remarkable, and once or twice a year I have to stand outside on garbage collection day and hand the dustman a few notes so he doesn’t open the jute sack, heavy and dripping blood.


In the interests of public safety, and me not having to part with my hard-earned money so often, here is a list of things to never, ever, say to an artist, no matter how well you mean with your ignorance.


Deep. Never call art deep. An ocean is deep, a swimming pool is deep, maybe the sea. An artwork is not deep unless it’s a painting, maybe, of one of the above. Or a sculpture of water.


If I ever get told I look like an artist again I will not only murder the speaker but wipe out the entire clan. I will reduce your name to dust, smash the tombstones of your dearly departed, dig up their corpses and feed their bones to strays. I will burn down the Registrar General’s office to make sure you are utterly erased from all existence. That includes your social media accounts; no one will be writing RIP on your Facebook wall on your birthday.


Maybe I take drugs, maybe I don’t, maybe I take them as much as the next guy, maybe I don’t, but just because you don’t see how it came to existence doesn’t mean I was stoned or cocked like f*** when I came it. Let me tell you something: creativity is an affliction, do you think it’s fun to see the ugliness in things and try to fix it with words? Do you think it’s fun seeing people and shapes distorted, the only way to deal with it being to paint it so everyone else can label it ‘abstract art’? Ask Beethoven, do you think it’s fun hearing not just voices, but sounds of harpsichords and oboes even when you are deaf? Ask him again…louder!


Is there money in art? I don’t know, have I ever asked you for money? If your answer is yes did I pay it back? When was the last time you saw me or my colleagues at a homeless shelter? How many artists come to your local soup kitchen? Is Doctor Dre a billionaire? How many rappers are millionaires? We are not all Picassos, granted, some of us might be Van Goughs, some leeches or parasites (probably of the ‘children’ variety) will spend our dues long after we are gone, that is well and dandy. You should realise that it’s not always about the money, hell, imagine if John Grisham had become a criminal, James Patterson never invented Alex Cross but chose to live life as his arch nemesis. Imagine if your favourite poet, probably poor as fuck decided he would rather open a church and prey on your gullibility? Here’s something to do: think of artists as monks and nuns in the service of God…or something.


Why do you do what you do? Honestly, I am asking you the same thing. Art may be a tough industry to break into, but you know what? So is medicine, seven years cutting up dead people can’t be fun; and there can be only one president at a time…sometimes a time means thirty-six years but who cares right? You mean we should do stuff because it’s easy? Are you proud of that thought? Are you proud of telling someone to stop doing what they are doing because it’s hard? Are you proud of your weakness and shedding it into other children? Shame on you! You know what else is hard? Accounting, not only do you have to know maths, you actually know how little your piece of the pie is compared to the whole. Now leave us alone and go bother them.

*May or may not be Philani A. Nyoni’s pseudonym.

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