Awards awards awards. I love and loathe the award season. Why I love it is easy to explain, the shows, the dresses, the lights and the sparkle.
Why do I loathe it? Now that’s one for a lengthy discussion. Being a creative person, this topic strikes close to heart. And maybe you too feel the way I do. I found it to be bad form for Kanye to step on the stage when Beck was receiving his Grammy couple of weeks ago, but I found it sad when he opened his mouth in front of the cameras about it. Him being a creative person and knowing how much of oneself an artist must invest to feel that she/he reached a point when their work was ready to be shared. He as an artist understands the level of vulnerability one must reach to let go of their work that is a piece of themselves and what they risk by doing so.
I find the concept of competition in the creative fields to be flawed. We are each a sum of our experiences layered on top of the unique set of combination of genes that set each of us on our individual paths. There will never be two people that given the same parameters will ever create the same way or arrive at the same result. There isn’t only one esthetic, only one style of music, only one way to tell a story, only one way to cut fabric. There are endless ways of approaching all of these creative endeavors. We all know this, yet we all somehow get swept into the hype of awards. We loose the sight by all the glitter and lights reflecting of the little trophy’s that at the end of the day don’t really mean much. Trophy’s that were though up by people who don’t partake in the intensive labor of creating, but by those who consume it, those who are entertained by analyzing and comparing without really understanding the process of creation. These people don’t understand that no creativity ever comes for free. They don’t understand that it cannot be stopped, it however can be dampened by careless negativity and thoughtless criticism. Yet, somehow we get suckered into competing against each other. Why? For the illusory prestige? For the silly trophy to collect dust on our mantelpiece?
We spend time, money and a lot of energy to place ourselves into this very vulnerable position where we willingly let others judge our choices and our souls, as if we weren’t feeling vulnerable enough just by letting our work out there in the first place. But there is one problem. How do you judge creativity? How do you judge art? How do you point out one and put it on a pedestal over the rest?
Creativity in this world is ever changing, shifting dying and being born all the the same time without stopping without wincing. That is the beauty of creativity.
The way I see awards is not as a race. Art is not about the fastest, strongest, loudest, biggest. The power of art is in it’s ability to touch our hearts, to inspire to put a smile on our faces or a tear in the corner of our eyes. Art is about communicating ideas, it’s about showing a different way of thinking. Who can say what’s better? The way I see awards for artists is not as a competition, but as a celebration. Celebration of talent and the willingness to bare our souls, it’s about being vulnerable in front of our pears and about offering respect and admiration to those who dedicated their lives to their passion and through their creative work managed to touch many in a small meaningful way. To me the meaning of having received an award and I have had the good fortune of being nominated and wining a few, is to celebrate the hard work that went into being nominated, the award is a small cherry on top. It is a way of showing the artists that they are respected and loved, that they are at the peak of their craft and to keep challenging themselves the way they undoubtedly did when they created the work that put the award in their hands.
There are no winners and there are no losers. There are only those who were brave enough to express their creativity and make it public. Congratulations to all who do the same whether they get nominated or not!