The Final Vision

A good artist borrows, a great artist steals.  If you took this statement literally, you’d do yourself a great intellectual disservice, and your work would inherently ooze of disgraceful plagiarism.  However, the presence of a continuous tradition in art has been a source of great scholastic work.  The continuous tradition, or the presence of recurring themes in all types of art, is the reason why originality in modern work seems so difficult to find.  However, I do believe that your work should not be valued by your subject, but by how you treat it.

In that way, I believe that any work you produce is a product of what you have surrounded yourself with in your life, literary, artistic, or otherwise.  You must arm yourself against ignorance with as much knowledge as possible, all while keeping in mind the fact that your could never know all there is to know.  If you went to even a single library, it would take years for a fast reader to read all of the books held within the shelves, and even then, the question of true comprehension is so subjective that it could never be tested whether or not you have even gleaned one facet of the nature of true knowledge.

So why talk about philosophy in so many words on a blog post about finalizing a short story of manga? Good question.  Great, meaningful art can be created without a single thought to the effect of what I have been talking about in this post.  That is the work of natural genius, which cannot be artificially replicated.  On the same token, a simple man could better himself, study, and think deeply, and become as great or greater than a genius.  No stigma has to be attached with intellect or the pursuit of knowledge, though some do hold the notion of the antisocial genius as synonymous with genius itself.  The point of the heterogeneous nature of genius is that no measure in this world is definitive, least of all the human notion of what knowledge itself is.

Being a non-genius, I have to consider these things, and try to arrive at a peaceful place with the work that I have done based on my belief that you never truly make your own work, and you may never achieve genius, and even if you do, you or those around you could easily not realize it.  This means that every work, no matter how much love, time, and labor you put into it, can be revised and revised, again and again.  I have come around to the belief that no work is truly sacred, and endless revision is the artists’ true calling.  If you may think it kills creativity or the spontaneity of your work, find a way to make revision spontaneous and creative.  The advice was once given to me to not kill a good thing in the effort to create a great thing. I revise endlessly in the final stages of a project, because I know I can improve my work.  However, this endless cycle of revision is why you need a partner, or a different set of eyes on your work, because to revise, you need not to stifle the good parts of your work, but delete or transform the bad sections of your work.  So, when your partner says stop, make sure you put down your pen.

Comments

  1. Wow, that was very inspirational. And don’t doubt the value of your contributions, perhaps one day, someone will look at one of your works and feel the awe that your muses evoke.

    I struggle with revising my work, often going off of minimal edits to my first draft. Hopefully, I can turn that around.