Why do we do this work? If doing it well demands so much from us, and often pays so little, why put in the effort? Is it just so a few people will tell us, “Great job” after our show, or so we can gather a handful of nice reviews on Amazon? I certainly hope not.
I can’t speak for every artist in history. But I know that for me, the highest compliment my work can receive would be for someone to take what I’ve made, and use it as inspiration to make something all their own. I hope to see sections of my writing quoted in someone else’s book. I jump for joy when I see a dance piece, or a silent film with one of my spoken word pieces as the background track. In moments like this, all of the messy, tiring, revealing, frustrating vulnerable work becomes completely worth it.
This is why I will always be in the business of making art, for the communal borrowing, stealing, and remixing of the maker marketplace.