Had some interesting conversation with good friends over the holidays about the life of the artist. In this case we mean “artist” to refer to anyone who pursues their vision of beauty through any particular medium to an obsessive degree in which it dominates their life and requires great personal emotional sacrifice with or without the possible catharsis or glory that comes with such a life. Most commonly, we think of artists as musicians, painters, poets, and photographers, although there are of course innumerable other types to which this question applies.

Mostly, you want your child to be happy and fulfilled, I would think, but what if this life is simple, safe, boring. Nothing wrong with that, and I think many artists may secretly wish for a “normal” life during moments of creative or emotional despair. However, the life of the artist promises tremendous personal fulfillment, clarity of mind and soul, and may lead to a richer life because that life has been forged in a crucible of greater risk and self-determination. Maybe not. Not sure. All in all, though, it raises an interesting question about whether artists choose to be thus or whether they are born this way. And would you wish this designation appointed upon your child with all its correlative risk and struggle?

Would love to hear your thoughts, dear readers. We here at Team Lit Man believe he answer is a resounding yes!