This is the final episode. The closing act. The last post.
I’m graduating in a couple weeks, so I’ll no longer be writing for Arts Ink. In the past three years, I’ve written 59 posts (this makes 60, which is an oddly even number). I’m not a sentimental person, but it was pretty sweet to get paid for something like this. Arts at Michigan is a good program, and I’m thankful for the opportunity I’ve had with them. Writing a weekly column about “the arts” was a means to exploring different forms of expression and an avenue to gain readership while at university. I’ve written on personal blogs before, but they lacked something that this satisfied: deadlines. Due dates are beautiful, terrible things. Every Wednesday or Thursday or whatever day of the week I was asked to post was a deadline. It kept me accountable.
A lot of people say that deadlines restrict art and creativity. That art “can never be finished” and that it “can’t be done until its perfect.” I don’t think this is true. Nothing is perfect. Man is inherently flawed, and anything he makes will therefore be flawed. That’s the beauty of art. It’s okay because imperfect things can still be finished. If perfection was the finish-line, God was barely at the racetrack. An artist needs a deadline. Without one, she will drive herself mad. She’ll keep adding to the piece until she has nothing left to give, but she’ll still find it imperfect. But if shown to others, they may be inspired by its beauty and deem it perfection. That inspiration can’t exist if the art is left undone, hidden by the artist’s insecurities. Deadlines force an artist to do her job.
Whatever line of work we do, deadlines exist. They may be our greatest enemies and we may demise them, but they ensure that the job is finished. We’re often dissatisfied with our product at the deadline, but we aren’t the audience to please. We are servants to art. Yes, we could only create that which we enjoy creating and not “sell out” to consumers, but we have to deliver irregardless of the subject matter. To create solely for oneself is mental masturbation—okay in moderation, but never in excess. We don’t have a right to the fruits of our labor. As artists, it is our job to produce. We are entitled to our work and the deadlines that come with it. Deadlines lift the yolk from our shoulders and relieve us from the toil. They let us start something new. To place “fin” at the end of a film or sign our names in the corner of a painting. Without deadlines, we’d never see the next two words.