Since I don't have much of a social life, other than "hey did you finish reading Beowulf?" and "yeah, I stayed up until 2 reading that plasmolysis chapter too!", I usually watch some sort of show I've already seen dozens of times before I crash and get ready for swimming in the morning.
So tonight was a season of Project Runway from a few years ago that I hadn't seen before (this is actually quote a shock). When I saw it, there were only 4 people left, and the next elimination would determine who got to show their collection at New York Fashion Week in Bryant Park. It's pretty much the biggest thing in fashion, not that I would know because I'm rather unfashionable. While most people would think that their mother dressing them would be a disaster and a half, my mother picks out all my clothes, and those are the ones I get compliments on. I don't know what I'll do when I go shopping without her. Hooray for camera phones!
Anyway, so I was watching, and the more I watched the more it bore resemblance (a eerily large resemblance) to my art class; you get your assignment (a challenge on PR), you have critiques (meetings with Tim Gunn on PR) and you get to show your things that the art show at the end of the year (Fashion Week on PR). It's the micro-version of Project Runway. But it's more like Project Artsy-Fartsy. I can't come up with a decent name.
Even thought I'm not a fashion designer, I understand the work they have to put into stuff like that. And I don't think many people do. A lot of people don't understand how hard it is to make a dress, or paint a mural, or make a cut into paper that looks flawless. Literally no evidence of fingerprints, sweat beads, or even skin oils can be present, or else it belongs in the garbage.
A lot of people say oh, I'll take art. It's easy." Art's not easy. Any form of art requires complete devotion and undying passion. And artists have to not only be experimental, creative, innovative and resourceful, but they have to be not only meticulous; that sounds too sloppy. More pretty OCD and overachieving, and ridiculously perfectionistic (look who made up a new word!) and perceptive.Most people aren't like that, and most people can't understand why this new level of exactness is needed. When fundamentally, it's essential.
So next time you see someone who's an artist, singer, musician, architect, sculptor, designer, crafter, knitter, beader, writer, or even a construction worker, just realize how much work goes into something like that. How much heart went into it. Because you can't rush art, and it makes people understand why you were 15 minutes late to class because you were erasing and rewriting lines measured by 5 rulers to get it just right, or why you were up all night painting or sewing. Creative minds need to be more accepted and appreciated.