Roadsigns & Artistic Integrity

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What does it mean to maintain your artistic integrity? History is filled with artists and free thinkers that suffered to maintain their personal sense of integrity in their field. Many starved, killed themselves or died destitute clinging to their personal sense of artistic or moral integrity. Many were held up as fine examples after their death by those that read of them in the pages of the history and art history books.

In talking with a friend about possible discrimination due to the subject matter of one of my projects, he asked me, “If it means making money or not, wouldn’t you just let it go?”

As I considered what he asked my first thought was no. Absolutely not. Mulling it over before going to sleep, I considered what that would mean to “let go” of a project that I held so dear to my heart.

In life we are asked to compromise about a lot of things. A couple have a major decision to make that affects both of them and the family and one has to compromise, one has to say it isn’t that important and go with the other’s idea. A student has to decide what is important to them, holding on their need for free time or buying into the system in place that is required to get a degree.

And it starts young. Obey your parents or suffer some form of retribution. Go to school or have the truant officer knocking on your door. Get a job or starve. Choose between pacifying a possible new client and giving up a work that is important to you.

There are definitely times we have to compromise; however, allowing other’s prejudices to dictate my life is not the way to go for me.

Once you start down that road, where does it take you? In my experience, you end up at a destination with too many roadsigns.

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