What is DIY / Why you should make art

by guest contributor Tom Strubbe

DIY.  I’m sure you’ve seen this acronym before.  It stands for Do It Yourself.  It is an ethos if not an outright life statement.   No one but you can make the art you are meant to make.  Seriously, there is no reason you cannot make art right now.

It is all up to your willpower and effort.   Ambition, anger, sadness, depression, ecstasy and most any and every other human emotion have spawned some of the best… and worst art throughout the history of mankind.

Good art, bad art, indifferent art that is not good or bad but just so-so, etc. etc.   Make some freakin art already.   Because literally every single artist you admire started off making bad art.  Every.  Single. One.  They just didn’t give up like so many do at the first sign of awfulness.

And there is always a lag / chasm / difference between what you see your art as being and the initial quality of it.  And it is very frustrating.  And, sadly, quite often so many give up and the world never sees their brilliance, passion, nor vision.  Please do not become one of them.

All beginning artists paint/sculpt/create bad art/pieces/creations.  All guitarists, drummers, keyboardists, etc. play bum notes.  But there is no great art without beginnings riddled with horrific missteps, mistakes and just plain outright awful attempts.

Years ago I donated some money to a GoFundMe crowdfunding effort by an acquaintance for a music CD he/she put out… and it was horrible.  Simply just gawdawful dreadful.  No passion, nothing interesting, flat vocals, boring songwriting, etc. etc and I had to experience having this person ask me what I thought of the finished product and I simply told him/her, “Your live shows were better” and left it at that and he/she responded, “Yeah, I’ve heard it was not my best effort” which was the understatement of the century.

But do you know why that’s ok?  Because at that moment in time that is the art that artist felt like putting forward and art is there to be put out and judged, not to be kept inside nor hidden.

I also knew a man once who wrote far better songs than I ever could and he is now pushing sixty and never allowed himself to risk any criticism and never put out what would have been one hell of a CD by all accounts due to his perfectionism and fear.  That is not the life of an artist of any merit.  I have put out two mediocre CDs but I at least put them out there.

I will strive for better in my future releases but it’s a learning process and you have to get your feet wet at some time to test the waters.  Better that than standing on the shore forever wondering how the water is.

And so it goes with most every artistic endeavor and life goal.  At first you must make small steps and make errors and learn what you are doing.    But it is only in this doing that learning occurs and expertise is earned.

No one can give you your good art.  YOU must create it and put in the time to create it great and it would be a pretty sad thing if you never put out into the world what you’ve got inside you that no single other person on this planet ever had or will ever have, no?

I’m pushing fifty years old and I’ve seen tons of art in most every genre from music to performance to sculpture to painting to welded to molded clay / pottery, etc. etc. and some of it is so breathtakingly beautiful it is enough to take one’s breath away.   And yes, tons of it is horrible schlock.  But there must be the horrible schlock to make the amazing be amazing by comparison.

Almost every artist except for a very few face many difficulties, frustrations, and obstacles to making their art and getting it to where they want it to be.  Obviously the two huge ones for most people are time and finances but many artists also must not only make their art around work /  day job / regular gig constraints but many others face family obligations, health issues and many other challenges.

Yet the art must still be made.   So please just got out there and do it/make it/put it out there.

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