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The Way of an Artist — a Journey from Social Seclusion to Social Leadership

Visual artists do not come from a life which is a bed of roses. The ability to visualize the world in a certain point of view, ability to think critically, in direct ratio to social stereotype thinking and visual delicacy, are not the only premises that form a visual artist but also a reason of unavoidable social isolation. However, the tendency to communicate that is implicated in each human is the driving factor which finally transforms a visual artist from social cast-off to enlightener and the leader of the society itself, at the same time, getting him to the highest stage of that social hierarchy.

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The establishment of the visual artist is not about the will to “articulate beautifully”, as the public opinion goes, but to have the ability to analyze the surrounding world and desire to learn it. In other words, to have the ability to think critically. A person acquires experience of critical thinking at childhood primarily owing to his parents. While growing up, he realizes that critical thinking is not usual for all individuals and the society responds significantly to a stereotypic thinking. An internal conflict is brewing up providing that he has to make a choice. If a person has already formed such qualities as self-confidence and courage, he rejects the social stereotypical model, by choosing an individual model which in turn is based on critical analysis and its the only method that is able to provide material for his regular internal development. However, by making this choice the person actually condemns himself to social isolation. A society that did not outlive the remnants of xenophobia has the tendency to be hostile to an alien behavior pattern, at the same time the behavior of a person who is seeking the truth is radically different from the behavior of people who live by stereotypes. The environment pushes the person aside. For a social animal such as a human being, becoming alone means if not to die (humanistic development of mankind has made it highly doubtful in the modern society), then at least to deprive yourself of that necessary dose of serotonin. Serotonin is one of the so-called “hormones of happiness” (probably we should call it a “neurotransmitter”), the release of which is usually associated with encouragement that is received from others, as well as communication. Serotonin is very important for animals living in groups and having a social hierarchy. If the serotonin is lost, almost certainly, it means for a person to foredoom himself to a life full of suffering.

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At this stage of his formation, the person looks depressed. He begins to search for a new set of people that are like-minded souls. The owners of a brightly expressed and visual sensibility, turn themselves to visual arts as a way of communication breakthrough. The person enters upon the path of becoming an artist. A new social circle is being formed. Passionary and uncomfortable social environment, that was obtained earlier by him at birth, changes to an intimate and friendly type. Gradually, a person ceases to feel lonely. The necessary serotonin level becomes restored. However, this “serotonin harmony” does not last long. There is a second wave of social exclusion ahead associated with the increase in the level of professionalism.

Death latex mask

Being actively engaged in the art, the artist accumulates new insights and expands his mental outlook, becoming more aware of the processes and patterns that take place in the world. Deep emotional involvement which is implied in the art promotes hard work and rapid learning. From the category of hobby, contributed by favorable communication with the alike, the art turns into a professional activity. If a person deliberately decides for himself to choose art as a decisive path of life, then the amateur artist quickly turns into a professional, and then even into an expert. Such choice is made rarely, because from an economic point of view, becoming an artist means taking a big risk. At this stage, we can see that there is a new subject of dissonance of the past with a loyal and friendly environment. Now, the artist is turning away from it also. By becoming an expert, he loses any interest in communicating with amateur artists. A new stage of social isolation begins and this time it is initiated by the artist himself.

Death latex mask

At first, loneliness does not really bother him, but the concentration of serotonin is gradually drying up. It is impossible to turn back to the past connections implying “amateur artists” — acquired logical design methods cannot be forgotten. It is like a red pill from The Matrix movie. It becomes more difficult for him to find new people who are willing to communicate, as he attains more and more knowledge. The only way out is to start raising your surroundings, in hope that in this way someone will be able to reach the desired level of understanding, and the artist will have a new decent circle of communication. This move makes the expert a leader of opinion. The artist becomes an enlightener to society. His works acquire an auxiliary function of teaching material for others and not just to perceive the world. The former social outcast becomes a leader of society. 


At the beginning of evolvement, the visual artist always ends up in a social form of isolation. It might be a very difficult stage but it is necessary to become a true artist. By promoting of the perfection of the world the artist unwittingly finds himself in another kind of social isolation, but the search for some kind of dialog (serotonin addiction) forces him to proceed to another new stage of self-development — the society leader. The way of the visual artist is more like the life of a pupil that emerges one day as a butterfly. Visual artist is a beauty and also a power that comes from weakness and solitariness.


Written by Yod. 2019

Translated by Maxim Puhov


Read it in Russian