Message to a Young Artist: The Sun

Via Flickr:

The Sun is the nineteenth card of the Tarot deck, and it was the one I drew today with the question, “How can I encourage you to be a better artist?” Only, the card came up reversed, which is a symbol of loneliness, failure, and loss of power. I think this comes back to the idea of what the Sun is about. This card is a symbol of energy and inner strength, and taking child-like delight in the world; but it’s also a reminder that material wealth and rewards come through hard work. The garden is only successful because of the stone wall that protects it — both require nurturing and effort to make them possible. The kid (poorly drawn here, and then badly colored, to boot), is a reminder that a tan only comes about by regular limited doses to the Sun — spend hours and hours lounging about, and you’ll burn. Spend a few hours every day, over the whole summer, and you’ll return to school with a nice tan.
You can’t become a great artist overnight. It requires a strong, steady practice. An hour here, two hours there, twenty minutes today, three hours tomorrow… these are what make you an artist, not a steady burst of eight hours today, and nothing more for six weeks. If you want to be an artist, imitate the Sun: shine for a little while every day, in whatever you choose to do — drawing, photography, even science — but don’t mope behind the clouds for months at a time because your art is no good. Dismal indeed is the forest where no birds sing except the best.

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