When I feel lost and desperate, the only reassurance that penetrates my thick and stubborn ego is when the reassurance comes from a source that has gone through the same severity of despair. Like if you haven't gone through my shit, shut your fucking mouth and keep your unsolicited life coach quackery the hell away from me.
In his book, How to Be an Artist, Jerry Saltz provides reassurance that benefits not only the ARTIST me, but the HUMAN me. Jewel-like reminders that when I read them, I curiously find that I already know them quite intimately. But to know them intimately doesn't mean that I actively remember them. That's why this book is so great. Each segment is like a little meditative excavation of what I already know but need to be reminded of. And some meditations resonate with me down to my bones.
Like how "A work of art cannot depend on explanation. The meaning has got to be there IN THE WORK" (Segment 19).
Like how the subject of art isn't necessarily the content of that art, "The subject of Michelangelo's David is a young man. The content is beauty" (Segment 32).
Like how demons not only speak to me at 3AM, but that they also speak to Saltz. Every night and every day (Segment 62). That this Pulitzer-prize winning art critic who from a distance appears to have it all could admit that the demons say to him what they say to me ... like that I suck, and that my art sucks and that my ideas are shit ... makes me feel reassured ... and readies me to accept his ultimate call to action, which is to reply to the demons by getting back to the audacity and genius of my work.
PS: I love the sleeve of this hardcover book but I love even more, the pink and orange with embossed pink foil design that is revealed when the sleeve is removed.