Masters tales

Sad but True

This is from the daily prompt and you can see what others have written here.

This is from my artist days. Straight out of school I went to study for an art foundation, a basic grounding in all aspects of art. I love to draw, so that is where I went at my own choice, into drawing class.

paint brushesWe where sat isolated from each other by a strip of grey lino, the class looked more like exam conditions than an art class. Music was on but the tables were clustered around a still life. It had been set up in the center of the room and the tables radiated out like a sun’s rays in a child’s drawing. We sat attentively as the lecturer came in.

“I want you to draw the still life, you have two days.” He then left.

Some of us got down to work immediately whilst others bunked off. After lunch the lecturer came back.

“This is part of your grade.”

That got everyone working. We threw ourselves into producing the best drawing we could. I used pen, pencils and washes of water-colour to create a vase and leaves. There was paint and mixed media all over the place. The concentration was like a fog in the air.

On the third day we all sat proudly displaying our art on the tables. The lecturer walks in.

“Please pick up your paper by the top.”

We all did.

“No rip it down the middle.”

No one moved. Silence.

“Do it.”

First one and then another until the room sounded with paper being torn.

“Tear it into pieces.”

We did.

“Why?” Some one asked.

“Because it is only paper.”

“No,” one girl sobbed looking at the rubble that had been her best work. “It was a piece of me.”

“Only to you. To me it was paper. And that is how the art world looks at your work. Your masterpiece is only valuable if others want to look at it.”

We all went on to create more work from those pieces but I never forgot the lesson. What is a story if no one reads it? The hardest lesson I ever learnt in writing is that you are not a true writer until someone wants to read it and put it safe, be that on a shelf or in cloud storage. A writer is defined by their readers.

15 thoughts on “Sad but True

  1. This is an interesting perspective…maybe even a little disturbing haha. I do agree that if you want to be a career author, you are defined by your readers. But I think someone can still be a writer in a sense even if his only reader is himself.

    1. True. It depends what you want out of your writing. I know someone who has written her memoirs but only for her family. She is still a writer.

  2. Pingback: Harsh |

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