Artist Resources

Daily Inspiration: Hermann Hesse on Letting it Storm

"There is no escape. You can't be a vagabond and an artist and still be a solid citizen, a wholesome, upstanding man. You want to get drunk, so you have to accept the hangover. You say yes to the sunlight and pure fantasies, so you have to say yes to the filth and the nausea. Everything is within you, gold and mud, happiness and pain, the laughter of childhood and the apprehension of death. Say yes to everything, shirk nothing. Don't try to lie to yourself. You are not a solid citizen. You are not a Greek. You are not harmonious, or the master of yourself. You are a bird in the storm. Let it storm! Let it drive you! How much have you lied! A thousand times, even in your poems and books, you have played the harmonious man, the wise man, the happy, the enlightened man. In the same way, men attacking in war have played heroes, while their bowels twitched. My God, what a poor ape, what a fencer in the mirror man is- particularly the artist- particularly myself!"

Herman Hesse is one of the greatest writers of our time, and his quote above is an interesting way at looking at being an artistic individual. Do you agree with Hesse that we need to accept we are not a solid, harmonious master of ourselves? I think I understand Hesse suggesting that there’s no point trying to see ourselves as perfect Hurculean artists. He even suggests we should embrace our imperfection and roll with it, let us drive us and help our art. Even if you don’t agree with Hesse, it’s something to mull over when you consider if you are a poor artistic ape.

"Storm in a Teacup - Tsea-nami!" by Ross Robinson