Thursday, November 13, 2014

Advice from Yoko Ono...

I originally read this when I was in art school.  It was from a book, "Letters to a Young Artist".  The book deeply influenced me at the time, as it felt like the book was written for me and included grains of wisdom from some of the most influential people in the art world.  Even though it has been years since I first read the book, it still contains poignant advice.  I thought I would post this, because of the comments I saw on a performance Yoko Ono gave.  She did a rendition of Katy Perry's song, "Firework" and some of the comments were particularly cruel.  I thought it would be a good time to revisit this little gem and share it with all of you.

Letter to a Young Artist
Yoko Ono

To a Young Artist,

You could be 18, 30, or 50, you are young to have decided to be an artist at this time in your life.  First let me congratulate you on your choice.  From here on, you enter the endless magic life of being an artist.

The world is your oyster:  It will provide you with unlimited material for your art.  Look at it again from that point of view.  Suddenly the world is a different place, so interesting, so beautiful, and so mysterious.  Have fun with it.  And share your fun with us.

You, as an artist, will unfold the infinite mystery of life and share it with the world.  It may just be two people your work will communicate to.  Don't be upset.  Be upset if you are not happy with your work.  Never be upset about how many people have seen it, or how many reviews it has received.  Your work will exist and keep influencing the world.  Moreover, your work will keep changing the very configuration of our world no matter what kind of attention it gets or doesn't get.  So even when you are an unknown artist, be caring of what you make and what you give out.  Your work, no matter what, affects the world, and in return, it brings back 10 times what you've given out.  If you give out junk, you get back junk.  If you give out confusion, you will give yourself confusion.  If you give out something beautiful, you will get back 10 times more beauty in your life.  That's how it works.  You are now like a tree in the park.  Your existence is making the city breathe well.  So relax and be yourself.  Don't try to be anything but yourself.  Rely on your instinct and inspiration.  Go with it!

By the way, many thanks to you for being an artist.  I am aware that I will be one of the many, many people who gets the benefit of your decision.  I wish you great success.

I love you.

Yoko Ono
New York

1 comment:

Lilik Kristiani said...

Thank you for sharing this inspirative letter Andrew =)