The ‘best’ art comes from adults not because they can play a guitar with finer motor skills, write with greater vocabulary or draw more dexterously, but because their walk from ‘chunk of feeling’ to ‘chunk of art’ is longer and windier than it is for a kid, and along the way, it picks up character.
Kids are cheaters. They can make that walk without being hindered by shame and fear. Grown-ups, on the other hand, have to make a compromise; self-awareness and anxiety are a two-fur deal. A worthy one, I think, but a compromise nonetheless. We hurt, and then we grow, and vice versa.
That’s why grown-people write-off ‘good’ art made by kid-people. It’s not because they don’t like it! It’s because they’re jealous of anybody that can create things with the quality of having been born out of a tedious and painful journey, but which really weren’t. They’re upset that someone can be taken seriously without having to put up a fight. The thing is, I don’t think art is about the fight. I think ‘good’ art has hardly anything to do with the fight—it transcends the fight. It has more to do with the person putting it in their brain than the person struggling to wrench it out.
We make things to convince ourselves that we matter. That our individual, little speck-of-an-existence, means something to the universe, even if it’s a tiny something. We make things so that we can say to ourselves, “I put that thing there.” I put something new on that piece of paper, on that wall, on that record, in someone’s mind, in my own mind. We make things to feel real.