William Tolbert, Hitler. naked 2 year olds. and the reluctant artist.
I couple of weeks ago I posted a photograph of my daughter. She was naked and holding her favorite stuffed bunny. I had an older gentleman tell me that I was treating her badly and that I should not have posted the photo. I responded by saying "feel free to not follow me then". He un-followed me. I took down the photo only because I was worried that my "algorithm" would be affected if he clicked the "I don't like this" button on Facebook.
I should've kept it up. I was scared.
I was reminded of this incident as I read a column by William Tolbert: Excluding veteran teachers from significant pay raises a brilliant move by NC lawmakers.
I taught with Will at Durham School of the Arts last year.
He is an artist. A writer. A smart person.
This piece has made some teachers in North Carolina very angry. I'm not one of them.
Why don't most artists make art that challenges someone's current thoughts?
Why don't most artists make art that causes some sort of shift?
Are we scared of making people angry, or worse yet, losing credibility, or worse yet, losing money?
As artists, if we don't take risks like Tolbert, then we are setting ourselves up for an early plateau of mild, un-impactful art. I predict that our lives would be in a similar state if we did this but I won't venture anywhere near that idea to find out.
LESSON LEARNED FROM TOLBERT: make art that moves, not that comforts.