How to focus on art when life is hard?

By MESAGI, the



The wake-up time is always a painful moment for me. Another day prisoner of an unsatisfying life that I can’t afford to run away from. It takes me some willpower to motivate myself and start doing anything cause I know it won’t make a change—at least a drastic one—to my reality. How to focus our souls on art when life is hard? Here are a few thoughts from my own experience.

Breaking the materialist view of profit

Why focus on art anymore if it’s not feeding you and helping you to pay your bills? Here’s probably one of the major resistance an artist—who doesn’t make money, yet—can face regarding his creative vocation. It’s a legitimate question, though. Why keep on dedicating time, energy, and even money to something that doesn’t give you material profits? It’s a legitimate question but the problem is the materialist expectation of profit.

The benefits of art creations are numerous but often not material, it’s known that artists are starving. One of the benefits is simply to pursue a cherished desire instead of ignoring it and burying it inside. The desire for creation in art is also the desire for self-expression and sharing. Life is much more fulfilling when we go after our aspirations as you can read in my blog post: Being desireless: a life out-of-focus.

I think it’s better to get away from the materialist view of what is profit in art and to embrace the immaterial benefits that artistic activities can bring to a human and its soul.

The benefit of calm and peace

Another of these benefits is mental: focusing on art-making can bring calm and peace to our souls. I experienced this myself with photography and I wrote a blog post explaining how street photography can be good for your mental health. I had social anxiety, and I tended to not go out for walks but practicing street photography has been like a cure! Now my social anxiety is much lower, I have a bit more self-confidence, and generally, I feel stronger inside.

The benefit of getting out what’s hurting you

We are all alone in these modern societies that tend to individualism. Friends and even family members are too busy with their work, their lives, and their own problems. Like me, you may have had the impression that people around you don’t really care about your struggles. But art is universal and global in this age. You can use art to get out what’s hurting you and to share your struggles with people like you all around the world.

The benefit of a pleasant time just for yourself

We all need time for ourselves to focus on something that brings us pleasure and lets us forget—for a moment, at least—the chaos of our worlds. For me, it’s about going out with my camera, stopping thinking, and focusing on street photography. It’s about getting gratification and not stressing about high expectations or impressing the world. We tend to get pleasure when we do something we like without stressing ourselves with the results. Enjoying life is about doing the things that you like. And if you don’t, others will enjoy life for you…

Finding a meaning in your artistic activities

It’s important that even if life is hard and your art isn’t bringing food to the table to realize its meaning for you. Wouldn’t your life feel empty without it? Wouldn’t you feel unfulfilled? Keep holding on and don’t give up your creative calling cause I’m sure it means something to you.

My latest blog posts

Hi! I’m MESAGI, a self-taught artist photographer based in Paris, France. My blog is provided to you without annoying ads. If you appreciate it, you can support me by following me. Thank you!

Head to the home page to read the latest updates of my diary.