Saturday, October 10, 2009

True Confessions of the Self-Absorbed

Mixed Emotions 24x36

I've been thinking a lot about a word lately: Narcissism.  I've always considered it to be an extremely negative term.  Then, last week, it was brought to my attention that perhaps I am one... by someone who LIKES me.  Ouch!  So,  Mr. Webster.... what do you have to say about this?  (Actually - who uses a dictionary anymore?) I googled it:

Narcissism describes the trait of excessive self-love, based on self-image or ego.

egotistic: characteristic of those having an inflated idea of their own importance

narcissist - someone in love with themselves

narcissism - self-love: an exceptional interest in and admiration for yourself; "self-love that shut out everyone else"

OK.... Besides the "self love that shuts out everyone else"  I guess I am a bit narcissistic.  Who - I ask you - who is not? - Especially artists!  Look at my work.  Buy my work.  Don't you love this painting?  Here's my blog-read my blog.  Artists, actors, dancers, bloggers, public speakers, politicians (yikes) - we are all a giant pack of narcissists! 

Everyone with a FaceBook page who is telling the world where they are and what thier status is....Everyone who has ever tweeted a tweet... Narcissistic!
So - is it really the negative word we think it is??? (Or is it only negative if we are talking about other people?)

This is a hard pill to swallow....but seriously isn't being an artist a little self - indulgent?  Then there is all the emotion and introspection that goes into being a painter- at least for me. (Me Me Me.)  I do tend to dwell a good bit on why I do what I do - why I feel the way I feel.  I deal with my crazy emotions in a VERY thorough manner.  So - is it narcissism?  Is it necessary to be a deep thinker and a little-self absorbed to be a good artist? Truthfully, I think it is.