“For real musicians, there is a spiritual component to what they do and it’s got nothing to do with worldly success. Their music is much more of an inner journey. Any other success is just cream on the cake. There’s this idea that you can go on “American Idol” and suddenly become a star but you may bypass the spiritual work that you have to do to get there. And if you bypass that, then your success will be wafer-thin.”
— Sting (via beingcate)

They think strong conviction implies vulnerability to emotional rhetoric and lack of critical awareness. But the goal of great art is the same whether one approaches it seriously or dubiously. To make something new, to transcend, one must have an honest relationship with what is: history, context, form, tradition, oneself. Dishonesty is the biggest obstacle to making original, great art. Dishonesty undermines a work’s internal integrity — the only standard by which a work can succeed. If the work becomes a vehicle for one’s ego, personal or political agenda, self-image, desire for fame, adulation, fortune — human as these inclinations may be — the work will be limited accordingly. Even a desire to affirm human dignity and elevate the human spirit can be corrupted by dishonesty in the form of sentimentality.

“Sentimentality, the ostentatious parading of excessive and spurious emotion, is the mark of dishonesty, the inability to feel; the wet eyes of the sentimentalist betray his aversion to experience, his fear of life, his arid heart; and it is always, therefore, the signal of secret and violent inhumanity, the mask of cruelty.”
— James Baldwin
“We may be enmeshed but we are not encountered.”
— Julia Cameron
“People frequently believe the creative life. The more difficult truth is that creativity is grounded in reality, in the particular, the focused, the well-observed or specifically imagined.”
— Julia Cameron, “The Artist’s Way”
“If you want to work on your art, work on your life.”
— Chekhov
“No one ever told me that the sadness, the grief, is frightening. That I would want someone to just hold my hand while I was scared of the feelings that pour out of me.”
“Art should be simple. And it should be accessible to everyone.”
“Art matures spasmodically and requires ugly-duckling growth.”
— Julia Cameron