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Tuesday, 21 July 2020

In Defense of Mediocre Art -by Aishwarya Roy


Don’t be afraid of mediocrity.

I was, for a long time. I dreaded the term, and everything associated with it. Mediocre was not good enough. Be the best or don’t even try. Mediocrity was lame, tired and boring. Like a proud fool, I believed anything to be better than mediocrity. If it wasn’t exceptional, then what was the point? Why bother? Is it even worth the effort? And like a fool, I stopped creating because I felt that everything I made was mediocre at best.

They say a Jack of all trades is a Master of None, but what they don’t tell you is that it is better than being a Master of One.

A mad race for perfection is not worth letting your Muse die. Art is never perfect. It is not meant to be perfect. Art, like the people who create it, is beautiful, magnificent and flawed. It is not perfect. Nothing sucks the life out of a work of art like an attempt to make it perfect. All flawless things are dead, but art is alive.

I, too, like many others, said the word amateur with disdain. What an amateur move. But amateur comes from the Latin word amare meaning “to love”. To do something out of love. There is nothing disdainful about that. You may be an amateur. So own it. Say it with pride. You do it out of love, because it makes you happy. That is the greatest purpose there is. Make yourself happy, and apologize to no one, least of all yourself.

I have fought to rid myself of this crippling fear and internalized shame. I have struggled to create, for fear of creating something less than exceptional. I have killed my Muse and I have revived her. Now I write for myself. I paint for myself. I am an amateur, and I love what I do. 

Creative expression is a right, so don’t let anyone take that from you, especially yourself. It is not restricted just to those with skill or talent. But why must we create? For the simple reason that we can. Even if the words you write and the verses you compose are for your eyes only, it is still art. It is your art. You have created something out of nothing, and the world is all the better for it. If all you are doing is putting colors on paper, that in itself is art. It is a celebration of you. You are human. You are alive. And life is meant to be celebrated.

The poems you write and the scenery you paint are not required to be exceptional. They just have to be. As Oscar Wilde said, all art is quite useless. Art is to be admired, and that is all. It is okay if your art brings happiness to only one person - to you, if no one else.

Your experience of creative self-expression is more important than the end result.

 Here’s to the people who sing in the shower and doodle in the back of notebooks. Here’s to the people who scribble down thoughts that flow like poetry. Here’s to the people who dance in the kitchen like no one’s watching, and to those who splash paint on paper just for the sake of it. Here’s to the magnificent people who create mediocre art.

Aiswarya Roy

About author: Aiswarya Roy is a BA English student and author of the novel "Home Safe Home". She enjoys reading and writing. She is an avid animal lover, she is also enthusiastic about movies and comic books.


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