We have art so as not to perish from the truth.
— Friedrich Nietzsche
Back in the early days of social media, and I mean way back to like 2002-03 when I was on Live Journal (and not yet on Friendster, then MySpace and later Blogger, Twitter, Facebook, WordPress and Tumbler — sheesh), I went by the handle of “Artjunkie”. It was fitting because that’s exactly what I was and still am today: a junkie for the arts.
My primary art jams are the literary arts (reading books and writing prose) and graphic literature (comic books and graphic novels) and, of course, music. Naturally, movies and television factor in as well, but Read! Write! Rock! is my mantra, they’re the activities I do most often in my spare time (wait, spare time exists?). I consume and create a lot art (although I hoard a lot of my own artistic creations). I’ve been writing fiction and nonfiction seriously for about 25 years and have been a musician/songwriter for 30 years as of this past Summer — the Summer of ’88 was when I started playing guitar to get the musical ball rolling. Now I’m a multi-instrumentalist and vocalist with a dozen local bands and solo projects behind me. [See About for publishing credits and My Music for selected streaming tunes.]
These days it seems all I want to do is consume and create art, my social life (and work life if I could) be damned! Sure, art is a great source of entertainment (and we’ve been in a golden age renaissance of television the last decade-and-a-half at least), but the arts are a great coping tool for the many things that ail us. Art can be good for daily stress, mental health, exorcising personal demons, enlightening oneself on life and helping us better understand the world and understanding our place within it.
The late great German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche is notable for saying that “Without music, life would be a mistake.” I wholeheartedly agree with that one.
In addition to the quote at the top about art, he also said:
I’ll leave it at that.