Amanda Palmer at TED

Letter To An Artist


Now I see why you are so devoted to creating a place in the world for misfits and artists. Artists, so often known for being mentally unstable weirdos, still need the safe space to create and mostly don’t find one. Now you are creating a safe place, a narrative to live in, a dream for us. So we can continue to keep our world beautiful and full of meaning.

Why though? Why are you doing it?

Your life depends on it, too. That’s why.

Now I get how each artists’ live depends on it. My life depends on it. The good life as we know it does, too. Without knowing it, the whole world depends on it, since art is our collective soul.

It’s that, or something else vital, and indescribable, to our collective being that cannot be replaced. Artists’ can’t be replaced with not artist or with AI.  Our highly sensitive people can’t be replaced. The world can’t do without them either. We artists are different. That’s as it should be. How else would we make a difference?

You show a warrior’s strength and a poet’s vulnerability when you share your heartbreaking story. Now, I understand the terrible impact your artist father’s ways had on you, and the pain his choices caused you. I get how hard such stories are to revisit, redefine and retell like you are doing in a way that recreates the world for you. A world safer for artists.

I personally appreciate your coming through for me like this, because just knowing that you, Sarah, Black Box Warnings, and company exist makes me stronger and my artist stock soar. It’s giving me the greatest imaginable value – a sense of community.

I feel safer in the world than I did before hearing your story of seeing your father through new eyes. Your story allowed me see the world through my own broken artist father’s eyes.

Even if we are not in the same community, you sorta replaced the American dream with a dream that includes artists like Martin Luther King included all free black people in his dream. Your dream includes me, and dreams create our world.

That irreplaceable precious sense of having a place in the world where your work matters that your father and my father did not get to feel, come into being when your story changed my heart.  Just like millions of the children of ex-slaves and slave holders never experienced a balanced world, yet caught MLK’s dream and held it, I caught your dream. It holds me.
You are changing the world for all of us. You, and the community around you are building artists a better world by speaking out.
You are doing priceless work. The emotional support you offer as a gift and invite the community to offer with you is irreplaceable and magnificent. Air force helicopters would never see that.
I figure, you and Sarah would enjoy, TED’s The Eight Foot Bride or Amanda Fucking Palmer. She is like you, in the way she redefines the world for artists in a surprising, hilarious, whimsical, irresistible way. Enjoy.

Truce is over.

Your Magnificence will soon be mine!

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