What does it mean to be good?
I’ve been thinking a lot recently about what it means to be “good,” particularly in an artistic sense. It’s easy to write it off as something wholly subjective and as an unimportant distinction, but I actually think that contrarily, knowing what we define as “good” upholds our standards about our form.
When I say something is good, I’m generally referring to:
-A delightful surprise
-Something that is conceptually complete
-Something with a sophisticated, well-crafted structure
-Something that is abstract, yet still relatable, and intriguing in a satisfying way
-A certain amount of recognizable success
-Something that everyone on board believes in
This is awesomely vague, as it has to encompass an undefined large number of artistic mediums, visions, voices, and ideas- however, I’m fairly certain that it’s the last point that is the most important part in making “good” work. If the collaborators are doubtful, in any way, the work will be carried out with a lack of clarity and a lack of conviction that the viewers will see. This is why commercialized arts work so well- they are carried out with a YOU MUST LOOK AT ME sort of conviction and a selfless bravado that leaves no question as to what the hell they are dancing about.
How to we add this sort of conviction to the abstract question? How do we add value to this- leave people delightfully surprised, satisfyingly intrigued, and welcome them into our artistic world without spoon-feeding them watered-down meaning?
Well, silly, we make good work. We adhere to our standards of what is good. We believe in what we do, regardless of our economic plights, scheduling struggles, and lack of visibility. We have to approach our abstract questions with a YOU MUST LOOK AT ME conviction. Without getting cheesy about it.
Simple as that, huh?
In our next series of posts, I’m going to ask other artists that I respect what they think it means to be good. Not just dancers- but visual artists and musicians and graphic designers and entrepreneurs (who, truly, have incredibly creative and artistic minds). We’re the ones creating our own standards with the work that we’re making. Let’s make them high standards.