Kill Your Paradigms: A writer on the battle between artistic integrity and banal necessity by Benjamin Van Loon

Chicago Literati

I’m a writer, and sometimes I feel like an artist. But most of the time I feel like I’m crawling through the trenches, dodging enemy bullets, doing everything I can to stay alive. If I were to give up art, I’d be given a ticket home and set up with a job, a car, a house, and a retirement. But somewhere on the battlefield would be my heart. So instead, I keep fighting. Some people call this the creative process.

In a culture that favors specialization—and in a city that deifies industry—it can be difficult for artists to make time (and find support for) the creative process. There are no more rich aristocrats or landed gentry looking to fluff themselves up by funding painters or bards. Rather, ours is an age of pure social mechanization, obsessed by a drive to produce, consume, and repeat. There’s no room for the flagrancy…

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