Forgot your password?

We just sent you an email, containing instructions for how to reset your password.

Sign in

  • A couple of weeks ago, I was in Marlene's room, waiting for her to come back from work. Sitting at her desk, I noticed a poster she hung on the wall, to remind her of her parisian years.
    It was an advertisement for a litterary price set up by a famous english library in Paris.

    On the poster there was a quote that said : If there was a law that sentenced every writer of a first novel to 6 month in prison, only the truly good writers would do it.

    At first I didn't think much of the quote, but a few days later, as I was back in Paris I was invited to an amateur art show by an acquaintance.
    Over forty artists were exibiting their paintings, sculpture or photographs...
    What struck me was that - with the exeption of 2 or 3 painters - even though everything was technically good, none of the work displayed was realy original or significant.
    Abstract paintings like you've seen millions of, plaster molds of feet and hands, photographs of buildings reflecting in puddles of water.

    After taking a few laps around the exhibition, and overhearing the artists explain their work to visitors, I though of that quote again.
    Being surrounded by dozens of people who spent their time, energy and money learning and perfecting crafts that they had no idea what to do with, I realized the quote was wrong.
    People would still write mediocre novels even if you theatened them with years in prison.

    There is a drive in all of us to try and create.
    A strong drive that make us overcome shyness, fear of being singled out.
    Sometimes that drive is so strong we forget that delivering a message or an emotion is our first duty to the audience.

    As a photographer, I would be lying if I said that all the pictures I ever took were important or original. I know the feeling and exitement of creating something, even if it's ordinary and predictable.

    But from now on, when I'll look at art (including my own), I will ask myself this simple question : What was the urgency that drove the artist? A need to say something, or the need to be seen?
    • Share

    Connected stories:


Collections let you gather your favorite stories into shareable groups.

To collect stories, please become a Citizen.

    Copy and paste this embed code into your web page:

    px wide
    px tall
    Send this story to a friend:
    Would you like to send another?

      To retell stories, please .

        Sprouting stories lets you respond with a story of your own — like telling stories ’round a campfire.

        To sprout stories, please .

            Better browser, please.

            To view Cowbird, please use the latest version of Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Opera, or Internet Explorer.