The War of Art

David Price
4 min readNov 26, 2022
Felix Vallotton, 1917, Verdun

I’m not a teacher who encourages careers: I encourage artistry. That’s a big term, and it encompasses many things: talent, integrity, honesty. I’ll stick to one thing that’s been on my mind: choices.

I understand the need for money and acclaim, and we’re lying if we say we don’t like it or want it, but it must never be the goal…

Very few actors are artists; even fewer try to become artists….

— Kim Stanley

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Make this decision today: Will you be a good and honest writer, or would you rather be famous, loved, noticed? Tell me, because there are different paths for these two divergent goals. The decision to be a true artist is lonelier and slower, but it will lead to better work and, I think, a better life. Very rarely will you be a good and honest writer and also know a little comfort and some attention and the well wishes of a crowd.

This is very rare. — Tennessee Williams

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…if life is exhausted, then by doing long-life deity practices your life will be replenished, and you can continue living for some time. If karma is exhausted, then by performing positive actions or karma, it is possible to replenish the karma of living. If two of the factors are exhausted, then it will be more difficult to prevent death. When all three are exhausted, death is inescapable, and one has to leave this world.

— Kunga Gyatso

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What we call reality is in fact nothing more than a culturally sanctioned and linguistically reinforced hallucination.

— Terence McKenna

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To see we must forget the name of the thing we are looking at.

— Claude Monet

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It’s difficult enough to create some substantial art without adding to it by insisting upon fame and fortune. We learn by immersing ourselves in the métier of our choice and we naively want to join the tribe of famous ones, but we secretly feel we don’t measure up. We want to overcome that feeling with external approval.

That’s the wrong way to go about creating something meaningful or beautiful, in my opinion. Yes, it takes a long time to discover…

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David Price

I write about creativity, loving, language learning and psycho/spirituality. I’m a longtime painter and reader.