A fellow artist and Facebook friend recently asked for thoughts on the impression, influence and impact of the female artistic voice on women’s lives. My thoughts follow…
I am afraid that a certain measure of commercialism silences the necessary and authentic voices of women in our universe; that profitability casts the only ballot for the voices that are made available to the public. It is as if one cannot be seated at the table of creativity and enlightenment without a sufficient monetary exchange.
This trend is quite noticeable in the music industry. It is inundated by over-sampled tracks and lyrics that lack meaning. We are given, as if a gift, music that is performed by commercially attractive people who distract us with vocal acrobatics that do little to enhance the product, and who require an auto-tuner and a strip club-type side show to distract us from the truth of their abilities whenever they dare to entertain us in person. Meanwhile, there are women of great talent, who have been touched lightly by time, who are praying and struggling to be heard. And they will be heard if they do not give up or give in. It saddens me to be reminded that neither the literary world specifically nor the art world in general are immuned to commercial influence.
It is this observation that compels me to encourage women wherever I am to make the necessary sacrifices in order for others to benefit from their creative voice regardless of its venue.
To those who are called to creativity: you must keep writing, singing and painting. Do not let your work become your unintentional secret. You must be revolutionary in the manner in which you give life to your work. Submit your work without fear of rejection. Go to unexpected places and ask that your work be given a chance. Be prepared to pay for the opportunities that present themselves and welcome the instances when the only price required is your time.
To those who love the arts: you must be diligent in your support of ordinary women who endeavor to give the gift of their extraordinary voices. Buy their work often. They are contributors to your entertainment. They are the soothing and inspirational answer to the chaos in our lives.