What is the role of sacrifice in the arts?
Those who aspire towards creative goals/lifestyles will eventually find that they must commit to a pointed direction, whether it be a single discipline or a range of mediums for their expression. Those who do not have direction will find that they are not required to sacrifice for their art because in the encounter of something which is uncomfortable or painful, another path is easily substituted. That’s not to say that one can’t experiment, though direction is eventually necessary; both on a micro scale (in term of individual output) or in the macro (long term goals and projects). As Wagner writes in his essay entitled “Artwork of the Future,” “Art must be born from necessity” and this necessity originates from a calling, a need to express ones individuality.
With direction and commitment almost always comes sacrifice. It is that the human spirit is drawn to solemnity or suffering but rather is drawn to sincerity. Sacrifice strips downs the character to only the abstract, the essentials and reveals something about the individual which is elemental and thus truthful. For some this may be disturbing, liberating, uplifting but what is true is that it is sincere. It has nothing to do with romanticized images of hip bohemians in tattered clothes living without responsibility; instead it has to do with choice, commitment, and work ethic.