Real Artists Focus

Saving energy for what is most important

In his book The Icarus Deception, Seth Godin describes artists as “fairly normal” when they are not creating art. He goes as far as to call them “boring” the rest of the time. But wouldn’t you expect an artist to be an artist all the time?


First, what is art? Art is what you would do even if no one ever saw it. It is your God-given desire to create and express your unique shade of excellence.

Who is an artist? Anyone who actively creates. Painters, musicians, construction workers, bartenders, teachers, and dentists all start on the same level. Some become artists, while others consume art.

Back to the original question: Should an artist be an artist all the time, in all aspects of life?

Absolutely not.

No true artist can maintain the same rigorous intensity in other aspects of his life. If he somehow did, his art would become watered down and impotent by what meals he eats or what car he drives.

His art would cease to be artistic without intense energy and focus.

The artist saves the bulk of his energy to pour into his art, letting the other aspects of his life get whatever is left.

Which explains why artists eat the same breakfast every day or use flip phones or don’t care about sports. The energy they might spend on those would steal from their creativity.

Real artists focus. They pick a couple avenues of creativity and all but disregard the rest. Those who focus the most are much more likely to be respected and remembered.

And those who compromise and treat all activities equally are doomed to be ineffective.

You may have noticed this post is in the “money” category. How does it apply to money?