You Are The Tree. Your Art Is The Fruit.

If you were to eat a particularly good apple, chances are your mind will probably focus on the goodness of the apple. But what about everything that happened behind the scenes to create such goodness?

You Are The Tree. Your Art Is The Fruit.

If you were to eat a particularly good apple, chances are your mind will probably focus on the goodness of the apple. But what about everything that happened behind the scenes to create such goodness?

For a tree to bear quality fruit it needs to have the correct conditions in which to do so. The soil, the wind, the temperature and the amount of rainfall all play a part in the ‘quality’ of the fruit it produces.

Audio version

I think that we all strive to produce quality fruit. I doubt that any of us sit down and intentionally try to make garbage. We could say that we are the trees, our art is the fruit and the conditions we choose for our life are the things that will affect the quality of that fruit.

What this means is that if we engage in low quality entertainment, eat low quality food, take too many drugs, deprive ourselves of sleep and exercise then the quality of our fruits will be greatly diminished.

It can become a vicious cycle when this low quality behavior becomes a habit for ‘escape’ from the feelings that arise from making low quality art. We treat ourselves poorly then try to make something meaningful - which doesn’t quite work out like we had hoped so we proceed again to treat ourselves poorly to calm those feelings of disappointment.

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When we engage in low quality behavior, what we are doing is subconsciously disrespecting ourselves - saying we are not worthy of goodness. This has a huge effect on not just our mental capacities but also on our overall outlook. Perhaps we find that we are more irritable and more easily swayed by the world around us. We may end up feeling that life just continues to beat us down and give to others all of the opportunities we feel are meant for us. Maybe we feel that the world will never understand what we have to say and that the system is rigged to reward mediocrity over truth.

When we stew in negativity, we often find ourselves actively seeking out things that are ‘unworthy’ of our attention - scrolling for hours through Instagram feeds of people we would never choose to be friends with in real life or binge-watching Keeping Up With The Kardashians just to shout at the screen about how petty we feel their problems are.

But luckily, cycles are made to be broken. All it takes is to one day wake up earlier and go for a walk in a park nearby, listening to the birds and watching real life unfold all around us. When we get home, we can tidy our bedroom and air out the studio. Instead of sitting on our phones, we could choose to read an inspiring book. Rather than staying up late watching video after video on YouTube, we could turn off all of our electronics and have a candle-lit bubble bath. In order to create beauty and harmony, we must first choose to seek it and see it in the world around us. We must know it to create it.

When we break out of the insidiously harmful behavior patterns we so often find ourselves falling into, we get a brief insight into how things could be. We start to feel vast amounts of light where before all we felt was darkness. We no longer feel the need to criticize people or feel hard done by in regards to the circumstances life places before us. But most importantly, we begin to make art not to escape reality, but to express it in all of its glory.

The saying ‘You are what you eat’ springs to mind, but we could take it a step further and say that ‘You make what you eat’ too. I don’t solely mean eat as in the foods we fill our stomachs with, but the concepts and ideas we fill our minds with and the actions and reactions we fill our lives with.

The quality of the work we produce is inextricably linked to the quality of the life that we choose to live. We could say that there are no problems in art, merely problems in the individual that are reflected in our art. Art does not wish to be elusive or difficult - it just wants to express itself through us. It is our duty when we choose the life of an artist to be healthy and happy vessels for creativity to flow through.

So close your laptop or put down your phone and have a think about if there are any aspects of your life that you can modify to produce higher quality conditions for your work. Be honest with yourself about whether there are behaviours that you engage in that you know deep down you would prefer not to. Then change them. Bit by bit, building yourself up towards the sky to become the person that makes the high quality work always you so wish to create. You are the champion of your destiny, but if you’re not careful can just as easily be the catalyst of your demise.

The fruits of a tree are only as good as the conditions it grows in, but unlike trees we have the power to change those conditions ourselves and produce better and better fruits with each coming season.