On Being Bad

What Inspires me: Going "Jake" In Art & Soul:  Notes of Creating, artist Audrey Flack recants a conversation she had with fellow artist,  Jimmy Ernst, in 1983. Jimmy begins by saying:

"I'm doing bad work . . . there's hope."

Audrey: "I did bad work for a year when I began doing watercolors again after a break of twenty years."

Jimmy: There was a time when it was not held against artists to show bad work. It was expected in terms of their development...."

For some reason being bad, doing bad work isn't' expected any more, nor  is it accepted as "part of our development." not by us, the creators, and definitely not by others.  We are supposed to be good--preferably excellent--or remain invisible until we are good. But how can we ever get to good if we won't cut ourselves some slack?

"I think you have to be bad before you get to be good," Jake Gyllenhaal said in a Jan, 2011 interview in August Man Magazine.

I'm with Jake. He was speaking about acting, but his words can be applied to just about anything. Take writing. Wouldn't it be easier, less confining, decidedly more fun (and a little naughty) to let ourselves go "Jake" and write IT--whatever IT is, and how ever IT comes  just  spew it out. Dare to boldly go where we try to keep ourselves from going...bad.

How does this apply to our characters?  What if we let them go "Jake" and be bad before they get to be good?

Hmmmmm... Could be interesting--which, anyway you read it,  is way better than boring, staid, predictable, safe... But oooooh bad is scary and sometime ugly and messy and  icky...what if someone should see it? What will they think of me??????

Dare we? Dare we allow ourselves, our work, our characters to  Just. Be. Bad. Really Bad. Stinking rotten lousy bad.

There's really only one way to go from there, right?

Go Jake!