There is no need for artistic expression to slow down with age

By Jasmine Chan: Arts Columnist

Artists are known for pursuing their passions within art. But what happens when an artist choses to retire? Do artists even retire? It is well known that art is a labour of love, people rarely pursue an artistic career due to wealth.

For most of us, the reasons for retiring vary from old age, physically or mentally being unable to work, to pursuing something different all together than what we are doing currently.

Creatives: such as Pablo Picasso, are well known for dedicating their entire life to their art, right up until their day of death. They pursue their craft constantly to the point of obsession. Many would even go further to say that it is passion that drives a craftsman in a perpetual hunt for perfection. Even Andrew Lloyd Webber, despite winning every known accolade for his work, is reportedly often displeased with his productions. It is a lifetime that it takes for an artisan to truly be satisfied with their work. As they say, we are our own worst critic. This could not be truer for any creatives varying from musicians, actors, writers to sculptors.

However, it has been less documented of times when a maker decides to no longer create. Is this because they fall out of love? In the world of expression, we constantly see musicians and actors take a brief break before deciding to come out of retirement. Take the current A list of stars, and include Bieber, Jay Z and Lily Allen as examples of those who came back from bowing out.

Sadly, many chose to take a break due to mental health, a traumatic or an unexpected life event happens, or simply due to the immense pressures afforded to an individual who is unbelievably talented at their chosen artform. Nevertheless, no matter the cause, reitirement often is short lived, due to boredom, or the growing need to return to something that they enjoy, that they need to do. There’s a tug of war between leaving behind something that they enjoy so that they can focus on their own issues.

Within the arts, there are no boundaries to when you can start or at what age. Because of this inclusivity, it is hard to know when a person decides to begin or end their career as an artisan. One could even argue that we all are unwitting creatives at heart. Some of us realise at a young age, while others discover their passion later in life. Regardless of age, the arts have, and will continue to be ever changing and welcoming. With the internet making it accessible to share pictures, anyone can claim at anytime that they are an artist.

True creators never really retire. They take pause or long breaks which allow them to either recover, relax, and explore something different. Constantly seeking a new form, a new viewpoint or angle, therefore, giving them a chance to rediscover the reasons that made them fall in love with being creative.

Art is like a patient lover, who waits for your return, welcoming you in open arms. It is an infatuation that borders to a fixation which makers pursue throughout their lives. Otherwise, why would a creative continue to do something that they either dislike or have grown weary of?