image by Jamel Shabazz
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Letter to a young artist

by Jean Sebastien Boncy

image by Jamel Shabazz  – Freshly Dressed


They, them over there, will make many claims about you, you just starting out, you on the verge.

For example, They will call it unprofessional that what you have just made is not polished to a mirror sheen, brilliant with money, resplendent with resources. They will show little interest in promise and potential. They will claim ignorance about beginnings and buildup. When They call the products of your heart unprofessional, what They mean is “how dare you show up without the full price of admission.”
They will call it vanity when you choose to handle it yourself. What you were taught to appreciate as industry or self-sufficiency will not be recognized as such. Out there busy building with no one’s approval is distasteful to them over there. They will be bewildered and insulted to see a debut They had no hand in. When they call your hustle vanity, what They mean is ”how dare you show up without our approbation.”

They call it hubris when you say you’re that good. You already understand that confidence is your first tool. You understand the need to believe in yourself and how it makes room for your talent to grow. You’ll tell anyone who cares to listen that you’re the shit and if it isn’t already the case, it will be soon. When they call your beautiful boldness hubris, what They mean is “how dare you show out before our endorsement.”
Youngin, Them over there can stay over there. I trust you, I love you, and I’m waiting with great eagerness for you and anything you want to show us.



Jean Sebastien -Boncy

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