When the existential burden of beholding oneself to others becomes overwhelming, consider an aspect of the human element which complicates art- opinion is not an objective condition. It is organic, and changes over time and with the capricious perceptions of the audience. Think of it as contagious, wherein the beliefs of one inflict upon others, changing mass opinion on an artwork. Something which was considered bad years ago might suddenly become loved, or vise versa. What is most important is that the artist him or herself values the artwork. The opinions of the audience might change with time, but true passion in art should endure through good times and bad. It should be spiritually sustaining. It should be a companion upon whom the artist may always rest a weary head. Love your art. Cherish it. Raise it like a parent might raise their own flesh and blood. When you perish it will endure. Rest assured, as this author asserts, that whatever love is invested into the art will be reaped back in dividends, though the reward might be more cerebral than wealth. At the end of the proverbial day, there are revelations regarding artistic expression which must not be forgotten. Consider this thought- art is a form to a function, with emotional expression, storytelling, and intellectual exercise being among the underlying functions. One cannot allow themselves to be lost in the pursuit of perfect form at the expense of the function. In this case, arresting emotional expression by arresting one’s artistic potential will create inferior content. The artist is not content, and the work is not authentic. Any medium is inherently flawed in this manner since the transfer of emotion from soul to product is never perfect. The outcome is never quite right. Now, allow this passage to describe the dynamic of artistic ambition. “Art is the pursuit of immortality. One seeks to enshrine their spirits; their aspirations; and their intellect in the tomb of collective consciousness. This is vanity, derived from sensations beyond our means to articulate precisely. It is fundamental and can never be extinguished. A few achieve this goal, most fail. For even the most successful, humanity cannot remember everyone for all time. Everyone is forgotten, and everything laboriously created will crumble to dust. What remains is a lop-sided pantheon of the deserving and undeserving, reigning side-by-side, who tower above humanity. Yet, these precious few are not secure in their vaunted thrones. Usurpers clamber up the holy mount with greed and full hearts. Their visions are lost in the clouds, but they surge forward with virgin energy untempered by sorrow. The worshippers for whom their bliss is art watch with glimmering eyes, content in their privilege that no matter who dies or lives, they still win. Atop the pearled bastions of fortune, the beloved deities of leisure scream their warnings upon the aspirants. Do not continue but remain where your people love you for the sake of love! Ever beyond, love is a reward bestowed for the success of talent! The fabled temples are laden with treasures so that none might lounge, and the highest peaks are composed of salt which crumbles with malignant winds. Who might see the truth? Immortality in art banishes the artist into lavish catacombs occupied with their kin, never to return to the distant realm of mundane worshippers below the mountain. When the artists die, tears well in the eyes of the people, but their souls and hearts turn to the next generation which takes their place. In that time, the artist was no longer a person, but a gilded idea which was sorrowful to lose but never irreplaceable. Now it is too late, the deities are trapped in their pearl city. They cannot escape without death, and if they escape they may never return. The most burdened of the artist-gods could not find respite in the worshippers below nor their fellow deities, for each suffered hardship of their own and owed no loyalty to their neighbors. They screeched their curse into the Void but were misguided. The Void would vindicate sorrow, for it is callous and eternal oblivion. In truth, they roar out into the heavens which resounds in the peoples’ ears. The silence which is returned is not the product of Void, but the conscious will of humanity to plead ignorance. A minority of those aspirants who clambered up the mount discovered true fulfillment before their final ascent and inevitable annihilation. Neither the worshippers nor the deities they desired to become cared for their art like themselves. They could not understand the pain, comprehend the emotional toll, nor appraise its priceless value which was rooted in perspective. These wisefolk no longer struggled farther up the eternal mount, but lowered and rose upon its height in accordance to what they desired most in their hearts. They liberated themselves from the worshippers who, although meant to be serviant to the artistic deities, really imprisoned the fragile spirit of art. These were the greatest among all deities, made greater in their love for themselves. No other was more fulfilled. The artists were thus liberated and allowed to create without the judgement of peers or spectators.” All these things noted or asserted, the Zolrassal is an imperfect attempt at emotional expression through a rigorous framework of art. Whether it achieves its implied ends as an artistic product is not certain. If anything, it is upon the reader to decide. For the aspiring creator who suffers from bouts of existential dread or depression pondering over the reception or quality of their work, allow me to provide another measure of solace. Love, or more precisely, varieties of love. Two forms of this marvelous chemical reation exist for our purposes- professional and personal. The former regards how an audience perceives the project without the presence nor input of the creator. It exists as an entity unto itself, born into reality through some unseen hands but now present to be approach and manipulated according to the desires of the audience. This variety of success is uplifting and meaningful for the aspiring artist, but not dominant before all considerations. The ideal environment features intersections of professional and personal love, wherein the enjoyment of the art is obviously meaningful, but also present for the creator. In the worst scenarios, the piece of art is consumed by the audience, but the artist becomes irrelevant and it is no longer their work. This breeds resentment, even against greatly successful projects. Remember why you began writing in the first place. Playing with your friends, sharing the creation with those who appreciate it, watching their positive reactions upon engagement- this is all personal love. This variety of love is the more important of the two, because it sustains the artist throughout the creative process. It warms their heart and compelled them to achieve more and greater things. Professional love is flawed in that its scale and anonymity breeds pressure and uncertainty. What will the faceless audience want next? What if they hate the product? These considerations burden the mind, even for the most talented and beloved artists. They, too, require that measure of personal love, however it might be achieved, to know that their work is never in vain. When this cannot be assured, the insecurities of the human mind begin to dominate. In the end, the above theories and their ramifications are meaningless if it brings sorrow.