As a freelance Artist, we have wear a lot of hats. Most of us tend to be responsible for not just creating compelling works of art, but for promoting those works as well. We are our own little Public Relations Managers, often filming our process or taking snap shots of sketches… all to share with someone else. This kind of public display is essential to the business of being a Illustrator, but it has downside.

More and more, I feel beleaguered by these burdens… that I have to photograph a painting, I have to write a Facebook post, I have to get my painting seen by lots of people. This is an exhausting feeling, and I often find myself not wanting to do it, and instead asking myself “Why can’t I just paint?!”

“More and more, Creativity has become a means to an end, that end, being getting attention.”

Here is an interesting Ted Talks Lecture from Actor, Joseph Gordon-Levitt talking candidly about this issue, and how being a performer, or any individual who creates art for the benefit of a viewer, comes with the risk of getting addicted to approval on social media.

More than anything, I find it comforting that other creatives are feeling these affects strongly as well, which leaves me feeling hopeful that we will strike a healthy balance in this matter someday.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt has gotten more than his fair share of attention from his acting career. But as social media exploded over the past decade, he got addicted like the rest of us — trying to gain followers and likes only to be left feeling inadequate and less creative. In a refreshingly honest talk, he explores how the attention-driven model of big tech companies impacts our creativity — and shares a more powerful feeling than getting attention: paying attention.