I go to the gym almost everyday. At first i wanted to get out of depression. Then out of addiction. Now i think i just do it for the progression. It is something concrete like math. You do it and you progress. I believe it is the same with everything, that repetition is the mother of all learning. As the muscles learn how the body moves they can grow or change shape. I wish art was more like this but it also contain a social factor. Something that is eternally more complex.
Your art can progress, become better, in relation to you but in a greater perspective it is also dependent on other people’s aesthetic tastes. You can only, really, progress in relation to your own taste. In this way it has a small banal connection to exercise. That your body’s progression only progress in relation to your own genetic possibilities. Art, you can compare it more to fitness models. They bring their bodies into the social space. No matter how hard they do their work the success in their field will always be dependent on the judges taste for what is the optimal body type. What physical trends rule at the moment.
As an artist, any kind of artist, all you can do is focus on your individual progression. In relation to yourself. The rest is up to the universe. Just as for Mr/Miss Universe.
But we need something to calm us. Something that gives the impression that things make sense. Art theory, religion, politics, subcultures etc. All these things artists in history has added to the concept of art to have a reason to go on and fight. It somewhat delude art, making it less of it’s own pure field, multi-classing it of sorts. Sometimes this is needed for a field to survive, when it is weak, when it can’t stand by itself. And that is ok. Just as muscles might need to rest a day to get back into growth. Still the focus should be clear that art is nothing without itself as its main protagonist. In large and small. As a field and as a individual artist.