An Artist’s First Death

Writer: Kenzy Hatem

Editor: Ahmed Ashry        

Designer: Abdelrahman Gamal

As artists (musicians, performers, artists, dancers, writers, poets, etc.) continue to perfect their art, they are expected to experience burn out or extended periods of times where their creativity completely plateaus and nothing original comes out from time to time – also known as “an art block”. This can often create tremendous stress and anxiety for the artist and they may start to doubt if this path they selected of being an artist and a creator for this form of art is what they really want to do and if it was the right choice for them to take. Maybe they will experience an urge to completely abandon the art form and choose an easier or more “stable” career like an office job. This turning away from the artist’s original passion may be described as the “first death”. Many artists have likely faced many of these moments of self-doubts and insecurities and wondered if they should give up on it all and move on to start something different.

Anyone who doesn’t have that big of an interest in art would view this as a simple obstacle anyone moves on from; however, this is actually very terrifying to artists. The moment when art no longer makes their heart flutter or resonate and when practicing it no longer sparks joy into them, artists die their first death. In the words of dancer and choreographer Martha Graham ,“A dancer dies twice – once when they stop dancing, and this first death is the more painful”. I think this perfectly recalls the pain of growing distant from one’s passions. Losing this connection with art that they once believed to be impossible perfectly expresses how their world has changed. Like time had come to a stop, and the life artists continue to live no longer shares the same hues. They see it as something similar to death, but not that of the body. If art, something artists have always relayed on, becomes something impersonal and disconnected from them, they can no longer live the way they used to live, which is eerily similar to death. And that’s why we call it an Artist’s First Death, not to be dramatic but, because that’s how it really feels like.

Artists have an on growing love for all things art and music, but it delves into the fear that comes with possibly losing your passion for them. But in the end, we can come to the realization that art is all we have and that it’s our strand of hope so, we just have to hold onto that. So, when my passion starts to wither like the fallen fall leaves, I will know that summer had come and accept the bright sun with the shine it has and the shadow it made. Because I don’t think someone can live with passion for their whole entire life. You can’t be like a burning fire all the time; there is no consistency with such things as passion and motivation: there are always ups and downs and you have to be ready. It’s the risk of art and, let me tell you that, it’s definitely worth it.