We live in this world, not the next. Keep that in mind.
Artists try to create their own realities, which essentially means they’re always trying to reshape their day. Artists remake the world with every brush stroke, poetic line, or fouetté. But how do artists and, by extension, creative people of all sorts, have any influence on the future? Should they even try?
The whole concept of “the next world” immediately implies an afterlife, which provokes considerations of a Judeo-Christian heaven, or a related-but-different Jannah in Islam. In Hinduism and Buddhism it suggests samsara, the endless cycle of rebirth.
While all of these religions obviously have artistic adherents, some deeply devout, artists ultimately live their lives motivated by different forces. “The Next World” for an artist is the next opportunity to try an idea, whether that’s a clean canvas, a blinking cursor on a computer screen, or even just a moment alone with thoughts churning behind closed eyes.
Aspiring to what may come in The Next World denies what might be created in this world. Dreams of The Next help remove interior responsibility, make it easier to ignore the hard work of the present. It’s unavoidable: creative work today requires hard, sustained, focused effort. That comes easier for some people, but there’s no singular way to create value without doing challenging things. What people sometimes forget is that the effort of creating can bring its own kind of sustained joy and value. Wishing for something better in the future builds emptiness in the present. Working for something better in the present builds something...now.
Nonetheless, The Next World has a gravitational pull on many people. Want to know how you can see it? Be inventive and creative. Be resolved. The Next World doesn’t wait for you somewhere beyond your life. What’s next is what you choose to bring into existence right now.