I think this is the simple truth: for me, art is an impossibility when set within a landscape of crisis.
Art requires room to breathe, room to feel. If The soul is cramped, nothing wondrous there can grow.
I’m not saying that life has to be some sort of panacea. Strife, anger, fear, lust, joy, beatitude, these are all valid states of being as afar as art production is concerned. What is antithetical, again I speak of personal experience, is being locked into a struggle where TIME is scarce. Where thoughts and energy are sapped for the sake of the struggle, and no room for other concerns remains.
That is an interesting turn of phrase, “other concerns”. I guess that is one way to view artistic expression, it is expressed* of what concerns you. Concern denotes more than interest, carrying with it notions of care, a personal involvement that is something more than topical.
For a great many artists, finding that vein, what concerns them, is a delicate and difficult target. Too little concern (care, curiosity, interest, engagement, availability) leads to a flat experience and flat work. Too much concern can mean that the topic consumes the artist and no mediated record gets created, that is NO ARTWORK gets done, the cause absorbs them in toto.
How does the mind, or the soul (which ever you make art with… or the balance thereof) alight on those portions of life that offer the right experience to be explored and mediated? Through time, mindful awareness of feelings, care, and thought. By having time to breathe that is not totally blotted out by more pressing concerns, and following where the heart goes.
* expressed: squeezed from