The fine arts and the martial arts are sometimes seen as antithetical, but they stem from the same tree. They are both lifestyles that require commitment and discipline. It’s a mistake to take art too lightly. An artist is a warrior, a soldier finding the strength to fight on behalf of the unborn, the unrealized, and the impossible. The artist is an absurd soldier, but a soldier nonetheless.
Soldiers fight for something, but more importantly they fight for someone. As an artist, though, it's complicated to say who is friend or foe. The war artists are involved in is a battle against the deadening aspects of life. Artists fight against corporatism. Artists fight against totalitarianism. Artists fight on behalf of those who are vulnerable and unable to withstand the seasons of change.
Being an artist, to me, simply means taking on that role. If you take up the fight against monoculture and stand up for difference by working creatively, then you are on the side of art. It isn’t about having some special talent or some innate natural ability. It has to do with principles and deciding what is most important to work for in life.