5 Ideas Artists Really Believe In

5 Ideas Artists Really Believe In

by Kevin McElvaney

When singer-songwriter Lucy Dacus was in high school, a writing assignment had her reflect on beliefs she held that she wished others shared. Years later, Dacus rediscovered the writings and, she took comfort in the phrase, “You are no burden.” She named her debut album, 2015's No Burden, accordingly.

Moved by this exercise, we asked several artists from various fields (including Dacus herself) to talk about something they wished everyone believed.

 

Cassie Jones, working on one of her artisan leather products.

Cassie Jones, working on one of her artisan leather products.

We have all heard the common phrase ‘walk a mile in his shoes’ traced back to a poem written in 1895 titled ‘Judge Softly,’ by Mary T. Lathrap. We are all familiar with the phrase, we all understand the phrase, but if we could all obey and abide by this phrase in our everyday life, the world could be that much less stressful for us all.

Just walk a mile in his moccasins

Before you abuse, criticize and accuse.

If just for one hour, you could find a way

To see through his eyes, instead of your own muse.

Age, location, gender, orientation, beliefs, and goals are just a few of the hundreds of ways that we as people can differ from one another. These differences have pulled us from one another and for some, they justify this distance.  This distance harbors elitism and unfair treatment. We are humans and we need to bring people closer together if we have any hope for the planet we share.”

- Cassie Jones, leather worker

A promotional photo of the band, Restorations.

A promotional photo of the band, Restorations.

“Nobody is coming to help you. This is crucial. You have to find your own path and hope people will jump in along the way. Labels/agents/etc will only help accentuate what you’re already doing, not start something new for you. I wish that was drilled into my head earlier in my career.”

- Jon Loudon, singer, Restorations

Lucy Dacus plays guitar and sings in front of a dimly lit basement bar.

Lucy Dacus plays guitar and sings in front of a dimly lit basement bar.

“I wish people looked at each other with depth and would remember that we’re all products of our pasts and capable of change.”

- Lucy Dacus, singer-songwriter

Jim Dessicino observes a bust he's made of New Jersey governor, Chris Christie.

Jim Dessicino observes a bust he's made of New Jersey governor, Chris Christie.

“Learning an antiquated skill set, in my case modeling clay and mold making has given me the confidence to make things that I wanted to see in the world. I hope that more people will study traditional skills, woodworking, stone carving, farming etc. Knowing how to make things from raw materials, whether functional or art objects, gives the individual great power and agency over their lives.”

- Jim Dessicino, sculptor

Hanif Abdurraqib walks down the street, gazing stoically into the distance.

Hanif Abdurraqib walks down the street, gazing stoically into the distance.

“Truthfully, a thing I often consider is how much better, or more lyrical the world would be if everyone knew that poetry was something touchable, accessible to all. So many people make poetry in their everyday lives, without even knowing it. Movement is poetry, discussion is poetry, reaching a hand out to someone you care about is poetry. Oftentimes, poetry is talked about like it is something in the distance, which makes it hard to grasp and benefit from. But I want people to live in a world where they think of poetry as something that they can not only grasp, but something they can hold on to and carry with them throughout the day. I think we’d all be a little happier.”

- Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib, poet