Last week someone took it upon themselves to “explain” to me what rules I needed to follow, what formula I had to use, in order to make something into art.

Then I saw where there was a petition recently for a studio to redo a final season of a show in order to fix it to suit the audience.

Is that art? Is that what we have come to?

My understanding, and correct me if I am wrong, is that art is a free expression of our creative side and there are no rules (other than actual laws that we can not break.) I thought the whole point was to be inventive and to do something new and different, exciting and imaginative.

Sometimes art is shocking and usually it is not what we expect. When it is put into a box in order to pacify the masses it losses its uniqueness and to me is not really art any longer. It is just boring.

When my husband makes a piece of metal art that he imagined, felt and created, it is always much better than when a client micromanages every inch of the piece. To me, the controlled piece ceases to be his art and just becomes a job to carry out.

Collaboration is fine as long as all of the artists involved have input, but some art forms lend themselves to collaboration better than others. Sometimes too much collaboration only muddies the work and leaves everyone unsatisfied. Sometimes you just have a vision and you alone must get it out.

Expecting a writer to write the ending you want is not understanding art. If you are so creative and know how to tell a story better, then write your own. Then you can go down any road you wish. To tell a writer how you wish the story to go is only a step away from telling the universe how you want your life to go, what you expect from each day, what you expect others to do, how you want to die.

Life and art are unpredictable, they take turns we don’t like, don’t expect, can’t understand, wish were different, long to change but can’t. Someone else’s vision will never exactly match yours, just as life will take turns that will shake you to your core.

You can dislike the art someone makes. If every single person liked a certain art piece I would have to think something was terribly wrong with it. Pleasing everyone should not be the goal of what we create. If you dislike the art, don’t buy it, watch it, look at it or experience it any longer. But asking the artist to change it to suit you is like asking God to make you tall, thin, young and perfect. It is failing to see what there is of value in each one of us, embracing the flaws, and knowing that the diversity in each of us (and our expressions of art) is what makes life interesting.

In art, rules are made to be broken and to each his own. If you don’t like it, move on. I am not changing it to suit you and neither will any other real artist. And those “rules” that someone tried to impose on me last week?? Well, they can take those rules and … well, you’re creative. You finish the sentence.

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Marietta is a graduate of the University of Montevallo with a BFA in musical theater. She has been performing for over 50 years on the stage and continues to perform, direct and teach. Marietta is married to Tim, has a son named Jon, and a cat named Penny.