People often complain when something they perceive as shallow becomes popular. From Fifty Shades of Grey to Call of Duty: Kill Foreigners to
Fuck You Science Fast and the Furious, haters seem to miss the point: sometimes people just want to be entertained.
To me, the best artists care firstly about their craft. Sure they may have other motives (fame, money, charity etc), but at the end of the day, they put their heart and soul into producing something amazing.
The people who consume an artist creation do not care, let alone understand the need for an artist to create and perfect. All they see is the end product. The three-minute pop song that they shake their body to or the action movie which ends with the hero saving the day and getting the girl.
Most of the time people consume media, they want escapism. They wish to switch off after a hard day at work or after they’ve received some shitty news. I know when I’m in a bad mood I’m probably gonna throw on some simple pop-punk and sing along rather than something that’s more intense and possibly interesting.
To the artists reading this, your gratification should come from performing and perfecting your craft. Whether you have an audience of one or one-million, your merit as an artist is not the number of people watching. It’s the fact you’ve put yourself out into the world with something you are hopefully proud and passionate about.
To the consumer reading this, all I ask is that you keep your mind open. Challenge yourself when it comes to media and entertainment. Watch something you wouldn’t normally watch, or listen to something new. I remember deciding to watch Her recently, a sci-fi romance. Although pretty far from my taste of crime and action movies, I found Her to be a moving, powerful film that will always stick with me.