On Saturday, I went to my friend Adam’s art opening. His paintings were amazing, of course. And it’s always fun to go to see them hanging in a gallery, looking really official and arty, while hipster art students and awkward, nerdy art bloggers mill around, try to get a word or a photo with the artist, gush over his work.
I have a lot of writer friends, but just this one artist friend (I have other artist friends who are Adam’s friends that I met through him, and an artist mom). I love doing work at his art studio, watching him paint, feeling like a real artsy-artist surrounded by canvases and brushes and easels and globs of oil paint.
Sometimes we argue about what is harder, being a writer or a painter. Obviously writing is harder, more grueling and less rewarding due to the following reasons that I have kindly listed below.
- A painting never requires you to to go research the history of, say, nineteenth century Russian prisons.
- Painters don’t have to invent imaginary yet realistic people in their minds.
- A painting takes about a week to paint. Maybe a small, simple painting takes a day. A complex painting might take month. Writing a novel takes years, unless you’re Stephen King, in which case, a) you write a book in six months, then take a break for six weeks during which time you write a fucking novella, b) fuck you anyway and c) thanks for writing Carrie and that awesome book about writing.
- When Adam is done with a painting, he takes a photograph and posts it on Instagram. Four hundred people click “like” in fifteen minutes.
- It doesn’t take three weeks to look at a painting. Your friends don’t have to carry it around with them to enjoy it.
- You can paint and listen to NPR at the same time.
- No attractive hipsters ever come to your writing opening.
Here are a few reasons painting is harder, though:
- You can’t do it in a coffee shop.
- You have to buy paint and stuff.
- If you paint a portrait, the person’s two eyes have to look the same.
- If there are bricks, you have to paint all the bricks.
I am pretty sure that is all the reasons. Clearly, writing is harder. That’s okay. Art isn’t a contest of who does the most work. If it was a contest, though, writing would win. Also I would like to point out that I am not jealous of all those Instagram likes, not at all.