In my boredom, I have been reading through some of my old books and came across a passage in a book called, Great Lives, Great Deeds regarding Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
"In Mozart's time people found some of his music 'too modern, too advanced.' And to our ears a Mozart piece, heard for the first time, sounds as though you had known and loved it all your life. The reason is that Mozart profoundly influenced the music that came after him. Beethoven studied him constantly, and Haydn paid his young friend the sincere flattery of imitation. Chopin was deeply imbued with Mozart's spirit and said at his death, 'Play Mozart in memory of me.' Even the proud Wagner bowed his head to him. You can trace much of the gay spirit of Strauss waltzes, much of the music of Schubert's great songs back to the pure fountainhead of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart."
Upon reading the rest of the article, I realized that too often people have dismissed Mozart's music as dainty, knowing only the minuets and little sonatas taught to children; but you cannot hear his music to the end without discovering his depth. If only more people realized that through a life of pain, injustice, sickness, and poverty, Mozart never allowed himself to let those negative emotions into his art. Instead, he imbued a happiness and gaiety in his work more and more fervently the worse his life became, and trudged on with an ever increasing courage. There is a lesson that can be learned here by anyone that pursues a career in the arts. Whether it is music, painting, sculpture, graphic design, or what have you, regardless of how rough it gets on the road to fame and fortune, never allow yourself to give up.
"Press on... nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not: nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not: unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not: the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent." — Calvin Coolidge
It is only through adversity that one can completely realize the full potential instilled within themselves, but only if they are willing to push through it. Quitting proves nothing of your ability, only your lack of devotion to your craft. Even Wagner was willing to accept that Mozart was a better composer than he was, but that didn’t stop him from composing his music. Don’t allow yourself to give up your passion because you feel someone else is better than you. Instead use it as fuel to further your training and light a fire under your ass to keep moving. So to my fellow artists out there in the face of adversity, whatever form it may take, I offer two final quotes.
“The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all art and science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead; his eyes are closed.” — Einstein
“Let no man presume to give advice to others that has not first given good counsel to himself.” — Seneca