Great art affects people in unpredictable ways, and it’s hard to know what effect it’ll have on you. So before you go see an acclaimed arthouse film with friends, it’s important to ask yourself: Is seeing this going to inspire me, or convince me to give up my creative aspirations altogether? Take this quiz to find out if you’re stable enough to consume great art or if you should maybe just sit this one out.
When you see a work of art you love, what is your first thought?
1. Wow! That’s so cool!
2. Wow! I will never, ever make something even close to that good!
How would you describe the state of your psyche?
1. Hmm, never really thought about it. Pretty stable, I guess!
2. I’d say I have imposter syndrome and a God complex simultaneously, so I’m afraid that I’ll never be good enough and convinced that I could literally do anything if I tried!
Are you involved in a creative industry?
1. Nope! I just find consuming art to be one of life’s greatest pleasures.
2. Yes. I want to churn out mountains of content but also make art that I can be proud of, art that really says something (and is also widely beloved and critically acclaimed). Is that too much to ask?
What’s your favorite song?
1. Don’t really have one. Maybe something by Bowie?
2. Mitski’s “Working for the Knife.” When she said, “I cry at the start of every movie/ I guess ‘cause I wish I was making things too,” I was like, “Damn, why didn’t I write that? Stupid, stupid, stupid!”
How do you react when you see others succeed?
1. I’m happy for them! And I understand that their success has no bearing on my own.
2. I’m happy for them, but deep down I know they have something I never will: some talent or drive that is inaccessible to me, yet for which I deeply long.
How would you describe your relationship with your parents?
1. Fine, why do you ask?
2. I was and never will be good enough for them. Why do you ask?
Mostly 1s: Great art is going to inspire you! Go ahead and watch whatever you want to watch, read whatever you want to read. Congrats on your stable mind and open heart, king.
Mostly 2s: Sorry, bud. Everyone can see that consuming great art ruins you. Maybe hold off on listening to “Working for the Knife” and try “Vienna”? Just don’t go to an art gallery or watch a Sundance film until you’re ready. Want a hug? Group hug.