They say writers either “publish or perish.” Being vulnerable is risky business when you stray from the herd. They really did burn witches (male and female) in the public square for breaking from mainstream orthodoxy. It was an accepted, even dignified, social norm to own slaves in most societies at a time. History is rife with violent reactions to human activity that strayed from the norm—even recent history. Women and minorities voting? Homosexuality and interracial marriage being un-natural and criminal?
This post is not intended to be about politics or religion (these are just examples most people have acquaintance with); this post is about pioneering self expression. It’s about the “going boldly where no man has gone before” spirit that is at the heart of adventure. Specifically around artistic expression and venturing into new realms, which to my way of thinking are the only realms artists belong. That “blank canvas” you hear about—BTW, I say the canvas is always blank. It’s about the dangers and rewards that lay therein.
A prime artistic example of breaking new ground in self-expression is Picasso’s, Les Demoiselles d’Avignon. It was painted in 1907 and was nothing short of scandalous.