Artists and retirement

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Artists must be really bad at knowing themselves. It seems like every few months there’s an artist who announces they’re going to retire from music or film after a project, and they come back not that long afterwards. Guess they couldn’t keep away. It’s something I don’t fully understand. How can they do this often enough for it to be noticed by us but clearly not often enough for them to know they’re falling in the same trap as their peers? They can’t all be publicity stunts.

The same drive that got them in that position is the same thing pulling them back in after they claim retirement.

I’m assuming it’s a gradual realization. They probably start by feeling oversaturated with their work, feel the need to take a break (forever). And then, out of the blue in their newfound relaxed lifestyle, it dawns on them. They have to make more music. They have to make another film. They feel the pressure to go back and cave to it.

I’m admittedly in a self made bubble and need to branch out to more fields of art to really notice more examples of this. Jay-Z and Hayao Miyazaki have been known to do it several times over. Logic says his next album will be his last because he and his wife want to settle down and have kids. But do any of us actually expect that from the artist? For them to smoothly detach themselves from something that gave many of them purpose?

Let’s take it to a more ludicrous comparison: do we look upon dedicated artists similar to how we look at people with addiction issues, perhaps seeing it as more complex than simply stopping what they started?

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