Marjane Satrapi on Artistic Freedom, Fame & Finishing No Matter What

Via The 99 Percent blog, this interview with graphic novelist/filmmaker Marjane Satrapi (go see Persepolis, damn youse).

On being called a “rebel”:

I just don’t understand why I should do what people tell me to do. The majority is always wrong. I mean if the majority was right, then we would live in a better world. But the world is not good, which means that the majority is always, always wrong. So you always have your personal way of thinking, and you just cannot let it go. There are things that I believe in and nothing in this world would make me change my mind.

On what defines a creative person:

I think if somebody has to make an artistic work, he will finish it no matter what. It has nothing to do with the money, with the time. I was sure that I was not made for artistic work, and I tried to make another kind of work. I was supporting myself, you know, making all sorts of shit work that everybody else does. And I got completely depressed. I had to take pills, and I was really not well. So it wasn’t that I decided [to be an artist]; I just didn’t have any other way out. It was that or I would be in the mental hospital. It was as easy as that. If you have to do something then you do it. People say, “I want to make this movie but I don’t have real connections.” You don’t need to have real connections. If you really have to do it, then you will finish it, I’m sure of that.

I can tell you that’s exactly how and why I finished my novel. (My third novel, son! Kanye voice: Ayy, ayy, ayy…) But the part about “making another kind of work” also applies. I wonder if I’m trying to build two careers instead of throwing everything into just one. Anyway, I’ll leave with these words from the interview:

Life is too short and we cannot spoil it. I don’t have 300 years in front of me. So I just do the things that I really want to do at the moment because that’s the only way you will do them well. If you don’t believe in yourself, it won’t work. Because creation, you know, it means that you don’t have any salary, you don’t have any retirement, all of that. So if you don’t have the security, at least have the freedom. I go for the freedom.