Advice From My Art Professors

by Edie Meade

CW: self-harm

To be an artist you must suffer: suffer poor weather, move to Moosejaw, Saskatchewan move to Maine move to a miserable place keep moving. Stay in Appalachia as the house falls down around you and make art about that. Document the struggle to stay, document the struggle to not struggle. The easiest thing in the world is to stay so still you vibrate in place; that is the only movement that matters. You say you want to be an artist? I suggest you not marry happily, not marry at all, marry a lawyer, a doctor, a financier; I suggest you settle down, I suggest you settle. Art needs to suffer but it also needs luxury. To be an artist is to be conflicted: cut your hair then tie it back, cut your arms then wear long sleeves, cut your ties then pine for them all your life.

Edie Meade is a writer, artist, and mother of four in Huntington, West Virginia. Recent work can be found in Atlas & Alice; Feral; Still: The Journal; New Flash Fiction Review, and elsewhere. Say hi on Twitter @ediemeade or


Photography by: Laura Adai