My book was called THE MUSES for a long time. It always made sense to me. It was a book about muses--my idea of them. In the world of my novel, they are the mysterious spiritual beings that inspire artists. Modern day versions of the Ancient Greek Muses. In my novel, the main character (Sylvia) falls in love with her muse (Vincent). Eventually, my agent suggested the title was perhaps not the best representation of the book.
Titles are usually SUPER difficult for me. Everything I've ever written has been called WHATEVER THE TITLE IS until the last possible moment I needed a title. After some brainstorming, though, I looked to the musicians who inspired me to write the book. M83. Muse. Beach House. I landed on WE OWN THE SKY, which is also the title of an amazing M83 song.
The song itself is important in the book. It reminds me so much of the muses and Sylvia's journey. But there is a whole other meaning to it. So what does it mean to me then?
Everyone is an artist. There are the more obvious artists--musicians, writers, painters--but then there are those who aren't so obvious. Each one of us has a spark of creativity within. I believe each one of us has a spark of divinity within--a connection to God (or Spirit or the Universe or whatever word works for you). We are most like this part of ourselves when we are creative. So whether you write a book or draw a picture or sing karaoke in the shower or crochet a scarf or unwind by coloring, everyone has a way to creatively express themselves.
Art belongs to all of us--the creation of it and the experience of it. It belongs to all of us, but it also belongs to none of us.
Artists used to be on the same playing field. Sure, you had your famous poets and painters, but you also had a ton of artisans creating elaborate pottery, young people who sang and played piano to entertain their families, people who wrote poetry day in and day out. These people were not famous. Most of them did not make a living on their art. And yet, they were still artists.
Technology created the celebrity artist: the radio star, the movie star, the musicians being played on MTV. But now, technology is helping us return to a place where all artists are on the same playing field again. Anyone can create books, music, photography, and anyone can share it.
Some professional artists seem to have an elitist school of thought. To them, self-published books aren't really published. Local music shows aren't real shows. Community theatre isn't real theatre. You're not a real artist until you can quit your day job, until you are winning awards, until you're on TV.
This is wrong. Art belongs to everyone. Creative expression is for all of us. We are all creative beings, all children of God.
You look at the sky. You see all of the stars. You wonder how the universe could be so vast, and you feel small. And you are small. You are a spec, a dot in the universe. And yet, you are the universe. Matter cannot be created or destroyed, only changed. We are the stars in the sky, and at the same time, we own the sky.
So what does we own the sky mean? The vast and expansive sky represents the mystical force that is art and creation. So art belongs to everyone and no one.
We own the sky.