Sartre’s existentialism would define the relationship between an artist and his/her calling, solely in terms of exercise of a choice, an artist choosing to become an artist; Freud as a defense mechanism, artist soothing the tabooed and the suppressed longings by transforming the excess of energy through artistic creations and following this explanation with nuanced theorisations to answer why only a few get to able to make this superlative choice or to express their existence through sublimation.
Ancestral or rather the folk-explanation of this phenomenon seems to be greatly influenced by the culture in which it evolves. Sometimes, the power driven collective psyche of Occidental cultures, in its various popular forms of expression/entertainment, will represent the artist as hitting upon his/her calling out of a whim and then to exert to excel in it primarily due to the competition with the other pursuers. Here, the artist is rather clumsy in the start. He/she tryingly struggles and often faces embarrassments or even episodes of humiliation. It is only after this competitive streak satisfies itself that the artist notices the subtleties of his/her calling and in a way finds his/her ego to be in union with the profession of the calling in question.
The oriental representations appear to be different. Artist meets his/her calling as if mediated by fate. The element of accident owes its presence more to the providential nudge or destiny than being just a chance event. And most crucially here the artist almost instantly is mesmerized by the calling’s artistic elements. The trials of the learning phase are breathed upon by the bliss which throbs in the artist’s heart. There is a sense of cessation of connections with the demands of practical reality and once the immersion of the artist in the calling reaches a stage of relative permanency usually then the matter of professional practice arises. Here competition is irrelevant and comes only much later and often as a result of artistic pride.
It could be said that, though the decisive factor of aptitude is present in both representations, one seems to emphasising it more than the other. It could be the result of exaltation of art forms to achievement of spiritual completeness among Orientals that the artist is shown to have become one with the calling. The enterprise like explanation for the bond between the artist and the calling is distinctive of the more terrestrial Western cultural vocabulary.
However, the artist’s undiluted commitment and the unflinching readiness for sacrifices are portrayed with the same passion in both the representations.
The final say will, of course, be of the artist.