Thinking of Rules as Tools
Rules are hard. Nobody likes them. When someone tells you a rule, whether it be a parent or teacher, the most natural reaction is to not abide by it.
As a kid, playing music was my therapy. I just wanted to play. I had no will to even try and understand music theory or any of the rules that came along with it. I assumed, like many young musicians, that "rules are meant to be broken" .
This of course is true only after you know the rules.
It took me many years to have the discipline to sit and properly study music theory (harmony, music, technique). Following a long period of hard work I came to the realization that studying music theory (rules) had expanded my palate of musical tools and as a result my ability to be more versatile, articulate, dynamic and expressive than I'd been.
A deeper and more complex understanding of the intricacies of any creative field, allows an artist to create multi- leveled meaningful work. Work that transcends his own artistic ego and opens up his art to a variety of people who can connect to it on different levels.
Whether its therapeutic music, inspiring visual art or eye opening photography, a professional artist knows how to bring people along for the artistic journey so that they too can be transformed.