Creative jobs — acting, writing, making music or films, etc — are often seen by their fans as some kind of Utopian ideal; you’re creating art, using your imagination, and are apparently freed from the nine-to-five wage slave grind. Writers, actors, voice actors and artists seem to have an edge over the rest of us; they’re doing something they enjoy, something really creative, something that makes people happy. How could you not enjoy a job like that?
Oh, it’s possible. Fact is, creative jobs remain just that: jobs. And while they can be fun and interesting, like any job they can also be draining; factor in deadlines, editing, Executive Meddling, rejection letters, failed auditions, tedious PR drives and, of course, the dreaded Fan Dumb, and it’s apparent that there are things that can make what may have been a dream job seem more like a nightmare. Whilst many artists cope admirably with all of this, others can suffer and become quite disillusioned.
Sometimes this can result in an Artist Disillusionment Farewell, where the character publicly ends his career - often with a heavy dose of Take That, Audience!.
Sometimes, however, it’s only temporary — the artist might simply be having a bad day. Sometimes they might just be a bit shaken by their circumstances and surroundings; whilst some thrive in the limelight, others — particularly more behind-the-scenes figures such as writers and directors — may find being faced with crowds of fans and interviewers unsettling and nerve-wracking, which can make their mood sharper than it otherwise would be. In either case, meet them when they’re in a better mood or in more comfortable circumstances, they’re fine.
True Artist Disillusionment is when the artist just isn’t having any fun at all any more and is making no secret of that fact. They’ve given up being a Slave to PR, and as such are rude and dismissive in public appearances and interviews, snap the head off fans who manage to fray their one remaining nerve, and generally come across as a grouchy, impatient jackass. Their work may even begin to suffer. They just don’t care anymore. And this lack of caring tends to express itself through insults towards their audience and fans.