Another great quote, this one from David Foster Wallace in a letter to Harper’s Magazine in 1996:
Good art is a kind of magic. It does magical things for both artist and audience. We can have long polysyllabic arguments about how to describe the way this magic works, but the plain fact is that good art is magical and precious and cool. It’s hard to try and make good art, and it seems to me wholly reasonable that good artists should be concerned with their work’s cultural reception.
I would add that it can also be very hard to convey the challenges of making good art to someone who doesn’t do it regularly.