I can’t imagine that many artist have not at sometime asked themselves why make art? It sure is something that has wandered through my mind many times. What is the purpose to this thing I do? Sure, it can bring an income in some varying ways. I find this question comes up particularly in times of creating pieces that are just plain and simply there to be viewed. No real function in a physical way; not in any sense to be used for some advertising campaign to sell goods and or service. Art for art it’s self I suppose is the sort of stuff I am speaking of here.
As I paint today I am even more contemplative on this. I know for myself when I am making art I do my best to listen to my gut and it is in a very large sense a soul searching process. It’s an exploration of self and how to put self and beyond on paper I often have this sense that it is my way to explore the world around me inside and out and sort it out. But why? I can’t think it is just for me and me alone. I sure do get a lot out of it and find it helps me grow as a person. But just for me? What purpose does it give to the world and those around me? I can’t help but feel that anything worth doing brings something to those around us. I certainly do not revel in anyway the idea of making art in a closed up room and just be in there with what I made and nobody ever sees it. I don’t think I would even feel like making art if that was the case. In the very least I’d want someone to see it. There is no doubt that every time I make a piece of art I am driven to run out to someone; be it a friend or my wife and say “Hey Look!”
I think back to times when I would be making art but had little outlet for others to see it except close friends and family. They would on occasion see my work and comment “O that is really nice”, or “wow your talented”. This is all good and fine in it’s self but truthfully I didn’t make so much art during those times. It was after finding an outlet where a broader scope of people would view my work that I found something in it all. It indeed drove me to create even more art as the work got to be seen by more and more people. In the social part of that is where perhaps someone would say how the piece made them feel. At times when some one would remark on how some piece reminded them of something in there lives. At times someone may say it seems you where feeling or thinking this or that when you did this. It dawns on me that is why I want to paint and is the purpose. It’s this communication between my fellow humans. Somehow art reaches out and it creates a sharing a path between people and each others thoughts and feelings.
We are social and we do much better when connected to others. Art, Music, Literature all of that brings to our world a means of connection. As an artist there is nothing more inspiring than when I realize that something I made touched another person. In that moment we connected with each other in what can be a very deep and profound way. Perhaps this sharing is also a way for each of us to gain understand of others. I hope that this understanding is then carried out to the world in a broader sense. If this in the tiniest way helps people be more understanding of others in there lives then that art piece has served a very good purpose.