With the world situation going on, I’ve found myself thinking a lot about the importance of art in society. Why do people create art? What makes a creator different from a consumer?
Cover photo by Manyu Varma on Unsplash
Knowing myself, several creative friends, and artists I’m inspired by, I feel like we are people who simply must create. Be it writing, fine arts, music, fashion, or any form of self expression…I feel like we are all born with a little spark that urges us to make things.
It starts as early as our first childhood drawings, the first time we play pretend, the first time we sing and dance. Artists are the people who nurture and grow that spark. For some of us, that spark becomes a fire that can’t be put out.
Telling an artistic soul to not create is the same as telling them not to breathe. It’s something we absolutely must do.
I always found art history a fascinating subject. I’m that person who will read just about every single information panel at museums. It’s intriguing to learn how the lives of artists are reflected in their work.
Lord of the Flies was written by an author who lived during the horrors of the world wars. He wanted to ask the question ‘is mankind inherently evil?’ That question has followed me ever since that book was part of my curriculum .
One of my favorite novels, Lullabies for Little Criminals, was inspired by events of the author’s tumultuous teenage years.
Lately, I’ve been learning tidbits about the great authors of Japanese Literature and how they interacted with each other.
It’s easy to put great artists on a pedestal and look up to them, but if we learn about their lives, it’s clear that they were very much human. There’s the age-old trope of tortured genius artist whose life ended tragically. There’s also the belief that you need to be troubled to be an ‘good’ artist. I feel like some artists are people who feel emotions so intensely that they can’t express it any other way.
The wonderful thing about art and creation is that we are free to our own interpretations. There is no right or wrong way to create art. I’m willing to bet that most of you reading this post are bloggers and creative yourselves. So, why do you create?
To me, the purpose of art is to be understood. I was in elementary school when I read Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes. Back then, the concept of death was an abstract thought to me, but I wondered that if I was told I was dying, what would I do? My answer was to write a novel. I’d write a story to leave behind so people could read it and think “so this is what she believed in. This is how she saw the world.” It wouldn’t matter to me how successful that story is or how many people read it. I believe that if I could truly touch just a handful of people, my art would have served its purpose.
Anyways, thank you for humoring my ramblings! If you have any thoughts about the meaning of art, chat with me in the comments.
You can also find me on my personal blog.