This is the question that often comes to my mind… why do we engage in art?
What makes you want to write or paint or design? Is it because you took to the pen or brush when you were a kid? Did you see or read something that moved you so much that you decided to replicate that emotion? Why did you not just let it go as a passing thought? Or is it just something that came to you as a gift of your genetics?
I am not talking science here. The science of art is neither my area of interest nor my cup of tea. What I am more interested now is how art makes you the person that you are – when you create something or when you’re looking at something.
I want to know how art starts to speak to you… how it translates in your mind… how and what you interpret it to be… how it works when words fail… how it helps you express… and how it has been a language even before the most rudimentary languages were formed. As it is rightly said,
“A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words”
But let me frame it for you a little differently. Do we engage in art because we can’t use other mediums to express? Or is it because we simply lack the ability to express better in any other medium?
There are a multitude of emotions that an artist goes through when creating a painting or a sculpture. The joy of seeing ones vision translate with hands, the despair of a wrong brush stroke, the anxiety of using a new color, the doubt of whether his/her art will be perceived in the way it is intended, etc.
Art Is Artist Personified.
To create something is to show a bit of your soul. Where it’s not your brain but your heart that does the talking. Where your deep seated sub conscious comes to life. It is a way of connecting with your inner self. And more often than not, we remain surprised with what we see.
Sometimes we know what we want to create and we begin with it. But more often than not, the outcome ends up being something that we couldn’t have thought of. And there are the other times when we start with nothing on our minds but end up in a place which we’re not only surprised but proud of ourselves.
Each painting has its own way of evolving…When the painting is finished, the subject reveals itself.-William Baziotes
It is true that once your art is complete, no matter how much you love it, it is outside of you. All that you held within for that artwork is right in front of your eyes. The entire emotional journey undertaken is right in front of you. A certain part of you has come onto the painting and remains there. Like a child who is born unto you, but is an individual by itself.
It’s not your painting anymore. It stopped being your painting the moment that you finished it.-Jeff Melvoin
The Body Suffers While The Soul Celebrates.
But good art takes times. Sometimes days, sometimes months and sometimes years. Sometimes you’re up at 3am on after a long day when you find that added layer of motivation and keep working until the next sunrise or even further. An artist doesn’t have specific work hours and that can be taxing, but the outcome is worth it (more often than not).
But whatever the outcome, it always boils down to one simple question. Why do you do it?
And once you figure that out, I am sure your work will start to make all the more sense.