Why do people still study art knowing how hard it will be to make a living? Why do they work on their short stories during the night when they have to get up early?
Because the art is great. So let’s remind ourselves why everything is always worth it in the end.
If you jump on the treadmill for an hour, then you will definitely be tired. But you will also be full of endorphins, incredibly pleased with yourself and very relaxed. At least for a while. Creating art is really not that different from a good run in that respect.
Anyone who has ever spent a few hours creating art will know that it is much more tiring than it looks, mentally and physically.
But it’s the good kind of tired, the kind after a run or an afternoon hike. Maybe your neck hurts, maybe your wrist is cramping, but your mind is having the time of its life.
The creative process, whether it’s drawing a picture, designing a fabric pattern, or writing a novel, requires a certain state of mind that’s equal parts relaxing and exhausting. It requires dedicated concentration, which cancels out everything else.
Creating something is pure, and it’s fair. No noise, no fine print, no hidden agendas.
Getting into that state, at least once in a while, is so important to your mental well-being. Especially in our modern times where we are constantly bombarded with external stimuli.
Creating something is pure, and it’s fair. No noise, no fine print, no hidden agendas. It gives you a serenity that is hard to find these days. It relaxes the mind, releases endorphins and is much cheaper than meditating in the mountains of Nepal.
Creativity is not only found in art, but is very prominent in that field. Sometimes it’s easier to think of creativity as an emotion, like love or anger, rather than an activity.
You can feel the creativity. Sometimes you can feel it all over your body. It is within you and creates an aura of light around you.
Have you ever tried to go to bed at a reasonable time despite feeling inspired to work on a project? You’re probably up most of the night still working on it in your head.
The moment inspiration strikes and you pick up that pen or put on those dancing shoes, stopping just doesn’t seem like an option, until you’ve all danced for the day, so to speak.
And because of this “need” to create, creating art, in any form, can be as powerful a motivator as love, anger, jealousy or hatred. Even more powerful, because it feeds on other emotions and uses them in a productive way.
You can’t just stop being creative overnight, just like you can’t just stop being angry. You can try to suppress it, but chances are you won’t be successful.
You can’t just stop being creative overnight, just like you can’t just stop being angry.
When you let creativity do what it wants, you get life-changing inventions, like hunting spears or airplanes, and objects of true beauty, like Haru Morita’s “Dance of the Cranes” or Sergei Polunin’s version of “Take Me to Church.”
There is practically no end to the list of secondary skills that are trained through regular participation in artistic activities, even if they are not always obvious.
Drawing and sculpting, for example, make you notice things you wouldn’t otherwise. There is no better practice for paying attention to detail than recreating what you see.
Would you have noticed that little freckle on your friends face if they hadn’t sat for your portrait or that oddly shaped old apple branch in your garden?
The more you engage in an activity, the more you begin to see everything that way, even if you’re not using it as an object. Wait a few years and Sherlock will be no match for your powers of observation.
Art is a comprehensive exercise for the brain.
And that’s just one example. There are also things like focus, hand-eye coordination, imagination, strategic thinking, dedication, persistence, I could go on. In short, art and everything related to it is a comprehensive training for the brain.
I know what you’re going to say. You shouldn’t get into art just to have something to brag about. And that’s true (and probably wouldn’t work anyway). But being a visual skill that is highly thought of is certainly a nice addition.
As the wise Marilyn Monroe said in the cinematic masterpiece “Men Prefer Blondes”: “Maybe you wouldn’t marry a girl just because she’s pretty. But my God, doesn’t that help?”
Let’s be honest. Painting, dancing and all those artistic things are a shining talent. Even when people say things like “that’s not a useful skill for the real world anyway” or “how does being able to compose a tune help you pay the rent?”, there’s always that little bit of jealousy.
Artistic ‘talent’ has always been coveted in the same way that beauty or intelligence is admired. Yes, being magnificently beautiful or smart really isn’t necessary in everyday life, but given the choice, who wouldn’t want to look like Catherine Deneuve or think like Stephen Hawking.
“Maybe you won’t marry a girl just because she’s pretty. But, my God, doesn’t that help?”
And you know what that kind of admiration is good for? Your self-esteem. Many of us feel inadequate enough in today’s society, where the Internet has increased our competition at any level by several billion.
Anything that can make us feel even a little bit better about ourselves is something to be celebrated and cherished.
Choosing a visual (or audio) art to study, as opposed to a more hidden or less obvious talent that you can’t hang on the wall or recite in front of an audience, can also be great for motivation.
Because your skill is so visible, your flaws are too. And nothing is a better incentive to become better at something than the fear of judgment from others or the desire for greater approval.
Art, in any form, requires a certain emotional intelligence. I don’t think I’ve ever met an artist who wasn’t very receptive and aware of his own thoughts and emotions.
That level of introspection, combined with the need and skill to create, naturally leads to a desire for self-expression. If you have something to say, art gives you the means to do just that. Whether it’s the world, your loved ones or yourself.
With the need and skill to create comes naturally the desire for self-expression.
Sometimes it is simply not possible to express a message in simple words. To express something powerful, you need equally powerful methods, be it paint, clay or dance.
How could Van Gogh possibly share how he saw the world without his starry night as a visual aid? How could Michelangelo explain the beauty of creation without the Sistine Chapel? How would they even get the same exposure or attention?
Do you think that the lyrics “I will always love you” would have conveyed the breakdown on paper, if not for the voice of Whitney Houston?
I dare to bet that it would take more than a thousand words and an exceptional author to express the same depth of emotion in writing.
The bottom line is, if you have something to say, art is the perfect medium for it.
Put it into words and people will either ignore you or get bored and move on. Say it through visual art and people will listen.
Doctors are said to “play god” because they can save lives. But let me tell you, medicine is nothing compared to what an artist can do on a good day. There is absolutely nothing that art cannot create. If you can imagine it, you can succeed.
True, it is not “real” in the strictest sense of the word. But anyone who’s ever taken an introductory philosophy class knows that “reality” is a fairly abstract, debatable concept, and is largely dependent on one’s own perception.
And anyone who has ever used visualization as an introspection technique, say, against stage fright or test anxiety, also knows how powerful imagination can be.
Why isn’t that dragon real? Because it doesn’t move? Because it’s made of paint, not flesh and blood? Even the plant is not made of flesh and blood, but it is still real. The paper is right, the color is right, why not a dragon?
Art uses imagination as a key to unlock a universe of possibilities. Artists can sculpt a person more beautiful than ever walked the Earth. They can make things stronger, weaker, braver, scarier, greener.
Want yellow skies and melting clocks? No problem. Vampires, fairies and unicorns? Here you go.
Artists can make a character do whatever they want. Think what you want. They can create entire worlds. Indeed, art is omnipotent.
Disadvantage: art really doesn’t like to share
As always, you cannot have good without evil, light without shadow. And for art, the shadow is definitely an addiction and interference in everyday life.
Artists are never more satisfied and alive than when they are working on a new work. That’s why they’ll chase him like a drug addict chases his next fix.
And when something gets in their way, they will try to escape. Whether you’re pushing papers in the office, cooking dinner or spending time with friends and family. Art changes your priorities. Simple.
That is why it is so difficult for an artist to work in a profession that is not related to art. Before you argue, no, being in charge of the office Christmas decorations or spring shelf arrangements is no substitute. It’s about your own message, your own art. It’s not on the same level when you work for someone else.
Art excludes, like love, all competition and consumes the whole person.
So they will finish the day, go home and start creating again. And forget about sending your meter reading or buying your friend a birthday present.
The message, whatever it is, has to get out. Whether it’s a story that needs to be told, a political statement or simply capturing something beautiful. Like an itch that needs scratching.
Artists can be one of two things. Creative or unhappy. That’s why they risk everything, take everything, just to be able to continue. Ask the bohemians. Canvas beats bread.
Source: Sito&Rešeto by www.sitoireseto.com.
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