Why do you create art?

“Why do you create art?” Ah, an age-old pondering. It’s a simple question that perhaps we write down and explain in order to fund our work or to get into a school. But perhaps that in those circumstances we tend to answer this question the way in which we wish our reader to react to what we are writing. In other words – we tell them what they want to hear. But is this right? Is it a form of personal silencing? If you do not realize that you are answering for the reader and not for the writer, are you actually changing your opinion for someone else?

Alas that is perhaps too philosophical for the question at hand. Why do you create art? Is it for personal, financial, or even successful reasons? Do your reasons vary with the weather, your mood, or even the result of the Mayan Apocalypse? “Greater Good”, affiliated with the University of California, Berkeley, asked this question of a few artists and their answers are quite varied.
To read the full article, click here…
For me, I tend to feel like making art is something I need to do in order to feel alive. I like to tell stories; to share what goes on in my head that is too extravagant or exaggerated to actually happen in the real life world. If I spend too much time sitting with these images in my head, I fear that is all they will ever be, and I have no wish to be alone with these ideas forever. What a lonely existence that would be!

Back in September of 2006, I discovered that many people in my same mindset were sharing their thoughts, images and feelings with the world through online communities. I started my own DeviantArt, and found that it did not matter who was looking at my art. I just wanted to share it. If people felt compelled to comment, favorite, or even start talking about my work, it would be mere flattery. Of course it takes a while for people to notice your work, especially if you are fresh out of a high school that did not particularly promote the arts in any significant fashion. My work back then was, let’s say amateur at best. It was a compilation of techniques I had read about in books and the result of a relatively uneventful social life. I had not gone anywhere. I had not studied the masters. I was relatively closed in my exposure to the world, much less so the art world. As far as the writings that I have done, I was known in my circle of people as someone who did not enjoy reading.
Perhaps what I am saying is that making the art and going through the process is equally as important as making sure that I am putting my work out there. How are we ever supposed to know if the message is getting across if nobody ever tells us such? Sure, I believe that every artist wishes for their work to strike a cord in the hearts of the masses. I too suffer from that kind of hypocritical selfishness. But I digress. Alas it is not the reason why I create art.

There is a voice. Do you hear it? Of course you don’t hear it. I know it’s in my head. I am aware of the craziness that this makes me sound, but I hear it. Sometimes I see what she says; sometimes it is a mere feeling, something striking my bones instead of my well-thought mind. The Greeks simply called it a “Muse”, but they did not have one for pictures. Yes, I do believe that there is the voice of a muse that speaks to me, silently urging me to continue to create art. She does this because she knows my inner thoughts and sees that I will go crazy if I do not let them out of my head.

In that sense, one could say that I am merely the vessel with which the images come to life, and the words string together into something meaningful. Yes, that would also be accurate. “Art for art’s sake,” as they say, and I will raise my pen again to continue the path my muse has set me upon.

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