“In order correctly to define art, it is necessary, first of all, to cease to consider it as a means to pleasure and to consider it as one of the conditions of human life. Viewing it in this way we cannot fail to observe that art is one of the means of intercourse between man and man.” Leo Tolstoy
Over the last couple days I had more discussions about art than I have in some time. Over breakfast this morning the ultimate question came up. What is art? After a lifetime of creating in one form or another, and eight years of study, you would think I had a ready answer but I don’t. I suppose that’s something to dwell on another day.
And what makes somebody and artist? I think you are an artist if creating is necessary for your well-being. You literally need it to survive. It feeds your soul and you can’t be who you are without it. It doesn’t make you a good artist but that’s subjective anyway.
I constantly struggle with the thought that my art isn’t good. I don’t know enough or my technique sucks. I always see things and wonder why I can’t do that myself. I know I need to create just to create, to please myself. But really I use it to say what I can’t say, a window into my soul so to speak, and it shouldn’t be to make others happy. At the same time to create something ‘for’ somebody is one of the great joys of art. I want others to enjoy what I do and I want to feel proud of it.
I create because there is something inside me that needs to get out. A desire to express what I feel so others can feel it too. It’s a form of therapy and meditation I suppose.
It’s a pure joy.