On Art

Art is the expression or application of human creativity, skill, and imagination. Art is used to impact people.

Seth Godin, infamously preaches the idea that art is not art, unless it is shared. If it is not shared, then it cannot impact anyone (check out Seth Godin’s blog for daily wisdom at : http://sethgodin.typepad.com/).

Here are some common types:

Painting, singing, playing an instrument, writing, drawing, cooking, baking, movement, photography, dancing, poetry, and or woodworking (and many more).

Most of the population wouldn’t consider themselves an artist. But, the truth is you are.

Ask yourself this…

  1. Have you ever created something that has had an impact on someone else?

Congratulations, you are an artist.

Art should be prioritized during your daily practice. Art, like sport, is a tool that teaches. This argument is built on the notion that art is inherently positive because it requires creativity, internal reflection, and courage. By building art, you will strengthen these characteristics, and be better for it. 

Creativity stems from the need for inventiveness and unconventional thinking. Art requires you to build something that may at some point help someone else. In order to change somebody, you have to make something that is different. An automotive factory line does not build art, it uses mechanical efficiency to produce replicable parts, which will contribute to a reliable car. Now, in defense of your Prius, your car did not come off the factory line to change anyone. To make art, we must get creative, we must provide something to the world that is through our own unique lens.

Art requires reflection. Reflection requires being proactive. In order to build something that helps someone, you will likely need to turn down the noise of everyday life. This noise includes gossip, the news of the day, social media, and ‘urgent’ non-important issues. In order to be able to tune into this internal dialogue essential for building art, we must engage in reflection. There is something very proactive about looking inward, introspectively to create art. In contrast, when dealing with ‘everyday noise’ we put ourselves in a reactive position.

Art requires courage. Sharing your art with the world is difficult. In many cases it makes you feel exposed and vulnerable. The fear of ‘what will other people think?’ or ‘what if other people think what I am doing is stupid?’. These irrational fears are enough to make people not share their work. Sharing your work will push you out of your comfort zone. I once heard a friend say something to the effect of, “the largest concentration of brilliant ideas can be found in grave yards”. This is because people don’t share their ideas. If an idea has been taken to the grave, it cannot help anyone. The fear of rejection is too strong. The fear of the unknown is enough to make people hoard their ideas, and not share their art. This is tragic.

James Altucher  ( http://www.jamesaltucher.com/ ) a popular author, once went on to explain the rule of 1/3’s. This notion describes the fact that generally 1/3 of people will love you, 1/3 of won’t care about you, and 1/3 of people will hate you and the work you produce. It’s a great way to keep things in perspective. Whenever someone expresses that they like what you are doing, just remember that represents only 1/3 of the population. There is another 2/3 of the population that don’t care at all, or dislike what you are doing. This is the natural balance of the world we live in.

There is nothing else like art.

Below are some characteristics of art, which are important to keep in mind when the voice in your head tells you that you are not capable…

  1. There is no right answer…

  2. Art that is worthless to one person may be life altering to another…

  3. If you are truly creating your own original art you are creating something in a pin pick of time that can never be recreated again. Don’t over think it, just do something you enjoy.

  4. Art can have a formidable impact across multiple generations.

“When in doubt, make good art”
Neil Gaiman