What is art ?

A couple of months ago I wrote a reflective article on “Who is an artist?“. The question is still in the back of my mind, just as the question “What is art?”. In the previous article I concluded that the professional artist is the one who shows up everyday and gets to work. The amateur in the other hand, does art only when he or she feels like it. I tried to apply this same logic to what art is, but realised that it isn’t as simple as that.

Art can open your eyes to the world 

A few weeks ago, I referred to the talk by Isaac Lindsky “What is the reality that you create for yourself”, which teaches you how to live your life with your eyes wide open. The writing process made me think of art. Art, both in its creation process and final product can help you open your eyes to the world around you. Whatever form an art-piece takes, it still tells you a story that reflects thoughts in the creator’s mind. Lindsky recognised that we create our own realities in our minds. Hence an art-piece makes someone’s reality accessible to all.

As Charles and I dived into more documentaries and talks concerning the topic of art, it struck me how many of them that conform to different stereotypes that exist about artists. For example, the idea that artists comes from “troubled” backgrounds, where art becomes a mean to deal with their experiences. I am a strong believer in art-therapy and that art can serve as a fantastic tool to deal with whatever you are going through in life. However, I also think that art isn’t only made for or by the troubled. In other words, to produce great art is not equivalent to a necessity of complications in life.

“Up in the clouds”

Another idea presented is that of artists being “up in the clouds”. Yes, most creators have a lively fantasy and can easily space out. But to have imagination and creativity does by no means mean that you are detached from reality. You can be a creator and still have both feet on the ground.

I am approaching the end of my Bachelor’s degree in Politics Philosophy and Economics and many new acquaintances are surprised that I don’t aim to pursue a career within any of the three disciplines. However, I think I am doing it already. To be able to create art and your own business you must have knowledge beyond the required practical skills. As aforementioned, art plays a major role in reflecting how the world looks and what is valued at a certain time in history.

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