This article is by Keith Bond, Regular contributing writer for FineArtViews. You should submit an article and share your views as a guest author by clicking here.
From time to time I think it is a good thing to ponder about what art means to you. Below is a list of deep questions you may wish to ask yourself. I ask myself these things often. They are things you can think about while you mix color or chip away at stone. The list is in no particular order. There is no right or wrong answer. And you won’t be graded.
- What is art?
- Does art have a purpose?
- Should art be used to influence political, religious, social, environmental views, etc.?
- Should art be used to express beauty and the ugly and painful side of life?
- Does your art contribute to society? Should it?
- Richard Schmid once posed the question: “Is our function simply to achieve excellence, the way nature does – without the need for justification or explanation?”
- Why do you create art? Is it for money? Is it for fame? Is it to fulfill that inner calling? Is it to change the world?
- Why don’t you create? Is it for money? Fear? Time?
- If you had all the time in the world and unlimited financial means – would you create the same art you create today? Or would you create something different?
- Are you afraid of certain subjects, styles, media?
- What does it mean to create art for art’s sake?
- What does success mean to you?
- What are you willing to do (or not do) to become an artist?
- Were you born an artist or made an artist?
- Do you think you are a “real” artist?
- What is a “real” artist?
- What prompted you to take up art in the first place?
- Do you think you see the world differently than non-artists?
- Do you intend for others to “see” and “feel” what you “see” and “feel” in your art? In other words, do you want others to get what you are saying with your art?
- Do you have anything to say with your art?
- Do you feel the need to shout?
- Are you being true to yourself with your art?
- Are you following the crowd or the money?
- Is being an artist a stewardship? Are you the caretaker of what you know or do you own it? Should you share your knowledge or hoard it?
- Do you have a responsibility to share your art with the world?
- Or is your art for your eyes only?
- Will the world miss not having your art?
- Will your art make the world a better place?
- Are your artistic abilities a gift? Or something you earned?
- Do you think your ideas are valid?
- Is the end result more important than the process? Or the process? Or are they equal?
- Is art a means of reflection?
- Is art a means of exploration?
- Is art a means of communication?
- Is art a means of veneration?
- Do you create to understand or do you express what you have already learned? Or is it some combination of both?
- What does it mean to be original or unique (referring to art)?
- Are you better today than when you first started?
- Do you use your talent wisely?
In addition to being soul searching questions that will enlighten you and hopefully your art as well, these questions can also provide a springboard for blog topics. Ponder these things from time to time. And write down your philosophies about art. Revisit the same questions occasionally. You may find your views evolving along with your art.
Have fun and enjoy art.
PS. There are many more deep questions we could ponder. What are some of yours?