Some of my own moments of beauty.
Art is all around you.
The world is full of beauty.
Everything has its beauty, but not everyone sees it.
They’re all correct, but what does any of that even mean. When I attended art school, I was assaulted by these and so many other overly abstract and artsy euphemisms. In the end, I walked away from art school thinking it was the most presumptuous, elitist, nest of stupidity. I left jaded and frustrated because I felt like these are all the equivalent of the “Jesus” answer in sunday school. I hated being talked down to by people who were no more or less of an artist than I was. I think this is fairly common.
All too often art is presented as this lofty and esoteric concept, especially in modern circles. The idea that not everyone will “get” your art is supposed to somehow be a good thing. That’s all fine and dandy for those folks who stayed at art school and went on to become gallery artists (a select few from what I see on Facebook).
I want to talk about REAL art. Real in the sense that you already have it. It’s already in your head and your life. It really is, all around you. The problem is you’ve been led to believe that art has certain qualifications or a particular aesthetic. The truth is that it really doesn’t. Art is found in anything that makes you stop and look. Whatever it is- that’s powerful. Especially in the world today. If something has the power to make you stop, look up from your phone, or take notice…there is art there. It’s just sitting there waiting for someone to point it out. That’s what artists do, point out things in the world that hold their attention. It’s not always successful, sometimes the lure isn’t strong enough, hence I have a thousand sketchbooks full of drawings that never amounted to anything more or were never “finished” and that’s okay too.
It’s taken me years of work to feel comfortable calling myself an artist. In some ways I simply didn’t want to be associated with all those people from art school that made me cringe every time they spoke. In some ways, I held back because I felt I wasn’t successful or well known enough to call myself an artist. I too drank the art Kool-Aid without even realizing it. Luckily, like with so many other things, age brings clarity.
I am an artist, I have always been an artist, and I will always be an artist. No matter what else I do or spend time on, internally I see art everywhere. As an adult my task is to filter through it all and focus my attention on those things that I cannot ignore. It’s not always about “saying something”, the truth is sometimes there is no interpretation needed. Everyone sees things they wish other people could see through their eyes. Some art is just about showing people something that makes them smile. In the end, you can always find true wisdom…on the internet.