Why Art is more Than a Paycheck and How it Can Make You Happier
Growing up my kids went through a myriad of interests from pottery to creating beats for songs and everything in between. Each time they expressed an interest in a new form of art, I did all could to support it. Painting tutorials? Check. Hundreds of dollars for keyboards, computers, and music composing software? Check. Filling out that America’s Got Talent application? Check.
I have a shelf full of handmade knick-knacks and a ton of recordings of their musical experiments. I have a bin full of paintings and drawings. I look at these things, and I feel such a sense of pride and love.
I have taught them the tools they will need to be successful adults, but throughout this process I have offered them one very important piece of advice.
It begs the question though, WHY is art so important?
Art is an inescapable part of everyday life. We may not even realize the extent to which we experience it. There are the obvious mediums such as books, movies, TV, and art museums. And then, there is the more subtle context. The cover of that book you loved was another person’s artistic vision. The lyrics to your current favorite song, those were possibly written by the singer, but more likely they were someone else’s creative endeavor. Advertising and marketing is ripe with artistry. Uncle Jim who plays the guitar at family get togethers? The scary stories cousin Sue tells at bonfires? That mind blowing seven tier cake at your neighbor’s sister’s boss’s wedding? Art, art, art.
We live and breathe art on a receptive basis. And some of us, live and breathe it. Period. And here are five stellar reasons why:
Art is Our Connection to Humanity
Art is a universal language. Well, books are in specific languages, Amanda SmartyPants. Yes,they are but they can be translated (and are, often) and the STORIES are still the stories. The idea, the plot, the characters live on a realm beyond language. Music is more fluid, we don’t really NEED to understand all the words to feel the emotion that flows from the singer and the melody. When I am especially moody I like to fall into a musical Youtube rabbit hole. One of my favorite pieces is a song in a form call joik. And the other is a Russian Lullaby.
Music, books, paintings and all other art forms create an emotional connection between the artist and the voyeur. They allow us to FEEL an array of emotions and to apply those emotions to the artist or the art. This connection is understood across the board.
2. The World is a Canvas
Without art can you imagine how boring the world would be? There are people—beautiful awe inspiring people—in this world who are simply walking art. Everything about them says, “I am different, I am creative, I am here.” And there are plenty of people who don’t stand out by art still contributing mind blowing art to us every day. Without that, we would be stuck in a rote life of sameness. This little video gives us a lighthearted look at how that might play out.
3. Art Inspires Art
There is a beautiful cycle of creation among artists. A musician sees a painting that inspires them to write a song, a singer picks up those lyrics and belts them out. Then a writer hears those words and is inspired to flesh out that story, and it becomes a book. A screenwriter takes that book and turns it into a movie. That movie inspires a soundtrack. It’s a colorful, creative merry-go-round.
4. Art Makes One Immortal (Not literally, of course)
For many artists, their work will carry their name into future generations. Even if we don’t top any best seller lists, win a shiny award, or build a multi-million dollar empire on our art, we know there is a chance someday that someone will come across our art. Because we put it out there. We did the thing.
When you create something and put it out into the world, you are putting a piece of yourself out there. And it will live and grow and take on a life of its own.
5. Art Raises Social Awareness and Bridges Difficult Conversations
In September OWS released a poetry anthology, Ambrosia. We were honored to team up with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention to help raise awareness and raise funds for their organization.
An article published by Art Sheep shows an array of ad campaigns that were created to help raise awareness for social issues. These images, while creatively constructed, are poignant and raw. They depict difficult topics such as child abuse, animal abuse, and victims of war.
You Make Some Good Points, but I Still Want My Kid to be a Doctor
Hey, I get it. Art as a career may not be for everyone. I just feel like it is an important part of not just our world, but individual people. Art as a career, art as a side job, art as a hobby. In whatever context we can feasibly have it, we NEED art. Platforms like Youtube, CreateSpace, and Etsy (just to name a small few) prove there is a never ending market for art of all kinds.
There was a time when art was the high marker of society. The term “patron of the arts” comes from a yesteryear where artists were revered and supported by the wealthy. As it tends to happen, we are seeing the tides turn in society again with the appeal and appreciation for art rising and gaining new mediums every day.
If you would like to see an example of art in action as a career you can check out my Patreon platform where I share short stories and poetry on a regular basis. While you’re there, feel free to join my fantastic group of loyal Patrons for as little as $1/month.
Until next time, scribe happy and stay sassy,
A.L. Mabry is a multi-genre author and poet, as well as the Marketing Director for OWS. When she is not building amazing marketing plans for authors she is busy wrapping up her own stories and poems to share across her platforms which include this site, Youtube, her new podcast, and Patreon. If you like to keep up with all her exciting projects you can join her Facebook Street Team or follow her on Twitter.