So often I end up in a conversation with an artist about if their Art matters. I know it does but often they don’t know that or they have lost perspective of just how much it matters. We then sometimes end up in a very circular conversation that appears like I am listening to the external reflection of an internal debate they are going through where they are looking for a way to convince themselves that it does but they don’t really believe it.
At some point (maybe even now) you may have gotten stopped or blocked or slowed down in your creative journey. Your creative juices may have taken a dive. If you dig some below the surface you may find the question about your art mattering lurking in the background. It is a really tricky place to navigate in the life of an artist when this shows up.
What makes it matter? Who says it matters or doesn’t matter? Who are they to even have a say? What about the people who do say it matter? Do they matter? Is there even anyone else outside of you that is doing the voting or is it just the rumblings of your own critic having a party with you?
The thing that is so tricky about it is that it really may not be, at that point in time, a question about if your work matters … instead it might be it a much deeper thing that is getting in the way. You can test this out by asking a very different question and seeing what comes up for you: Do I matter?
Now if you can truly answer YES, then perhaps it is not a question of “Does my Art Matter?” but simply time to make sure you create Art that matters to You. If you really know that you matter and you make Art that matters to you then we are done here … Your Art Matters!
If you find any hint of a NO in your answer then it is time for you to work on knowing YOU matter because there is simply no way that you can create things that you think matter if you do not feel YOU matter.
How do you do that? Whew … that is a deeper subject than I can do justice to in this post BUT simply consider that only you could have decided that you don’t matter to any degree and you can just as easily decide, at any time that You do matter. It may take some work and practice to get there but choosing to matter is the first step.
I know YOU matter … I know YOUR ART matters …
What about you … Does your Art Matter?
Feel free to share with me any thoughts you have or experiences you may have had – I always love hearing from you!
Please excuse my mistakes, english is not my mother language.
Even if you are sure about you and your art, true Art uses to walk by the limits of your capacity, your spirit and the influences of your world and time. For normal citicens it´s very difficult to follow the unsure steps of any creator at it´s limits, and even for experts… History show us clearly that the creators of our actual Art references most of the time died unknown or pennyless. People use to arrive to those “on the limit” creations may be 50 or more years later.
If you create you want to have success, of course, and you want your creation to be known and useful; but you must never fotgett the point that the main thing is doing it. All real Art needs Time to succeed.
May be I´m wrong… I hope so.
Valentin – Thank you for sharing your insights with me/us. I completely agree with you. I think there is a difference in how we evaluate if our art matters – the kind of “mattering” I am referring to and in an inquiry about is if it matters to us vs. if it matters in terms of it “mattering” in reference to it’s financial value or popularity. If we only judge our Art as mattering if it has big price tags or is globally known then we might be tempted to not create. What I am committed to is that each artist knows that they matter and their art matters so that they continue to gift themselves with the joy of creating and gift the the world with their Art … then the test of time will do whatever it does but the Artist is creating & creation is flowing into the world. I hope this helps clarify what I was wanting to express!
Such a positive and apt piece. Thank you.
I am not an artist, just an appreciator of art and artists and all they bring to our world. I live with an artist who has subjugated her skill, talent and interest for long periods for a number of reasons, mostly emanating outside herself during childhood and her early adult years. However, the main blockage that exists for her now (in my opinion) fits precisely the picture you have painted.
Sadly, for someone who is in that place, that very fact makes it extremely difficult for them to take that simple step of flipping the coin and focusing on the good side. That is one reason, for me, why affirmation, such as is inherent in this article, is extremely important.
Self belief, for most of us, is easily shattered but as difficult to fix as re-assembling the shattered fragments of a well-loved vase – and yet, in a way, as unnecessary for we remain whole and only need to take another view and seize the unwelcome but opportune event to re-focus.
It also seems true to me, though I cannot evidence it, that art is neither good nor bad. That art gains its worth from the process, not the end result, regardless of how beautiful, impressive or profound that end result may be or not be. Perhaps I’m wrong about that, only an artist would know. If I’m right, however, then the “good” for the artist is within their own heart and mind, hands and eyes – the “good” for the on-lookers will be as diverse as the number that view or experience the work and who is to decide which view is better or, indeed, whether any is of more value than another, for only the individual viewer will feel exactly what it is that moves them.
Sorry – I probably ramble. Thank you for the article.
OOOOOOOOOOO Roger – Thank You for responding – I completely LOVE what you have expressed here! YES YES YES!!! I work with so many artists who are “re-assembling” that “well-loved vase” – I agree that it is odd since we are always whole but the patterns of our brains, once established, lock in on a view and each day, week, month, year that pattern becomes more ingrained and “true” for the person who has it. The exciting part is it CAN be flipped and when it is there is a whole new view and life possible.
I also concur that that there is no “good” or “bad” art but I am sure I would be met with a lot of disagreement from those whose mission it is to know & determine that. Smile. Certainly there is what sells & what doesn’t, what is popular & what isn’t – but I completely believe that the “good” of art is what the artist feels is pure for them – their pure expression and if they are willing to release it out in the world there will be someone if not many someones who resonate with it. What I, unfortunately, see too often is an artist who represses their expression in fear of some comparison against what is said to be “good” art leaving both the artist and the world denied of the experience of that art.
Roger – thank you for your appreciation of art & artists! It shows! I send my best to the artist you live with – I so hope she finds a way to allow herself the gift of her expression.
Yes my art matters and always will be mattered! If it’s got me here today regardless of money’s then it matters! Thank you I really loved reading this its made me realise it dose matter. Kind regards Marios
Marios – I am soooooooo happy to hear that your art matters to YOU! That was exactly what I was wanting to accomplish with my article! Thank you for reading my article, taking the time to comment and for continuing to create!!!
Thanks for the insightful post.
Thank you, Roxy, for taking the time to comment – I love knowing when I deliver something that could make a difference. I also love what you are up to with artists in the Australian Entertainment industry – thank you for being a contribution!
great post. I will say that for many people, artists included, beginning to question certain things can lead you into trouble. especially if the person is already impaired by things like depression or illness or on alcohol or drugs. if you start questioning why you were born, or things about your self worth, or if you or your art matters, or should you have married or divorced then you are beginning a road to worry. or worse. art should be a friend and comfort. I see many when in more negative times art becomes something more to worry about. to question or even to fear. it should not be.
Thank you so much, Debbie, for adding your insights for me/us! I agree with you – it can become a vicious cycle where everything becomes a question and a concern/worry and then leads to more of it. Bottomline: Whatever we focus on expands. There is a source to any question of mattering – when we see it show up it is important to get to that source and see it and then create a new view/pattern/context. It does not always occur as easy work but it is simple work and can be done and can turn life around. It is part of the work I do with artists and it is always so thrilling when an artist gets they matter & that their art matters and are then freed up to create! They win and the world wins!
I enjoyed your article and it certainly had me thinking. I’m quite old now and I need to be honest
Art And My Art iis certainly important to me and I am important to my family… BUT tucked away under my bed is the fruit of my labour-. dozens of paintings. all over my walls and over the walls of my six different families and my own brother and sister.
At the end of the day they may select a few favourites but I suspect the rest will find there way into local rubbish dump.
OR the family might get creative and plaster them all over my coffin which I would quite like. In the meantime I am very much alive so the stack will continue to grow because Art and MY Art still matter!!!
Jean – Thank you so much for commenting on the article and for sharing how important your Art is to you – ! YOU are very refreshing! I am thrilled that you are still stacking … please continue to stack. Ultimately I think as long as out art matters to us that is all that matters! AND, I love the thought of the coffin Art – I might put that in my final requests – I would quiet like that tooo!
I matter my Art does too the moment I wake up every day to create its a sign what am doing matters not just to me but even to those who appreciate it. The two will go hand in hand, if it matters I too matter but if I don’t then even my Art doesn’t. I hope am relevant to the subject thanks for the insightful topic and the discission.
Kenyanya – You are absolutely relevant to the subject and I thank you for taking the time to respond! I completely understand how the two – you & your art – go together and both matter! How inspriting! And I thank you for the exquisite sculptures you create that you release out in the world for others to appreciate. I see that each piece matters to you …
The easiest way to determine if something is important or not is to virtually remove it from you life. In the case with Art, it is even easier to demonstrate how important it is to society and us as a species dating back to cave drawings that said, “I am here”.
It is the dark matter and energy that holds the world together.
Mark – Thank you for putting the importance of Art in the very simple demonstration of “I am here” back to the beginnings! Your work is very exciting, Mark (I was particularly drawn to your wings) – thank you for having it matter to get it out into the world!
Thank You Kim, This point was brought up for me,painfully, recently as I have lost my way. I had to find how I matter and why. It was really helpful from one of your readers about taking out of my life my works and see which ones were sorely missed. I have learned what matters!! I matter and the love relationship I share in my work matters to people who have bought my work. I see their lives moved to a place of happiness to joy, not in the cloth and wood they bought but the connection of the thought said ,with out words , and as an art piece they don’t need to say “tell me again” ! In this world of coldness this is precious.That matters so much that I need to go finish something for a friend who has been waiting .
Marge – I am so happy to hear that you have learned that you matter & that your Art matters! It is really the most precious lessons we can learn. AND the world gets a treat too. I am sure your friend who has been waiting will be thrilled. And after you finish that then it is on to the next piece & then the next & the next & you get to stay in the joy as long as you keep present to mattering (& if you forget then you can review this and remember). I send you fun and joy and excitement for your journey!