A Case For Creating Art…Even If It’s Not Very “Good”
I am what you would consider an "advocate for the arts." Obviously you and I are passionate about music, at least that's quite likely if you're reading this now. The appreciation of art in its various forms can have a similar effect--from music and movies to writing and painting. Whatever your interests, it's easy to take in these incredible works and feel they are only possible for those who are born "gifted." So, it can seem like they're just special in a way you and I are not. But that's not true.
In some ways there's nothing more human than the creating of and/or enjoying of the art we or others create--even in its simplest forms. From time prehistoric, our ancestors etched their "art" on cave walls. When our children share their simple, but heart-filled drawings, something compels us to put them up on our refrigerators. In both scenarios, we inherently know there's something special about humans manifesting and sharing their creativity with us in it's various forms. Clearly it's an important part of the human experience. One of the reasons we have the capacity to appreciate these works is because the very same capability is present in all of us.
One of my goals this year has been to re-calibrate the way I think about art. Obviously seeing the end result in the work of artists that have devoted many hours and days to their craft can be inspiring and profound. Of course, we don't usually see the work involved before the glory.
So, if you and I sit down and write our first song on a guitar we've only been learning to play for a couple of weeks or so going to sound the same as Led Zeppelin or Stevie Nicks? Well, no... BUT. Maybe that's not the point.
Late artist Roy Adzak said "good art is not what it looks like, but what it does to us." When you're stuck, it can help you get unstuck. If you're feeling blurred by the confusion of life, the process of making art can be cathartic. The art is a process. The product of art is a by-product, sometimes a really, really good one. But even if it isn't very "good" by commercial standards,there is an inherent value in creating art of any kind.
I have a friend who is an artist. A really good one. One day we were discussing some of her work and how she got to the point where she was selling her art for literally thousands of dollars and she shared some insights that began to shift my perspective. I'm paraphrasing hard, but the sentiment was about how so many people think of art as something that has been created--whether a song, a painting, whatever. Although yes there are "works of art," that art is also a process in which we engage. It may also be therapeutic in nature. In fact, author Brene' Brown has said that:
"Unused creativity is not benign. It metastasizes. It turns into grief, rage, judgment, sorrow, shame." -BB
Whether you choose to take this metaphorically or literally, it's important to find some way of expressing your inborn creativity. Yes, you. It's in the nature of us all. Don't let fear of other people's opinions thwart you from writing that song, taking that watercolor class, trying your hand at creative writing, or whatever else you feel you might like to try.
Community colleges offer classes. YouTube can be a helpful resource. Find a mentor. Just take a step this week. Don't worry about what anyone else thinks. It doesn't matter. It does matter what you think though--so express it authentically. Who knows? Maybe you have a masterpiece inside of you. At the very least, do it for yourself.