To a person who doesn’t enjoy looking at art, it’s difficult to explain its appeal. Art is another style of communication. We speak, we write, we convey ourselves with our bodies, and we create. Those who don’t express their ideas or emotions through art, struggle to understand why artists throw paint at canvas or draw abstract figures.
Imagine if you couldn’t speak. Think about how unusual it would be to see two people talking. Both figures produce sounds with their mouths. They speak and understand one another.
When artists create, they mold from a less tangible medium. Speech is fantastic for conveying information but occasionally what needs to be said can’t be expressed in words. A bright smudge of orange on a white canvas may carry a certain emotion for you. Internally you say “this is what I feel”.
While speech conveys information with relative ease, art is usually open to interpretation. People may walk up to that smudge of orange and have no understanding of its meaning. However, its purpose isn’t necessarily universal understanding. Often times, people create art because there isn’t a better way to communicate a particular emotion.
Imagine that both of parents died tragically this morning. You are filled with incredible emotion. Words cannot begin to explain the loss you feel. Talking to others doesn’t seem to help. What you say doesn’t match with how you feel inside. Maybe wiping orange paint is the only way to express the emotion.
Over time, I’ve realized that those who appreciate art are often very empathetic. They can look at a piece and feel the emotion without having to exchange words about it. The art community is built on that receptivity.
I’ve also found that those who appreciate art are able to take on multiple perspectives. Perhaps they don’t understand your orange mess but they are willing to try and feel it. They attempt to decipher what it means to the artist and why they created it.
It’s difficult to explain the appeal of art to someone who doesn’t innately appreciate it. Often, a natural affinity for art pairs with empathy and receptivity. Those who like art value it as a separate form of communication. While it isn’t as concrete as speech or writing, it expresses human emotion in a different way. Art, to me, has always been about sharing what words cannot.
In the comments below, tell me what art means to you. Do you create because you like beautiful things or do you try and convey certain emotions? Also, if you don’t mind, tell me what art medium you use and share a link to your work!
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