Have you ever told yourself you are not an artist?
What if I told you your very thoughts could be considered art – art that people will pay handsomely for?
At the Museum of Non Visible Art, based in New York, you don’t view paintings on the gallery walls, you view words describing a picture from the artist’s imagination.
These descriptions come with a hefty price tag. In 2011, a woman paid $10,000 for a piece called “Fresh Air”.
WHEN ART IS CRAP
Don’t have an artistic bone in your body? There are other products of the body that can be wrapped up as art. And sold for hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Italian artist Piero Manzoni created 90 tin cans filled with faeces and titled them “Artist’s Shit”. One tin sold for €124,000 at Sotheby’s on May 23, 2007.
Tins of poo may not be for everyone but one Swiss art collector was happy to part with more than $43,000 for a sculpture of Venus de Milo made out of excrement.
Panic at the thought of pushing a paintbrush? Try chewing gum instead. A wall filled with pieces of chewed bubble gum in Seattle is being hailed as a work of art.
If you do gain the courage to paint on canvas, could be using just one bright, solid colour is enough to get you noticed.
Or you could try throwing various colours at the canvas to see if your abstract design attracts the millions of dollars that Jackson Pollock paintings do.
If money is the measure of what constitutes worthy art, then these stories illustrate that each and every one of us can produce good art.
WHAT IS ART ANYWAY?
The expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power.
It doesn’t matter what materials are used (or not, in the case of non-visible art), according to the definitions. Art has more to do with how it makes you feel. And that is different for everyone.
One of my all-time favourite paintings is Vincent van Gogh’s yellow on yellow Sunflowers. I can’t help but smile when I see that painting,
Not everyone feels the same way though.
In 1890 a Belgian artist threatened to withdraw his own pictures from an exhibition in Brussels as he did not wish “to find himself in the same room as the laughable pot of sunflowers by Mr Vincent”.
When it comes to art, beauty really is in the eye of the beholder.
One man’s crap is another man’s fine example of the relationship between art production and human production. That was the purpose of Manzoni’s poo filled tins.
WHEN YOU ARE NOT AN ARTIST, BUT YOU ARE.
If we concentrate on the part of the art definition that focuses on beauty, everything we do is a form of art. Every time we plan a garden, plate a meal, set a dinner table, we are creating a work of art. Who’s to say these works are any less valuable than Vincent’s Sunflowers, or Jackson’s Blue Poles?
If the intention is to create something of beauty, something that will offer joy to those who see it, then it is art.
When we recognise we are all artists, using various tools and materials to create our pieces, it is not such a jump to experiment with other materials – things to sculpt with, things to paint and draw with – and experience creating art in its more traditional sense.
WHY MAKE ART?
Focusing on the art of creating something beautiful is a form of mindfulness that helps us find our flow.
Aside from the joy of it brings us, there are many health benefits to creating art.
There have been numerous studies showing the positive effects of creating art to lift our moods and reduce stress and anxiety.
Making visual art can also improve connections within the brain.
One study found that creating art was much more powerful than just observing it.
Using the creation of artworks as a distraction can help us deal with sadness, according to other research.
We can also use art to help organise our thoughts. We can tell our stories and gain a better understanding of our own issues and how to deal with them.
Believe it or not, mindless doodling actually helps us to focus, particularly when we’re listening to something we want to remember later.
One study found that participants who were doodling during a lecture could recall 29 per cent more information than those who were not.
Regardless of what others think about our art, the point is how it makes us feel and the benefits it gives us.
To quote Andy Warhol
Don’t think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it’s good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.
If George had the courage to paint a picture, you can too.
What art will you be creating today?
Wishing you the chance to tap into your inner artist and a gleeful week, Tamuria.
Joyce HansenOctober 1, 2017 at 6:43 am
Art is fascinating for the stories that it tells. There are the stories behind the creation, the stories held by different viewers, and the stories that accompanied it through time. Some stories are true; some are not. But, they all add to why we are so fascinated by art.
tamuriaOctober 5, 2017 at 4:13 pm
I totally agree, Joyce. It’s amazing how one piece can inspire so many different perspectives.
Teresa SalhiOctober 3, 2017 at 2:05 am
I rarely feel artistic but you have a way of allowing to explore how I can be.
tamuriaOctober 5, 2017 at 4:16 pm
Here’s to exploring your artistic side, Teresa. 🙂
Reba LinkerOctober 3, 2017 at 4:53 am
Thank you, Tamuria! “Art has more to do with how it makes you feel.” Yes! Art belongs to everyone. It is an inheritance of humankind, just like dance, music, storytelling, laughter. Thank you for a beautiful post.
tamuriaOctober 5, 2017 at 4:18 pm
Yes, art does belong to everyone and everyone can create it and use it to tell their own story, Reba.
CandessOctober 3, 2017 at 6:54 am
Always love what you have to say! It was the Artist’s Way that guided me back to art after a really bad teacher shamed me when I was in my undergraduate studies at Gonzaga University. He’s gone now and probably really gone – but I’m sure we all have stories. It is beautiful grandmothers like you who balance the world Tamuria!
tamuriaOctober 5, 2017 at 4:20 pm
What a kind and sweet thing to say, Candess. Thank you. Shame on your teacher! Given that the most absurd things can be considered expensive art, how can anybody be an authentic critic? So happy to hear you found your way back to art.
JENNIFER QUISENBERRYOctober 3, 2017 at 11:41 am
What is art? What an amazing question! That’s one that I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about over the years. I’ve heard so many people discount art they do not like as “not art” simply because it fails to give them pleasure. I also think that art is meant to inspire – and by inspire I don’t necessarily mean to make one feel good. It can anger you, make you feel uncomfortable, or be incredibly beautiful and uplifting. All share value, even if we don’t see the value ourselves.
tamuriaOctober 5, 2017 at 4:26 pm
I love that – “All share value, even if we don’t see the value ourselves”. That is exactly why everyone is a potential artist and, given how we view art so subjectively, the words of critics really don’t matter.
Cathy SykoraOctober 3, 2017 at 12:33 pm
In a perfect life, I would retire to an island (not necessarily tropical) and I would create and create and create. I’d have no respect or attendance to time and I wouldn’t care if anyone liked my art – as long as I could do what I want to do and wasn’t told. PS…..look at all the kids who love the poo emoji….it’s all in the eye of the beholder and the artist only needs to please themselves – as long as they’re not trying to make a living.
tamuriaOctober 5, 2017 at 4:29 pm
Your perfect world sounds pretty amazing, Cathy. It truly is in the eye of the beholder which means it really doesn’t matter what others think, especially if you are not trying to make a living from it.
MindyOctober 3, 2017 at 10:38 pm
Lovely. 🙂 (not the poo part!) My kids and I recently painted glasses when we were on vacation. I was pleasantly surprised at how much all 3 of us enjoyed it! It was a lot of fun and very relaxing. And we all loved our creations!
tamuriaOctober 5, 2017 at 4:30 pm
That is such a fun activity Mindy and a great way to enjoy the vacation with your kids.
Lorii AbelaOctober 4, 2017 at 2:08 pm
I love art. I remember enrolling in a brief intro to interior design. I used a computer program to design the blueprint and I remember being awake till the wee hours of the night since I can’t stop.
The interesting about some of these famous painters is that they died before being world renowned.
tamuriaOctober 5, 2017 at 4:33 pm
I’ve had those sleepless nights where I just couldn’t stop working on a creation Lorii – amazing feeling. So many awesome painters lived in poverty and now their works sell for millions – crazy.