Thursday, April 6, 2017

What's the Point?

That was the nagging question I kept asking myself as I neared 50. Almost a half century and what had I really done? To many, I suppose, it looked like I had done a lot and should be happy. But then again, I've never really cared much about what other people thought; so, the question haunted me: what was my purpose? That's when I had an epiphany: I was an Artist in Denial. (Read more in my first post: I Know I'm Not Alone). Art, I realized, was critically important to me and I could help others come to the same conclusion and bring back a true sense of purpose to their being. So, I had an answer to the question: "what's the point of my life?" But, like a 3-year old asking "why?" all the time, I took it one step further...

What's the Point of Art?

After all, that was the question that kept me from pursuing art after high school. OK, so some people have talent, and people like art, but it's really all just a frivolous, self-indulgent extravagance. Right? Well, it took me 30 years to realize I was wrong. What's the point of art? What purpose does it serve? That's a big question. And the answers will be as varied as the people asking the question. But, at the most fundamental level, all art exists to let let you know: "you are not alone."

Life's a Bitch and Then You Die

Life is a struggle. Life is hard. It's hard for everyone. The only difference is the degree. Some people have it a lot harder than others. But, the grass is never greener on the other side. That's where art comes in. Whether, it's a poem, a story, a painting, a sculpture, a song, a play, a movie... no matter what form it takes, at some level, art let's you know you are not alone. Somebody else has been where you are. Somebody else cares about what you do. Somebody else understands how you feel. Somebody else knows what makes you think or what makes you happy or sad or angry. No matter what your condition, art helps you realize you're not in it alone.

And, art is a symbiotic relationship. It's not only the audience that benefits. The artist benefits as well. The artist sees the world without the clutter of everyday distractions. This can be a blessing and a curse. The act of creating can be a coping mechanism. It's a way to say: "I am here and I see the truth," even when the 'truth' is ugly. The act of creating itself can be very therapeutic. But when it is shared and others appreciate it... that's when the artist knows that he/she is not alone. As human beings, we are inherently social creatures. We all long for acceptance and affirmation. If you have been blessed with a creative gift and you are not exercising it, you are an Artist in Denial. You have the ability to help other people, and by so doing, help yourself. You just need to admit it... then do it... then share it.

“We've all heard that the unexamined life is not worth living, but consider too that the unlived life is not worth examining.”

Learn More about the Artist in Denial Course       Register for the Artist in Denial Course


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