“A 6 am idea here about art. An article covering the process of what it takes to create something, from an artist’s perspective. I guess both a physical, a mental and an emotional covering of creation. Just a thought here.”            -Josh

 

It’s all in the eye of the beholder.

Armor, Japanese, Samurai, Art
A stunning example of art

A great idea my editor-in-chief had. I do find a bit of humorous coincidence in that, though, as my colleague, a self-described ‘not-artist,’ did, in fact, create art. This business is art. So what is this thing called art?.

Firstly, art is subjective.  What I find beautiful, you may not.  Secondly, there is scientific backing on what humans tend to find aesthetically pleasing.  Some artists know this and exploit it, while others do not.  This scientific backing is why you see a majority of fast food signage in red (turns out that is actually just psychology using your memories against you). Humans utilize artistry in almost every aspect of their life.  Art is defined as “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”.

Art is emotion

Emotion can be harnessed for creative purposes. Love, fear, hate, compassion, or spite can all be utilized to create.  The list of emotions really could go on.  The purpose is to take the emotion and channel it into the work. One very simple way of describing art is the work of using your emotions to create. Just like at my other places of employment, my work days can be filled with one of the above emotions, all of them, none them, or any other emotion you can think of.

Pottery is placed in stacks.
It takes time to make a few stacks like this.

I’ve experienced great joy when completing pieces of work both large and small.  I’ve experienced camaraderie post-military when finishing a group community piece.  Also, I’ve felt great commiseration from viewing truly (still subjective) bad and great pieces that moved me through the commiseration.  There are times of harmonious calm felt during the lulls, like sitting down after feeding the fire in the kiln at Baltimore Clay Works.  This is just a snippet of the emotional roller coaster known as an artist’s life; which is much like the emotional roller coaster known as life for any person.

 The art world is a thinking person’s world.

A digital graphic of a surreal light bulb man morph thinking.
Just thinking about art lighting up my day.

Mental dexterity is needed in making art, like in many aspects of life.  Making any piece of art is all well and good, no matter the scope and scale of the project.  What can be a game changer with how the art is appreciated is how the art is applied.  So, having a wide knowledge base can help the artist to properly apply and present the art.

Case in point: stickdeath.com.  In the oft-remembered idyllic “oughts” (2000-2009), stickdeath.com took the stick figure and brought us works to be appreciated for their raw beauty and emotional power (schadenfreude).  The figure interacted with other figures and they were committed to battling one another in a raw, emotional experience. So, even the ubiquitous punching bag of art-competence can become a wonderful piece of art.

Making things is not easy

Musicvideo recording session for swedish metal band The Haunted
This art is damn sure not easy.

We established that making art is for self-motivators, as no Night becomes Starry, no bronze or marble is able to Think, nor is there a question to be or not be had without highly motivated people making a thing happen. These individuals we know, in both antiquity and in contemporary society, work with other people and with groups of others.  It’s a team effort. No one works in a vacuum.  If they did, their work would be quite literally nothing (we’re not going to argue Space-Time here).

A welder is welding.
If you do something well, do it welding.

There is artwork that is exquisite, and someone can look at it and see how exquisite it is.  That exquisite thing didn’t happen by chance.  To get there, the artist failed (see: learned) a lot.  That artist experienced self-doubt. No one escapes that doubt of knowing how the public will take their creativity, including the greats. But an artist willingly goes into that unknown and is inclined to continue to go into that unknown.  For as long as necessary.  Successful or not, each artist has to continue to produce.  Otherwise, your label no longer fits.

No creativity equals no us

Without the arts, we don’t have some “happy little accidents” that led us to our modern age.  The great thing about the artist paradigm is that it can shift from trained specialists to anyone willing to try, experiment, and learn. That isn’t to say a person shouldn’t learn the basics of the jobs and tasks, though. The time spent learning is usually necessary, For instance, in a trade job like welding, the person should learn through apprenticeship and trade school.  But, what the welder imagines once he has his form down is limitless. Remember, with knowledge comes a wider capability to apply your creativity.
The key to making art is to keep doing it and keep learning.  It can only help your artistic ability.  If you have never created something artistic before, start now. Whether it is pottery, painting, metal fabrication, graphic design, or carpentry, art is a therapeutic and relaxing experience. It can also energize.  So get out there and make something; even if that thing is just a question or exchange of ideas. You never know when a half-brained idea can pay off.  Like having a conversation about how men kinda get kicked around in today’s society becomes a business reaching the masses. That was our art of making art.

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