Art is a fundamental part of the human experience and is deeply embedded in our nature and history. Yet, somehow, art has become undervalued in modern society, and many people question whether it’s really necessary.
Art is necessary for both artists and viewers. Creating artwork provides an outlet for emotion, expression, and commentary. Artwork provides viewers a source of entertainment and a perspective on history. Art offers a livelihood for artists and a store value and profit for collectors.
To discuss how vital art is, we first have to settle on a definition. Standard references for art posits that it’s a production of meaningful work intended to communicate between artists and audiences. But art is more than that; it’s an expression of emotion, it’s social commentary, and it’s entertainment. Society benefits when we have more artists creatively expressing themselves and dispersing ideas.
For The Viewer
You may not be the type to visit fine art exhibitions and invest in rare artworks, but you’re viewing and consuming art all of the time.
Art isn’t just an oil painting and or sculpture. It’s music, the written word, dancing, movies… There are endless mediums in which art is an expression of our individuality. The creative soles producing traditional and contemporary art reach out to society to communicate their views, emotions, and ideas.
For example, your experience when you listen to a song will never be the same as another person’s experience of that exact same music. The listener’s physical abilities and an infusion of personal experiences drive the interpretation of the song’s artistry. That musical composition is just the medium through which an artist speaks to you, the audience.
Artists have life experiences and are telling the story to their audience.
Art is a potent tool for pushing the limits of our imaginations.
Sharing creative works exposes us to new ideas, new knowledge, and shifting perceptions of things that we hadn’t considered.
Art’s influence has an exponential reach. One artist may inspire 10 other artists with their work, and each of the 10 inspired artists may inspire 10 more.
This imaginative transmission is critical for social progress and our growth as unique individuals with our own ambitions and capacity to innovate atop other’s ideas and thoughtful works.
Art has always been a recorded medium for communicating information in a very accessible way for over 73,000 years.
Pre-dating written language, pictorial art created awareness about issues on a mass scale in a way that nothing else could.
Even in modern times, in places where people do not have formal education, art can reach people that traditional communication channels, such as the press or the government, can’t.
Not just walking through museums but appreciating art wherever it’s found gives us, the audience, a moment of reflection. Whether it’s a prolonged listen to mediative music or a curious glance at modern architecture, art provides us a reason to pause and think.
I’m excited for our next artistic experience, Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience. While living in The Netherlands, Vincent van Gogh’s life story and perspective touched us. I can’t wait to sit entranced under his Starry Night (1889).
Financial Store of Value & Profit
Art and finance often have a contentious relationship. Artists often struggle to get noticed, but their works can be bought and sold for handsome sums once popularized. These one-of-a-kind artistic pieces become prized possessions and effective stores of value for collectors.
Investing in original artwork has been around for as long as the money, and it’s the rarity of art gives it its value.
Work from an unknown artist obviously doesn’t have the same value unless you stumble upon an emerging artist whose artwork could rise exponentially in value.
For The Artist
I have long believed that we don’t treat the arts with enough respect, and artists go unappreciated. But it’s not hard to see why so many people strive to express themselves through a creative process.
Outlet For Emotion
Leo Tolstoy famously wrote his legendary novel, War and Peace, due to his experience of the brutal Crimean War. His art served as an emotional outlet, and he created a work of fiction that has moved millions of people and helped him process his own trauma.
From the performing arts to simple drawing and painting, when passion and a story meets a creative medium an artist finds a container to share for their emotion and humanity.
Art is about ideas and perspective. Artists can share their opinions and personality in a way that can truly resonate with audiences.
Creatives can wrap their point of view into unique work that pulls at the heartstrings of viewers. Talented artists relay a message, gaining attention in a way that activism or awareness campaigns can’t compete with.
Much like art can be meditative for the viewer, it is even more so for the artist. They can express their emotions through their craft and explore the depths of their spirituality. They can transcend the physical world and allow their consciousness to manifest in their art.
Allowing your creativity to freely flow into physical artwork can calm even an average mind. In our busy, noisy, and stressful modern lifestyle, the childhood enjoyment of coloring has returned as an artistic activity for adults.
Ha! I just watched the above video to the end. For me, as the viewer, it was as meditative as the artist.
Many artists struggle financially, but some can make a living with their art. Artists employ their talent in indirect fields such as advertising, earning a decent wage. Other artists are lucky enough to put their ability directly into works of art like designers or art blog writers.
For a select few superstars, like movie actors, pop stars, best-selling authors, art can be an excellent living with quite lucrative incomes.
Artists can be rewarded handsomely with enough talent and hard work.
For Our Societies
To me, the most significant benefit that art has for humans is the effects that it has on us as a collective. One simply cannot overstate how art brings us together, creates awareness, encourages empathy, and just generally makes us happy.
Think about how central Leonardo da Vinci’s and Michelangelo’s art was to the Renaissance movement, along with all of the greatest writers of the time, such as Shakespeare and Machiavelli.
Consider how the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Jimmy Hendrix, and countless other musicians inspired a cultural revolution in the 1960s, which continues to shape the world we live in today.
Form Cross-Culture Ties
We live in an increasingly globalized world. Many people opt to live in different countries with different cultural values, where immigration is a common political issue.
Art has the power to bridge cultural and ideological gaps. It both shares and preserves culture, making people more tolerant and empathetic towards their fellow humans.
Art is the cultural glue that ties us together.
What were the earliest forms of art?
Archeologists have found cave paintings that are tens of thousands of years old. They’ve discovered pottery from ancient Mesopotamia, hieroglyphics in Egypt, and countless architectural monuments that go all the way back to the earliest days of civilization. This just goes to show that art is innate. It is essential.
In fact, art is a recording. Artwork allows us to understand the past better than facts and figures. Creative expressions can paint an emotional picture.
What better way to experience history than through the feelings of an artist that lived at the time?
If you find yourself asking if art is really necessary, you must also ask if a human collective is necessary. Without art, our experience as human beings becomes diminished. We would lose perhaps the most effective channel for connecting with one another. Is art essential in modern society? No. It’s absolutely fundamental.