Everyone has a view of what art is. It’s an important conversation to have as there is no right or wrong. Art is different to everyone and each person will have a different view of what art should be.

Don’t get derailed by what other people’s opinions are, and hone in on what art is to you. You are unique, there is nobody else out there like you. This is the magic you bring to your art making.

You can listen to the whole conversation on what art is by watching, listening or reading this weeks vlogcast.

Art is something that is different to all of us and it is very subjective to opinions. Sometimes I see people deviate from the art they love and want to make because of other people’s opinions and views. So I am hoping that writing this post, sharing these stories and views will help to empower you to be yourself as an artist and make the art you love.

I shared this question on social media and asked people to tell me what art is to them. It was fascinating to read all the comments from people and to hear the differences of opinions and views. So, here are a few for you:

Amanda Joseph: To me, art is an expression of your beliefs and values. It comes from a place within the spirit like a tendril of a vine, taking form through a creative medium to provoke meaningful contemplation and appreciation. Art has always been spiritual for me. 

Ann Roche: To me, art brings joy. It heals, it tells a story, colours, soothes or energises, captures a memory, brings a room together, brings a sense of great achievement and fills a place in the heart of its creator. Sometimes a picture can communicate better than any words. Right now, outside of relationships, art is my life.

TJ Works: Art is an expression, be it paint, clay, singing, dancing, writing…  it’s instinctual and universal. Everyone has the capacity and thus everyone has the affinity. It is for all of us, not just the specialising subgroups that evolve as societies share out roles… (you are a healer, you are a bus driver, you are an artist) – we are all artists.

Wayne Dye: My art is an extension of myself.

Shaun Mole: Art to me is a long journey that never ends and so I just go with it and enjoy the ride.

Literally, everyone has a different view and I love this aspect of art. For a long time I was blinded by other people’s opinions of what art should be and how I should create. I now understand that everyone has their own view of art and that is okay. They may not like something I love – this is okay.

The Practical Elements 

For me, I think there are two sides to this question. The first one is the simplistic version, the practical side of art and its language. To me art is a language. It’s made up from different elements that when brought together are turned into a work of art. This is applicable in all art types from craft, dance, music… everything.

These practical elements of art are what we learn. It’s like when we are taught to speak as a child – we all learn how to do this in our own way. It’s all unique to us. Learning how to use material, how to use those different elements and marks, then you can fine tune art to you and how you wish to create.

Subjective view

This is then the second side for me. It is that subjective view to what art is to you. The emotional view, and is sometimes where the lines can blur and where fear can build up with what people are creating.

I truly believe that there is a place in the art world for everyone because whatever you create, it will evoke something in someone. A questioning maybe.

Never judge a piece of art

Years ago, I remember posting an artwork on Facebook that someone had created. I loved it and the story that came with it. It was an artwork that was very simplistic and I shared it, not saying where it came from, and this guy commented saying that it was not art and he was very angry about it. He then started to cite some of the big masters and became really opinionated on this piece. To him, point blank, this piece just wasn’t art.

Little did he know that the piece was created by someone who had not long suffered a stroke and had really limited mobility. They wanted to create and express how they were feeling and created this piece. It was an expressive piece to this individual. It was such a powerful story that built the piece and I thought to myself “Why shouldn’t this guy have a voice? He deserves one just like anyone else”. However, this guy and his opinions couldn’t see it.

From this day, I told myself that no matter if I liked a piece of art or not, I was never going to judge a piece, as you’ll never know the full story behind it. I keep an open mind and know that everyone has a different and valid voice.

You may be creating a piece of art at this moment in time and it isn’t where you want it to be. Keep going and stick with it. Make it into what you want it to be. Something that represents you in some way. Everyone’s art and style will change over time, days, weeks, months, years.

Owning who you are

For me, art is about owning who you are. I read somewhere that the most beautiful part about creating is that you are unique. Nobody can see the world and feel the world in the same way you do because you are unique. Your experiences and feelings are unique.

I love this idea of uniqueness and injecting it into your work. One quote I love is “learn the rules like a pro and then break them as an artist”. This reads really true to me on this topic. Learn everything you can and then make the art you love by injecting yourself within it.

For me art is…

So for me, what is art? Well, there is the practical side – learning the rules, techniques and elements of art. Then there is the other side, which is when you push the boundaries and make something that is unique to you – you play and bring yourself into it.

Remember, be you and be wonderful.