Thursday, August 10, 2017

Why Do We Create Art?

Last weekend, my photographer / close friend and I decided to shoot something a little different from my usual style-on-the-street looks. Inspired by our mutual love of fairytales, we took a trip out to a forested park to create one of our own, and the result was nothing short of enchanting to us: our all-things-magical / T-Swift-circa-"Out Of The Woods"-saturated imaginations brought to life on camera. For the two of us, this was a success. However, in realizing that to others it may seem odd for me to be sharing "kind of lost fairy" vibes on social media, I asked myself what I liked so much about these photographs. To me, they are one thing: artistic. They are a depiction of something my friend and I love. So, I was led to ask and inspired to share my thoughts on the following question:

Why do we create art? 

"The essence of all beautiful art, all great art, is gratitude." |

Making art is instinct, just as much as is breathing and developing natural human connection. This is because our creating of art is a process of sharing what gives life to each of us individually. Every day, we absorb the world around us - the experiences that we engage in, the culture that surrounds us, the ways in which we are affected by our natural internal reactions to these - and we are each changed, usually in different ways by different things. What we are moved by - those things which change us - has a great impact on our worldviews and mindsets. These are also the things we then crave to share with the world around us. What we find beautiful, and what leaves us feeling differently, drives us to want to recreate it in another form. It could be anything from a physical place that is visually stunning to us to a feeling that has caused us to think and feel in a new way. To help ourselves process the feeling something has given us and to communicate it with the rest of the world, we desire to recreate.

At its core, art is a matter of taking pieces of everything around us and creating more with it than what was there previously. It is a representation of our desire to imitate what makes us feel more human and more fully alive. Our ability to feel with passion and love is our greatest strength, and the creation of art is a process of feeling - a physical result of the greatest aspects of human nature in motion.

"Let us read, and let us dance; these two amusements will never do any harm to the world." -Voltaire |

The creation of art which tells the truth of the world can only benefit us, as it is the product of those who find beauty and effectively communicate it in a new form. This means that they are then adding more beauty to the world. At the end of the day, we all crave to feel a part of something beyond only ourselves - something that unites us as people in our humanity together - and art allows for this. When someone creates, they are taking what the world has planted inside of them in such a way that they are forced to let it out again in the form of sharing, and making something beautiful from that passion. The process becomes circular; beauty in the world effects someone who is then inspired to create more of it and share it with the rest of the world.

As much as people like to joke that artists are the crazy ones, I've always seemed to find the opposite. To me, insanity is simply a loss of humanity - when a person ceases to feel is when they lose their grasp on what makes them human - and I believe that there is nothing more human than to love. Perhaps above all else, the creation of art is the result of loving something.

| "When we love, we always strive to become better than we are. When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better, too." -Paul Coelho, The Alchemist |

Making art increases our sense of wonder; our eyes are once again opened to the world in a childlike manner. When you create, you reflect much more on what you find beautiful in the world, and you then begin to find it in so many places that you had never noticed before. 

Art is about what you find moving and what you love-- even if it is in recreating the emotions of our childhood, when our imaginations were wrapped up in a story of a girl lost in the woods. I think we are particularly drawn to fairytales because they are depictions of our shared humanity glossed over with imagination and wondrous elements. They are the beauty we know in this world amplified.   

The result is something we find magical.

I loved shooting this, even if I did get enough mosquito bites to warrant a week's worth of Benadryl. (A joke. Obviously. I am not sitting here writing about art because I'm high off of Diphenhydramine.) 

Stay interconnected. Stay sane. Make art. 

xx Erin Nicole

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