From time to time I rewrite my artist statement. As much as I hate to put what I do in less than 300 words, it helps me clarifying what I want. In those moments I spend a lot of time to think about what’s important for me and my art. I reflect on why I do things and how and what’s the purpose of all behind this. Spoiler: I’ll never get an answer that is still true twelve months from now. People change.
Anyway. Today I was thinking about why so many people don’t like the idea of making art as a form of therapy. Do you think so, too? Why is it so difficult to find it okay that art may not only exist for art’s sake but also for the well-being of the artist?
I met so many different type of artists so far, and they all have different concepts, ideas and explanations why they do art. I can’t speak for them all, but today I learned or remembered why I work in the arts.
For me, art isn’t primarily therapeutical, but this is certainly one of its many aspects.
The process itself of making and creating things can be very therapeutical, of course. But what does therapeutical mean? I’d need therapy if I’m somewhat dysfunctional (whatever that means and whoever defines that). A therapy is nothing but a transformation, from one (unwanted) status into a (wanted) other. At least artists may agree that art is transformational?
An artist creates an animation, she learns something during this process, solved some problems and is much wiser afterwards since she reflected her process, too. A viewer see one of her installations, and he said, „this was really touching! It reminds me of my gran to whom I haven’t spoken in weeks after our last fight. I’m going to visit her today!“ Random examples, I know. But! Somehow the art transformed a situation or a person, and may the change be as tiny as a pea.
My process in a nut shell:
Make/Create. Reflect. Show. Start again.
It’s about improvement.
I’m also fascinated by philosophy. I’m fascinated be the concept of turning the world into a better place just by reflecting my actions and discussing them with other people. And to adjust my actions if this is necessary to suit my ideas of a perfect world. And sometimes to adjust my image of a perfect world.
It’s about humanity. I want to grow through the things I make and do, I want to gather experience and to learn things about myself and the world that I haven’t seen yet. It’s about the joy of discovery and adventure, at least for me.
What’s your approach? Why is art important to your work/life? I’d love to read about it in the comments. Your chance of starting a philosophical debate! Go on!
I send you much love!