Great Art is Made by Ordinary People
How often do we hear people look at a painting and comment about their own lack of ability to draw or paint. It seems like there is a knee-jerk reaction to explain why they do not create art themselves. When I think about it I do wonder if we were not all created to be creative ourselves. Going too far? I'm not so sure, because there is so much art created all the time and in so many forms that the question should be: Why are you not creating art yourself? You can you know and talent should not be wasted.
The standard answer about not having the ability does not hold water. So lets move on. The reason I suspect has something to do with fear. This is fear of not being good enough from the start and you will look foolish.
There is also the fear of actually being pretty good at first so what comes next? Another painting? What if that is better than the last? What then? This is sometimes called fear of success. A term used by psychologists that I used to find absurd. How could anyone fear success? That is what we all want is it not? Of course I was much younger and all I wanted was to show that I could be good at something. I had my eye on the moment. Later I would understand that adult's forget about being in the moment. They look to the future and think what if... and that is scary so they forget about it.
Recently I read an interesting comment that art is created by flawed people. Someone with perfect virtue would not need to create art. I am talking about a saint or superhero. Regular humans are full of faults and vices. No need denying it. So a regular person full of issues and undesirable qualities creates art. It may be magnificent work, but the thing is the artist is still a regular human being who just happens to plug away at painting or sculpture or song writing. Visit an artist's studio and see the dogs piled up against the wall. Paintings that are not worth the paint used. Sculptures consigned to the recycle bin.
Does the art compensate for something? Is it redemption of sorts? Or maybe it's the human condition and creativity is our God given means to lift ourselves out of the mess. Is there any better way of getting closer to our Maker than to create? I do not believe there is. Not for us regular folks.
There is little doubt that the malaise of daily life lies in people not giving themselves over to creativity. Work in an office? Go home and watch TV - go out and spend money on bright lights and noise. Consume - consume - consume. Consumers. What a word! Sounds like a process of destruction to me. Chomp away until there is nothing left.
What if we try making something. It is hard work, but it fills us up with joy. We do not "follow" our joy - we make it. We create and give back and create again.
It is what makes us ordinary people extraordinary.
Malcolm Dewey: Artist. Country: South Africa