What is art anyway? Is it a product? An idea? A concept? A feeling? I suppose there will be many of you who say one or the other, depending on your experience, and there will be those purists who say “why label it, just let it be”. The reason the question is being posed, is that there seems to be a growing sentiment among artist of all mediums, that their work is somehow their own, and they feel the need to manage the exposure of it. They feel that some venues, or outlets, are not worthy of hosting their creations, which sparks the debate, once you make art, is it yours to withhold, or is it a contribution to the universal conciousness that connects us all?
Biological creations, such as children and things that come from our being, are different, right? They are our creations that we must protect, and nurture, so the tendency to do that is natural. With our creativity, as artists who have chosen to look inward, imagine something brilliant and beautiful, and then set forth to create that vision into a tangible product; whether it be a photograph, a sculpture, a drawing, painting, even a carefully created latte by a talented barista, we must present that creation to society and step away. Obviously if someone wishes to make that creation their own, and you as the artist agree to sell it and allow it a new life at the next level, that is yours to do so, but to not have a public display anywhere, and not allow your creations to breathe in the human consciousness, is to stifle the “voice” of that creation in the hearts and minds of potential witnesses to its greatness.
So let this message be the encouragement you might need as an artist who feels they need to protect their work from judgement, exploitation, or whatever the fear may be, to recognize there is a difference between art as an idea, versus the finished product. Protect your ideas with great fervor and passion, but once you set to creating that idea into a permanent subject, let it be. Publish it, make it known to all who would benefit from experiencing it, and the contribution to the collective culture of humanity shall be closer to complete.
What are your thoughts? Do you feel that your work is yours to control, repress, protect, etc.? Let’s try something new here, where we open the discussion in the comments below.