What is the purpose of artists?

Is it worth it?

As my wife and I keep working on our online art business, Kreation Artzone, I asked myself: “Why would an artist be needed at all?”.

You see, I have been the initiator of many heated discussions with my wife along our marriage caused by my incessant need to know the why of things. So I don’t blame her when she complains I’m driving her crazy asking over and over “Why this?” or “Why that?”.

After reflecting upon why I am so insistent on getting an answer to such question, I came to realize that, in fact, every time I ask “Why?”, all I want to know is the purpose of that thing.

For example: “Why do we have to do this?”, or “Why is this the way it is?”

I want to know the reason of being of something. Let it be an idea, a particular behavior, a decision, a process, etc.  

Knowing the purpose of something gives me clarity and helps me get to the bottom line fast. 

Knowing the purpose of something also tells me how to approach that thing and what can be done about it.

In particular, I want to know if that thing is worth my attention and time, which in turn will bring me clarity as to its level of importance and what place, if any, it occupies in my life. 

Depending the context, if something is not worth my attention and time, I will try either to ignore it, to delegated it, to get rid of it, or if I cannot do any of them, I will try to improve it to make it at least advantageous.  

So, it was just a matter of time for me to ask myself: “Why would an artist be needed at all?”.

In other words: what is the purpose of us artists?

Remember, I needed to know if being an artist was worth our attention and time. Otherwise, my wife and I might be better off forgetting about making art altogether. 

So after thinking about it for a while and researching about the subject, I couldn’t avoid observe how fluid the purpose of an artist is. It can be so many things and so few at the same time. 

Purpose of the artist

I think the best way to describe the purpose of an artist is what I found in the article “What is the artist’s role in society?”   by artbusinessnews.com.

Artists are the “Architect of Emotions”.

As "Architect of Emotions", we artists have developed the skills and the knowledge to navigate and reflect outwardly our own inner landscape of emotions and that of others through aesthetic mediums. 

Emotions are at the core of why we do the things we do and how we sense the outside world. 

However, sometimes it is hard to focus inwardly and “see” what you are feeling and why, which can be troublesome for yourself and others. 

This is where I think artists are needed.

Experiencing art helps you identify what is going on with you and why, since that aesthetic medium can express better that which you feel but are not able to express adequately. 

By reflecting, designing and creating worlds where human emotions are awaken and enhanced, artists make the complicated and fiery ocean of emotions easier to navigate by making them more visible and accessible to everyone.

By better understanding your own emotions indirectly through an external source, you will be able to know some of the reasons why you feel the way you do, which strongly influences why you do what you do. 

It’s my belief this comprehension about your emotions will give you more control over your own decision-making process, and ultimately, your own life.

Conclusion

The footprint of artists is everywhere.

Think of the following: the novel that made you cry with every page you read; the company logo that makes you feel you are part of an exclusive community; the chapel that puts your soul at peace; 

…the movie that made you laugh with your friends; the interior of your car that makes you feel powerful; 

...that stylish pair of shoes that makes you feel every corridor is a runway; the hotel lobby that makes you feel the king or queen of the place; 

…the painting that brought back a forgotten childhood memory; a dance show that made you want to move shamelessly;

...the song that made you believe that singing in the shower was the same as singing in a fully packed stage…

Through the work of artists, the chaotic emotional flow of energy from within is enhanced and reflected outwardly in an orderly fashion. 

Like the clinical psychologist Dr. Jordan Peterson said on an interview with National Gallery of Canada on creativity: artists serve as mediators between chaos and order.  

It’s not a surprise why art in general is used to improve people’s mental health. 

Its ability to translate the foreign language of emotions into a language we identify with, it’s powerful.  

Through art, emotions become something tangible that can be studied, molded, and felt. 

In this sense, the artist’s purpose as the “Architect of Emotions”, is to design and build a body for the emotions, opening the way for invisible forces to manifest physically.

Final words

Circling back as to whether or not artists are needed.

I think we already established artists are an essential component of our communities by encapsulating in time the emotional human experience in all of its colors through aesthetic mediums. 

As to whether my wife and I should follow the path of the artist, the truth is, I don’t know what Life has prepared for us, but as far as we are concerned, there is no reason to ignore the artistic call, to delegate it, or to get rid of it; it is worth our attention and time. 

 

Jason Berberena

Visual artist and co-founder of Kreation Artzone

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