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  1. #1
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    More to life than art?

    I didnt grow up drawing.

    When I think about all the things I could do with my life, being an artist is right up there at the top of the list. But I sometimes question the purpose of the profession. Doctors are out there helping people be healthy, Architects and construction workers are building cities, Police and Firefighters protect people, Farmers are feeding people, heck, even movers get people to one place or another, where they have to be. What purpose in society does an artist serve?

    Being an artist is more then "just a good time", or is it?
    Last edited by JoshuaTheJames; May 25th, 2004 at 01:53 AM.


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  3. #2
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    Well,....what do you get from it? It enriches people's lives, just like music and performing arts do. I can't believe that you can't even see this. Why do artists like to see themselves being different from any other arts?

    I don't want to pick on you, but I think it is such a shame how artist like yourself can think such a thing. Maybe this is why so many artists get taken advantage of, and really don't see the value in themselves or their work. Art is not just for the artist...it's also for the audience. We have to stop being so @#$ self-absorbed and understand that there are millions of people out there who love and VALUE what we do.

    :thumbsup:
    "If one advances confidently in the direction of
    his dreams, and endeavors to live the life he
    has imagined, he will meet with a success
    unexpected in common hours."
    - H.D. Thoreau

  4. #3
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    Well, without artists, we might have some trouble with aesthetics. Wait, scratch that, every schmuck can pull a beautiful character design, or a sleek car concept out of their wahoo.

    If its a profession, then there is a point to it. Personally, without anime artists, and concept artists for movies and TV, I would really not enjoy film media much at all.

    Es fließt durch meine Venen, Es schläft in meinen Tränen
    Es läuft mir aus den Ohren, Herz und Nieren sind Motoren


  5. #4
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    art is a part of human being and culture

  6. #5
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    Do what you do but dont regret it or just go for what you feel is what you should be doing. It is never to late! Everyone has doubts but as a fellow artist there is just a certain feeling, like you know this is it.

  7. #6
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    artists are fairly useless, but its better not to think about. its much better to think about the fact that you are getting paid to do something that shouldnt even be considered a job. its like pro sports players... they aren't exceptionally useful either and their job is playing a game... why worry about things that dont matter and make some $$$

    everyone brings up good and abstract points, but haven't you noticed that the general public has little or no taste? they hang thomas kinkades on their walls and buy strange decorative cermanics to place around their homes. artists arent quite useful... however people that are closer to engineering or commercial applications are inherently more useful ie industrial designers.
    Last edited by seb; May 20th, 2004 at 05:36 PM.

  8. #7
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    I make art for video games so my purpose is to help kids understand their inner rage and unleash it upon unsuspecting people.

    Just kidding, I hope my art makes someone smile and excites a creative spark some where with in them. I also like to create interactive environments that feature things you can't see or do in real life, so it is somewhat a self satisfying activity.

  9. #8
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    What purpose in society does an artist serve?

    Ask the civilisations that made and valued art long before all the other professions you mention were thought of.

  10. #9
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    I'll say this, without artists, there would be no entertainment. Entertainment, molds peoples ideas and tastes in society. Without it, there'd be a lack of inspiration in the world. Art in movie or story form, painting, concept, etc, actually causes many people to be inspired to do something with their lives in a variety of ways. It changes the way people see things in life. Art leads people. The statue of Liberty, the American flag is art, the statues and paintings of artists interuptations of Jesus (I'm not religious by the way) are all types of iconic art that leads and impacts people.

    Artists aren't just painters and concept artists. Were also writers/storytellers, musicians, clothes and cars designers, sculptors, an in many ways, scientists and technitions, etc. If you feel so, you are many of these, not just one type of artist. Meaning, without artists, there wouldn't be much of anything. There'd be no music, no stories, no strange characters from other worlds, no extreme ideas to make society think more and see the world in different ways, which allows people to build more things to better society, or at least make it more complex. There would be no statues, no visual art to record history. After a long day of work at the bank or gas station, there would be very few outlets of entertainment that allowed people to experience other worlds and to think. Many people are so bored with society that they spend much of their lives living in the worlds that WE artists create, and those worlds actually help many people grow, which is very important. We control many peoples choices in life in some ways.

    I think that artists who only scribble in their sketchbooks, etc, and never do anything worth while with their work, who are too self absorbed (as OTIS said), are indeed "useless artists" as SEB put it. One example is, I think a lot of artists will get so overwhelmed at other peoples talents, that they begin to worship those artists and pretend that they themselves aren't good enough to be worth while to society. They beat themselves up, believing that only the godly artists can do it. That is also being self absorbed and I see too many artists do it. Some are self absorbed in a way were they think that it's wrong to do art for society, to show what you have. That mentality makes you become useless because when you die, what have you really accomplished, and who really cares about it other than yourself?

    These are just my thoughts, I could be wrong, but thats what seems to makes sense.

  11. #10
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    Creativity and Imagination make all those other jobs worth doing.....problem solving jobs like doctors, mechanics, and movers are all there to accomodate a creative and imaginative world.

    When all is said and done, creativity and imagination is all that's left when the other jobs are done.

    Art is the reason people see doctors to help stay alive...sorta. I mean creativity and imagination keep life interesting enough to live. As artists, we're responsible for the maintenance of the awesomeness.....pretty important if you ask me.

    -Rob
    My Sketchbook
    Encouragement keeps me swimming , even in the undertow of disappointment.

  12. #11
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    ChrisJ,- I think that is the answer I was looking for, put better then I could word for myself. That makes alot of sense. Thanks for taking the time to respond.

    NoUseFrAName-makes sense. well put. Thanks, bro.


    Otis- Don't worry man, I'm not making any money with my art just yet, and I chose not to get a job game animation, so I'm not mucking up your industry...

    seb- heh.

  13. #12
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    Art is the ability to create an emotion or feeling through a work of art. It enables us to express out thoughts, feelings, views, and ideas for the entire world to view and discuss.

    Art is a self-taught exercise for the mind. Your brushes and programs are only your tools, what you create with them is based entirely on yourself and what you are actually capable of.
    "You are not special. You are not a beautiful or unique snowflake. You are the same decaying organic matter as everything else." - Tyler Durden

  14. #13
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    mucking up "my " industry?? Who said you would "muck up" anything? I'm trying to get you to see that YOUR ART SKILZ ARE VALUABLE!
    "If one advances confidently in the direction of
    his dreams, and endeavors to live the life he
    has imagined, he will meet with a success
    unexpected in common hours."
    - H.D. Thoreau

  15. #14
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    wow. you people take art really seriously. don't get me wrong about the process, but its not like we are in the business of saving lives or curing cancer.
    Last edited by seb; May 20th, 2004 at 10:09 PM.

  16. #15
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    Just out of curiosity seb, Why do you do it?

    I know not all of its about the money, but inside you, you just enjoy the hell out of doing it. But I'm just wondering why you chose to be an artist?

    -Iwasink
    -http://iwasink.com/-
    DS Illustration
    "Get reference.
    There is nothing wrong with using a photo to help you see things.
    No one complains about life drawing,
    so take a photo.
    its easy, and will improve your piece greatly."

  17. #16
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    i do it because if you screw up, no one dies. and also because ive gone too far to turn back. i changed what i wanted to do lots of times and one of the last things i was doing before art school was studying to be an emt. of course people draw for certain reasons, but if you are blind by your love for creating, then it causes problems with you being objective in what you do.
    i do it because i can... and no dies or is hurt in the process. plus its something that you dont need anyone else. but i dont think that i do anything that contributes in an important way to society.
    Last edited by seb; May 20th, 2004 at 11:57 PM.

  18. #17
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    saying there's no need for art is like saying there's no need for religion... while I'm not super religious, I do believe that there's more to life than shuffling papers and driving to and from the mall. art make a person whole, gives them something inside that can't be bought. I'd rather not have doctors than not have artists.

  19. #18
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    Originally posted by seb
    wow. you people take art really seriously. don't get me wrong about the process, but its not like we are in the business of saving lives or curing cancer.
    Ah, but what, then, is the point of being cured of cancer if there is nothing in the world worth seeing? That's where artists come in. Photographers, painters, sculptors, comics, writers, musicians, actors, whatever. They (you, we, whatever) exist to bring a spark of joy into the lives of others, and make their lives someting to look forward to.

    Can you imagine a world without art? Without paintings, theater, landscaping, TV, radio, sculpture or archetecture? What about without the art of writing, or a weaving a good story? I don't know about the rest of you, but if I lived in that world, I'd give the guys saving lives the day off, and I'd kick the bucket.
    Action always generates inspiration. Inspiration seldom generates action.
    - Frank Tibolt

  20. #19
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    I agree 100% Daissan...

  21. #20
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    Wow, it's too bad that there are people out there who blindly think so lowly of artists, and an artists purpose. It's no wonder that many artists get no respect for their hard work and the impact it has on society goes unrecognized. Some guys girlfriends believe that they don't do work, that they just mindlessly draw pretty, meaningless pictures and play all day and get paid for nothing, as if no intense, logical thought goes into the work. I've met a lot of adults who think art is silly compared to things like engineering. I think to myself, "is my main focused art work going to mean anything to people when I show it in 9 months? Or will it all be for nothing?" If so, I figure my career is done. To me, why do work if it does nothing important or worthwhile? If you've worked so hard your whole life to this point, it should amount to something meaningful. At some point, all that you've learned should come together and be used to make your impact in this world, to show that you exist, otherwise, it's all worthless and for nothing, it's then silly, frivolous, a joke. Years of work and thinking and analyizing, all equal to the value of a homeless man dressed as Santa Clause.

    Well, not everyone has the same reasons for doing art.

  22. #21
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    If you think art is silly and meaningless work like myself for the last 19 years in the ads - you may change your mind ...

    Fipse
    <Insert witty remark here>

  23. #22
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    Thanks Seb, for providing me with some few minutes of entertainment.

  24. #23
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    Oohh eniges vs artists -nice topic!

    Engineers create machines, artists create culture.

    I am glad there are so many skilled engineers out there who work hard and studied a lot to make all those great things that make life easier...like my coffee machine .

    But imagine a world without art or art inspired things -what would all those engineers do in their free time?
    How boring would television be? without music and original pictures, without movies? (i find it boring enough as it is)
    No models in computer games, no maps no textures, no music, no story. -We'd all be playing "pong".(and drive around in our ugly machine world in ugly cars)

    If theres a wall in your way you can build something to get across, a ladder or a bridge. An engineer will be of great help.
    If theres a wall in your head (that someone installed there)
    and it is in your way an artists will be of more use than an engineer.

    Other thoughts:

    As art can express what cant be expressed by words, I believe there would be many things that could hardly be communicated at all if ther was not art.

    If I would be forced to choose between dreams&ideas and reality, I'd pick the dreams.

  25. #24
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    I do art for my own sanity most of the time.
    It's a release of pressure.
    I know, I'd completly lose myself to an idiotic lifestyle if I wasn't doing art constantly.
    It's just something that has to pour out of me, otherwise I would be diving seriously into drugs, more alcohol and other excesses.
    Or just go extremely mad.
    Also, I know that I can be a freaked-out bitch if I don't produce anything for a certain while. Give me two weeks off, no paper, no pencil, and I'll go yelling at anybody for simply nothing.
    Even though art accompained me all of my life, I didn't actually realize I was doing it until I turned 15 or 16. Before that, I had dreams of becoming a police officer, a cook, a teacher and many other things.
    Today, I know, I'd suck at being a police officer, a cook or anything else. Art is just saving me, because I'd fail at all the other things.
    And it gives me something to strive for. Something like a driving goal that tells me, that, as a human beiing, I am not meaningless. That I can do things, that other people enjoy.


    Marko
    Last edited by Marko Djurdjevic; May 21st, 2004 at 08:59 AM.

  26. #25
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    Some quotes about art that I feel are right on.

    A musician must make music, an artist must paint, a poet must write if he is to be ultimately at peace with himself. What one can be, one must be.
    --Abraham Moslow

    Human life itself may be almost pure chaos, but the work of the artist is take these handfuls of confusion and disparate things, things that seem to irreconcilable, and put them together in a frame to give them some kind of shape and meaning.
    --Katherine Anne Porter (1894-1980) US novelist, short-story writer

    It is art that makes life, makes interest, makes importance . . . and I know of no substitute whatever for the force and beauty of its process.
    --Henry James

  27. #26
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    its rather interesting seeing that a majority of people here feel so strongly about art and its importance to society. but in all seriousness, it seems that people are rather defensive about its place in the world. i think its a matter of standing too close to the trees to see the forest. i do agree that art isn't a bad thing, but i am questioning it as the reason why all humans go about their lives. I would doubt that art rates extremely high on why most ordinary people go about their lives. I'm sure most of you with jobs and higher ups that have no artistic training can attest to the fact that they make decissions that you do not understand or think improve the work. And now for some brief historical tidbits, the spartans of ancient greece had a society that revolved around war and all nonessential elements of their society were eliminated. the industrial revolution starting from the london, great exhibition in 1851 brought the idea of styling to mass produced goods. it was essentially the start of industrial design. it seems that art for the masses besides that used for religious purposes, was mostly for the wealth before the appearence of a middle class. there is the example of the dutch middle class that emerged with the tulip boom and the art that they purchased.

    art is good, art is nice, but if it were suddenly a madmax situation, i'm sure we wouldnt be trading sketches we drew for a gallon of gasoline. that and i sure like my job drawing stuff... it all goes back to the analogy of us and sports athletes.

    just remember, i'm not against you because i'm one of you. i just dont think its good to take yourself so seriously. we draw pictures after all and i'm sure we would all be doing regardless of whether we are being paid or not.

  28. #27
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    seb, so you think art serves no "functional purpose"? What do you think people did to for record keeping before writting or the camera? What do you think Architecture is? Why do ancient cultures all have different looking styles, paint their faces and design colorfull outfits? The egypitans used hyrogliphics (sp?) and the Greeks used it on their pottery to pass down legends and history.

    Art communicated stories to people before writting was even invented! I'm sorry but you are crazy if you think art does or did not play a virtal role in humanity.

    Art does rate high on their everyday lives whether you know it or not. You watch performing arts on TV, movies, theatre. People are influenced by ADs on billboards, and propaganda.
    Why do countries have flags???

    Logos like the Swastikka speaks volumes...even though it's "just a graphic."

    I hope I helped you realize that no one is being defensive, we are just trying to help you see how important it is.
    Last edited by otis; May 21st, 2004 at 08:01 PM.
    "If one advances confidently in the direction of
    his dreams, and endeavors to live the life he
    has imagined, he will meet with a success
    unexpected in common hours."
    - H.D. Thoreau

  29. #28
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    you are defining art a lot wider than i am. i think this has to do with personal experience. personally, i define art more as fine art... visualization for the point of expression specifically defined in painting and drawing(whether abstract or not). i consider most of the commerical applications that you list as design. architecture, most specifically modernism definately fall more towards engineering and math than expression. i consider design as something more practical than art, in the process it can involve things considered art, but in the end it usually produces a functional item, a chair, a car, a toothbrush, a videogame. All of the work that goes into the final product arent necessarily seen by the public nor is it necessarily important. there was an article about frank gehry making chairs where he was sitting on pieces of thick foil to produce random shapes. does the person sitting in the chair necessarily need to know that? this can go on and on. but then again if you open up the definition of art wider to accompany a wider range of things, it can create a lot of problematic questions that are brought up by modern fine art(is a man peeing in a mug considered art? not a painting or photo of it, but the actual act?)

    i think this whole idea comes from my schooling. essentially a trade school drifted away from bauhaus leanings. in the end, no matter exactly what you say, we are doing the same thing that you did when you were a kid and had a box of crayons and a stack of paper, albeit it is more complicated and sophisticated. does that sound serious?

    anyway, this is fun. and i hope youre not getting the wrong idea about what i am saying.

    addendum ::
    heh. forgot to answer a few of your points. architecture. have you ever read "the fountainhead" by ayn rand? there is a bit in there about the evolution of early architecture essentially stating it is a copy of a copy of a copy. its a similar thing to this raymond lowry drawing showing the evolution of the shapes of cars and the projected trend in shapes(they get more sleek and bullet-like). but in early cars they looked much like boats and borrowed conventions from there. the point is that until very recently in history, most things served a more practical purpose and then asthetic second(makes sense if you have to make most things you own yourself). and also, architecture seems to be highly math/science based and mostly practical. the things we see everyday, if they are lucky are done by graphic designers, who spawned from the tradition of guttenberg and letterpress. and typesetting is a highly anal activity... im not srue wheer im going with this, but i think you define things that are commercial and more design oriented. plus, a sommon misconception about the swastika is that the nazi's created the symbol, but it has existed long before them. they only served to pervert it through association with their group. semiotics at work.
    Last edited by seb; May 21st, 2004 at 08:19 PM.

  30. #29
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    You even proved my point."visualization for the point of expression specifically defined in painting and drawing(whether abstract or not). " Expression is communication.

    Heck if you want me to "paint the swastikka in a "pop-art" fashion..would it change anything? No. It still serves it's purpose.

    I love this discussion seb. But in my opinion, art is a form of COMMUNICATION. I hate it when artists try to pigeon-hole themselves and their work. Both, a Fine art, Design, Architecture ,..and yes even Math are interelated. I know this because my roomate in college / best friend was a math major in mathematics and quantum physics. He also was a musician. He taught me that we find patterns in everyhting in life...math was just ONE way to communicate this. Just like art, math is used to communicate and try to understand life.

    But unlike math, Art can strike our emotions. Ex: a bridge is a functioning thing. But it also graphically represents things to us. ....I might be losing you here...

    ...A Keystone in an archway. That pinacle stone holds up the whole structure "functionaly". But it also serves as an icon.
    Icons, graphics, paintings, photographs, statues, etc...all communicate ideas to us.

    Now, weather a man pissing into a cup is being displayed as art....maybe the artist wanted to "piss you off"? Maybe that is the title of the piece? And thus it is successfull piece of art!

    Now I agree with you , that it is not art unless the artist "knows " what his purpose or intent was. If somone is just throwing shit up on a wall for the hell of it, and then trying to claim it as art...that's B.S. But once again, we have mentaly unstable people in life, and they too have ways of expression...even though we may never undertand them....(just a thought)


    ..your whole car design point: The cars are sleek and "aerodynamic" for a purpose as well.


    ..Hey Seb, are going to the workshop? We must have a beer together!!!:chug:
    Last edited by otis; May 21st, 2004 at 08:29 PM.
    "If one advances confidently in the direction of
    his dreams, and endeavors to live the life he
    has imagined, he will meet with a success
    unexpected in common hours."
    - H.D. Thoreau

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    i meant personal, noncommercial expression... personally i'm getting a little lost now about what the arguement is. but i think its dangerous to make such a big deal about what it is you do and its importance in the world. the whole problem is divorcing yourself from who you are and trying to find something else. to most people, art is thomas kinkaide, picasso and monet. of course if you do something, you are going to think it is important, but asking normal people the simple yes/no question, "is art important to society?" will be interesting. that and do you really want to know what they think is art? then again, art is a luxury that has trickled down, but design has always been for the masses. of the great achievements of mankind, i doubt a painting or a drawing will make it on that list. sure it makes life fun, but i doubt its a life or death type of thing

    nope. no workshop for me. i am saving my nickles for an old 911 which i can wrap around a tree.

    geez i was re-re-reading this and im making no sense. i guess i used all my alloted brain cells up for the day. and back to the topic, i sometimes i like sitting at the beach doing nothing instead of doing art. i find that if i have offtime where im idle, im much more productive when i work. and its more fun to boot.
    Last edited by seb; May 21st, 2004 at 08:46 PM.

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