This is a bit of a spinoff of the other thread.
I'll be honest, I personally put various forms of visual art on a higher pedestal than others - as I'd imagine a lot of you guys would as well, perhaps if not consciously, then subconsciously.
I've always been keenly aware that I like the aesthetic design of anything, whether it be a product, a drawing, a painting, even the typography of a well made newsletter - when they were done right, you never noticed it, it sat in perfect zen and nothing detracted from the overall product or piece.
Originally, when I left college, I knew I wanted to pursue something in the visual field...anything would do, I just didn't want to do anything in computer science.
So I poked and looked in every nook and cranny and eventually landed a role as a standard lock stock graphic artist doing catalogues, advertising and such. I was ecstatic because I was doing something visual!
That enjoyment lasted about 3 months until I realised all my visual desgn principles and aesthetic principles were thrown out the window once money started to be a factor. Customers didn't care about proper kerning, didn't care about visual balance or consistency, they didn't care about alignment or use of negative space...9/10 customers wanted to fit as fucking much informaton on the page as possible, and made sure to have the "50% OFF!" was always in a giant red star with bold lettering and was placed "somethere...anywhere that fits" on the page.
I started to realise that this job was absolute baloney, the could have hired a rote trained monkey to do that job so I started to look at what else I could do in the visual field. Even being paid freelance, rediculous (imo rediculous - simply because for what they wanted, my prices were always high) amounts, I would abhor having to do this work. I occassionally still do it, I mean who would turn down $1500+ for one days work? That is a lot of reference and art materials =)
I wanted to then get into 3d modelling because heck that seemed like it would be great fun, but then, I thought about it and thought to myself "hmm...there must be someone else BEHIND the designs...I don't really want to be taking someone else's designs and turning them into visual assets...what happens if I get a crap designer then I'll be doing a variation of what i was doing before", s I finally stumbled across the field of concept design and that settled it.
I worked hard at my drawing skills for 6 months in my spare time before landing a position doing exactly that then climbing higher within the company quickly.
Now I get almost complete creativ freedom in what I do, except for the fact that I still take the visual cue from the scriptwriter's story (I'm kinda fortunate since I have some sway in that as well heh), so within the working environment of team based creative work, this is about as close as I will get to doing my own thing.
I recently became entranced with the renaissance periods and I am studying their techniques and art form, both the visual aspect and mental dispositon behind their works, from the theatrical stances and expression to classically balanced composition in an effort to pay hommage to those masters of humanism. I've also taken to learning of sculpture, which is something I would also love to master in the future next to oil painting.
Underneath all this, I understand that I was not seeking a style, or job, but I was seeking freedom - what path should I take in order to wrench the creative hand back from others and place it into my own, so that I am essentially the master of my own fate and work.
I can now understand why some artists NEVER accept commissions, and instead rely on exhibitions to make their living.
So I guess what I seek, ultimately, is freedom.
I feel through a fine arts approach I can gain that freedom, I can express my thoughts as freely as choosing the subject matter through which to express it, I can take any stance I want and not be reeled in my upper echleons looking to stem creative effort in order to reduce polarisation of the market place thus increased the target audience range which translated to a higher return on invested capital (thats my managerial degree speaking...don't mind him, he's an idiot).
I feel for me, that is the highest form of visual representation, or the basis of how I rank visual representation - the less tightly the reins are wound around your subject matter and socio-political stance.
Also connected to this belief, I feel is also the need of physically unique qualities, I find myself strictly using my digital skills and tools only for work, and reverting to physical tools and mediums to explore my own works.
I believe a part of me, like so many others seeks some form of their lives and existence living forever in limited and treasured quantity, working in finite degradeable materials increases the impact of each piece.
So, have you asked this question of yourself lately? I'm assuming everyone who reads this loves their art - do you just want to "draw cool shit" as someone said in the other thread?
I once did, I admit that much, but I want so much more than that now, I want to affect people's thoughts and stance of subjects, just like film directors - those who can make people interested in a subject matter because of their film, imo have gone above and beyond what their jobs call for and have ascended to a higher level.
I know for one thing, my life does not revolve around money, I don't feel very many artists would revolve their lives around money, for me I don't give two shits to be honest, as long as I have enough to feed myself and buy my supplies, I don't give two hoots, I could be working on minimum wage (I'm not heh) and I wouldn't feel any worse for wear.
I feel through art, I am searching for myself, I am presenting myself with a blank canvas, asking myself difficult questions and replying to myself on that blank canvas, I am forcing myself to confront questions I usually don't ask in the best way I know how. I am searching for the meaning of life through art and I am being free while doing it.
A bit heady this all is...but I am convinced many of us are beyond the "draw cool shit" stage, perhaps you are drawing cool shit to make your living, while in your spare time you are also contemplating with your brush?
So, through art...what is it that you ultimately, or will ultimately seek? Mine is ultimately, my soul.