Lying With Art

Q: What is art?

A: Art is an expression of an artist’s experiences (physical and emotional) up to the present through his perspective.

This is the aspect of art that this post is about. If we are so bent on expressing ourselves (via art) why do we insist on expressing some fake version of ourselves? Allow me to explain.

Say I want to doodle. Usually I sketch faces and figures, but for now I want to draw a stick man. Just a circle with lines forming  the  body, legs, and arms. Oh, and a smiley face. However, the rest of my sketchbook is filled with my anatomically correct “masterpieces”. What would people think? I’d seem much less talented than I really am. Thus I decide not to draw the stick figure at all, and instead to ink out a fashion design or something. Something much more challenging and impressive.

Do you see? I decided to draw what I wanted others to see me draw, rather than what I felt like drawing. This kind of selective inspiration is exactly what I try to avoid with art! In this scenario I chose to express who I wanted to be, not who I really am. Shouldn’t I want to express myself through art?

I could have this approach to any other style that I feel inspired to use, yet don’t want to reveal to the world. Say I feel like drawing only people with sad faces, but don’t want to seem ungrateful for my situation. Say I want to draw only people with happy faces, but don’t want to seem obnoxious and “blind to the problems with society”. Say I want to use only the colors pink and purple, but don’t want to seem stupid and frivolous. It happens all the time. Selective inspiration helps no one.

All I’m trying to say is that lying with art is just as bad as any other type of lying, if not even more so.  I don’t know about you but I resolve to draw stick figures until the end of time, or until I feel inspired to draw something else. If we should be honest in any area of life, let us be honest in art, because that is what art is for.

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