I define an Artist as someone that uses whatever they can to creates things to affect others.
If a favorite musical artist, who hadn’t been on the map for 10 years dropped a new album that sounded just like the last one, you’d be disappointed. You’d ask, “This is what you waited to give us??” But how many times have you heard something like this “I miss the old Fall Out Boy.”?When I hear or see those types of comments, I go into Hero Mode to proudly defend the art from the cowardly close-minded. It’s OK not to like their new stuff. I don’t understand ridiculing the artist that refuses to remain the same. Why isn’t it commendable to jump out there and try something new? To evolve?
Art is not stone. Art is water. It will change as you change. It will become something new as you encounter new places, experiences, people, etc. For someone to produce the same art 10 years later is for them to announce that they’ve been in this same place, unaffected by significant life changes OR that they refuse to change after having been exposed to changes OR they’re holding onto the past because they’re afraid to change.
I’ve been thinking that maybe as teenage art students we would’ve been more interested in Art History if Mrs Westburg had of packaged it as Art Appreciation. The art – the need to affect the people exposed to it – never changed, only the mediums changed. Maybe it was just me, but I didn’t care about when the Renaissance started or ended. I would’ve loved to know how long people painted on walls in Egypt and how they made the paint. It would’ve been pretty cool to create our own set of oil paints. Things like that might have taught us to appreciate the journey of the work. Manet, Monet, Degas – who cares?! What were their journeys? What did their masterpieces evolve from? I thought I loved the craft of putting images on paper or molding clay into animals, but I love the craft of creation itself (if that makes any sense).
Be not only a fan of the craft; be a fan of the journey
It’s easy to see the evolution in things like music and art, but look at other things like car engines, prosthetics, medicine, computing, LASERs, etc. I could write pages on this stuff. These are things that take creative, forward thinking. And like our favorite musical artists, we might not want their art to change, but we need it to.
NOTE: Lyrics heard in the background of the narration are from “Rosa Parks”, a song by OutKast.