Why make art?

Updated: Nov 7, 2020

There are very few questions you can ask that are also existential dilemmas, like this one is. For some people, it may be nothing more than passing speculation, an idle conjecture to consider, when deciding whether to engage in a new hobby, like collecting stamps or birdwatching. Why collect butterflies? Why play tennis? Why take up Bridge or go on a cruise? Why make art?

They all can be answered at least on some level by—why not? Except that last one.

Perhaps it’s something that you take seriously, however, in which case why not? may not suffice as the answer to why you are taking on so vast an undertaking as the making of art.

Perhaps you even went to college for it, like I did. That’s serious, although not always. I took it seriously, however, and earned two fine arts degrees, a bachelor of fine arts from the School of Photography at RIT, and a master of fine arts degree from Columbia University’s School of the Arts.

But you don’t make art because you went to school for it. If anything, it’s the other way around. School is an extension of the desire to make art. Right? A manifestation of your will to improve, to get better, to learn your craft and to become trained in the discipline of your art form.

So. Why do you make art ?


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