Around late June, I watched a YouTube video from a channel called Claudette and Co. Where Claudette discussed depression and anxiety (I will add a link to the video down below), and her husband Gerd in this video suggested a film called 'What dreams may come'.' I was intrigued because if you do not know by now I am a movie lover and so I wanted to know what the movie was about and why he referenced the film. So as I do, I watched the movie. It was so good, but from watching it I had a few questions about art and creation and what that all kind of means in real life. By the end, I concluded some answers to my question not just from what I took from the movie but from speaking to others and my self-reflection.
My first question was,
Why does an artist make art? (paint, draw etc.)
I believe artists paint as a way of expressing themselves to display their imagination, emotions, a message. They may also get fulfilment, being at peace, relaxed and happy. And art is a way to say something that words cannot simply communicate. The saying is a picture is worth a thousand words.
The second question I had,
Why is an art more valuable when the artist is dead?
I supposed it is because when people know there isn't any more art coming from the artist and what is out there is the last of any kind, there is like a desire I discovered of having something that nobody else will be able to attain. After all, what is rare has value. People are all looking for something beautiful and different and not of this world, and to have an original art piece gives people the feeling that they too are something out of this world. That they possess something unique which makes them feel special. People want to feel something they never felt before, and a dead person's art does that. People want to escape the ordinary of their reality. Art is more valuable when an artist dies because you purchase the very last of that person's soul. People don't just buy a picture but the last of someone's creativity and their mind. People just want to feel, connect and experience.
My last question to conclude was,
So why does an artist sell their art, and why do people buy it?
People buy art because they care. They want to know. They want to feel what others are feeling. Because artists love and have passion and anguish, they want to share that with the world for people to feel included.
Art makes life enjoyable, worth living, and takes the mind somewhere else beyond reality, the beauty of imagination. Without it, it makes life mundane. Everything around is art, the stars in the night, the moon, the sun, the clouds, the blossom of the trees, our DNA, our eyes; it's all God's art. Art is embedded in everything we are, and thus it's embedded in everything we do. In the case of the film, art is even shown in the way you love and the lengths you will go to for that love.
I found life is about taking time to look at the art around and within and how we can show and share that with the world. Art is not selfish; it is selfless. It is used to connect with others. Art is the only semblance of something real, a meaningful life, something beyond us, magical, divine, bigger and better. What we are seeing, experiencing and doing daily is live art; we get to create as we go. Art isn't just a standstill picture with one action. It's a continuous, moving monologue like a film or a series.
People buy and sell art, which is valuable after death because art doesn't just end when the artist dies. It lives on through and through people forever and ever. Art is like our spirit. It's immortal, and it lives on. Who we are stays, and what we did and represent will never go. The mark we leave behind, and share is important to our legacy. It made me realise that what I do everyday matters. Even the mistakes I will and have made are part of my final piece that makes the artwork excellent and finished. Because I learn from them and make something better from it. I am sure many artists have made mistakes in the art whilst doing it, but they discover it for something good and make a masterpiece out of it. One example I found is Rembrandt van Rijn who used ink in a Joseph in prison sketch and made an error and could not cover it up, so what did he do? He pasted a zigzag-shaped piece of paper on top, then redrew the figure on the left. He also made a mistake by drawing the cental figure into something unrecognisable but then redrew the facial expression more cleanly above. It is important to keep going and to never give up, very much like in the movie when Chris (Robin Williams) goes through heaven and hell for his wife to save her. In the end, they end up together happy. Things that make life interesting are worth fighting for and investing in. There will be good times and bad times, but in the end, it will be worth it.
We are all artists; it's about what we create and leave behind. Makes me question what I want to leave behind? What will my art be? What is the piece that people will buy into? What will people remember me by when it's time to go? Definitely food for thought.