Updated: Jun 9, 2021
I find myself contemplating the philosophy of art lately: what does it actually mean? Is it for human betterment or merely entertainment? Is it a lifeline upon which we survive? Is it in our genes to monetise everything we do or has art been taken painfully hostage by "them"?
I have been re-reading this book which constantly blows my mind with the simplest observations about life as an artist. It leaves me wondering the use of it all. The answer is that art and making it can be just as futile as it is completely meaningful.
It has boggled my mind to think that some people are made for the sole purpose of creating art for the rest of us to learn from, lose ourselves to and communicate with. Would we ever say that doctors are people called to save lives? Somehow the answer wants to scream "no!" just because we know that humans must study the body in order to qualify as doctors, right? Whereas artists don't necessarily have to study scientific form in order to be qualified artists. Now it's important that I state that in no way am I downplaying the individual talents of people who become doctors - that does require skill and practice, the same way good artistry requires it.
However sometimes it seems like artists get to come out of the womb with a calling that is already predestined. They then repeatedly practice be it in church, in youth clubs, in the community or at home, and become profound in their specific craft the more they do it - think of Beyonce, Bruno Mars, Michael Jackson, Prince, Whitney Houston etc.
Sure, some forms of musical art require their subjects to study their chosen style e.g. jazz musicians in order to qualify as standard players in the genre. But it goes without saying that the way they would've begun their journey as musicians is simply by fumbling their way through their instrument. In some cases we hear of children who take instantly to the virtuosity of whatever instrument they play and this is something surely to be pondered upon.
I wonder if, for the rest of us whose craft grows at the same pace as our anatomy, there is room in the wider world for acceptance of mastery at an older age. It seems sometimes that there isn't.
The simplicity of this reality is overwhelming, especially when you consider that becoming a bonafide sonic artist in your field is far from simple.
Maybe art is truly a divine gift which cannot be learned. Or can it?
Honesty at its most curious.