Producing art gives us power. I see it as a power over ourselves, over our energy, perception, motivational systems. And perhaps most important, I view it as a supplanting of our need to achieve a social equilibrium (which in my mind is never really possible anyway), by a need to achieve harmony with ourselves in relation to the universe.
The truth wear six billion faces, and each has different life circumstances, a different life script, if you will, and a different mode of being. For me, doing art takes me to a place from which I can accept all scripts and embrace the subjective and relative nature of truth. Because my own script is to me so engaging, at times enthralling, and always varied and full of mystery, it teaches me both tolerance and hope. It gives me confidence in the infinite potential of the universe, for hope, harmony, and healing. In short, it gives me joy.
I’ve heard it said that artists, in doing art, are participating in a God-like Creation process, and indeed it is true. While we are by no means transmuted into gods by the creative process, we at least become His humble hand-maidens. We see glimpses of beauty and wonder in places where other people may fail to look, unearthing it at every turn. We see new relationships, both visual and metaphoric, sociological and scientific. And this is our reward for moving away from the more petty power struggles that so often escalate into real and dangerous conflicts around the globe.
I’ve heard it said, also, that we artists make art in order to find love and to be loved. I think the apex of this is that in the tender connections we make to the universe, we find some degree of self-love. I think this is a balanced form of self-love that perceives the relative and tenuous nature of things, including the subjective nature of our own lives. Therefore, in my opinion, it is a mature self-love, not to be confused with narcissism.
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