Merriam-Webster defines art as “the conscious use of skill and creative imagination especially in the production of aesthetic objects.” Humans have been making art for a long time. Have you ever asked yourself why this is? Surely there is a deeper reason than that people need a creative outlet.
What are some reasons why you think people create art?
4 Psychological Reasons People Make Art
Yes, humans create art because they need a creative outlet. However, there are other psychological reasons why people create art. Nathan H. Lents, PhD., contributor to Psychology Today, said these reasons are…
- Art is beautiful
- Art/beauty promotes emotional responses
- Art calls past experiences and emotions to mind
- Art facilitates communication and education
While these are all legitimate, there are other reasons why people go to the trouble to make art, and they are unique to the artist.
Artists Speak Up About Why They Create Art
Greater Good Magazine, a publication of UC Berkeley, suggested that different artists make art for different purposes. Here are what a few of those artists had to say about their reasons for creating art (as quoted in Greater Good’s article Why We Make Art:
- Gina Gibney, the artistic director of the New York-based Gina Gibney Dance Company, stated that she makes art to give power to others. “In life, we experience so much fragmentation of thought and feeling. For me, creating art brings things back together. For me, making work is almost like keeping a journal. Giving that to someone else—as a kind of gift through live performance—is the most meaningful aspect of my work,” she said.
- Judy Dater, a photographer of 40-plus years, makes art because she enjoys expressing her emotions and helping people better understand themselves. She said, “I like expressing emotions—to have others feel what it is I’m feeling when I’m photographing people. I think photographing people is, for me, the best way to show somebody something about themselves…”
- Pete Docter, who directed Up and has been involved in the creation of several Pixar movies, makes art because it is simply fun to do so. He stated, “I make art primarily because I enjoy the process. It’s fun making things. As filmmakers, we’re pretty much cavemen sitting around the campfire telling stories, only we use millions of dollars of technology to do it. By telling stories, we connect with each other. Or we just make cartoons. Either way we try to have a good time, and we hope the audience does too.”
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Why Do You Make Art?
Are you an artist? If so, what is the primary reason you make art? Please share with us in the “comments” section below.
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