What is art all about?
I feel like George Harrison lately. Not in the sense that I made amazing music and was a member of one of the most influential Rock ‘N Roll bands of all-time, but rather, that I am searching for something more. If you look back at Harrison’s life and have had a chance to catch Martin Scorsese’s incredible documentary “George Harrison: Living in the Material World”, you will see that George Harrison was not only one of the most interesting Beatles, but one of the most interesting people, the world had to offer.
When others accepted status quo, George Harrison looked for more. When the Beatles had discovered a certain sound, Harrison found ways to take that sound even further and build upon it. When talking with my peers, I get the sense that many of them would like to be better spiritually connected to something. Whether it be a higher power or themselves, they are looking for ways to live a more meaningful life and improve their feelings of self-worth as a lonely human navigating this world.
Lately, I feel just like George Harrison. Entering into my late 20s and taking time to listen and observe those around me, I find myself asking the same question as of late,
“Why do I make art?”
If you asked me this question two years ago, I would have said something like,
“Well, someday, I will know.”
Now, I realize how bogus that answer would have been and the more I make and create what I feel is “art,” the less I really know why I do it. Overall, it makes me feel really good.
I like to create things and break shit down and put it back together to help others feel some type of emotion. When I make videos, I want people to feel something. I’ve realized I need to let go of creative control when I let my art out there for others to see, and that I cannot dictate how or what humans feel when seeing it. Hell, they may never see it, and I’m slowly coming to terms with that fact as well. Maybe they just don’t give a shit. I know there have been plenty of times when I haven’t given one, so it would be hypocritical for me to say that others do not go through the same range of emotions.
When I write, I want people to feel something. When I review a movie scene or an album, I want people to feel something. I think you catch my drift.
Is this why I make art, though? I’m still not really sure. Maybe. Maybe not. Tomorrow, it might be different.
Heck, in one hour it might be different. Two years ago, it would be vastly different.
I think that’s the toughest part about creating things though. Everyone’s “why” is different and that is what makes it all so special. Now, do I feel I am better than someone because I write things and make videos and what not? Hell no. Not at all. Actually, it’s quite the opposite. I’d love for those folks who don’t make videos or write to really feel my shit, man. Now, that would be cool.
I’m not sure I love the term “creative” because it acts as a label, but if I were to use that term here, groups of creatives seem to vibe on some of the same wavelengths. However, not all. Then, we would all be the same and that shit is definitely not cool, or interesting.
Sometimes, I think I create ‘art’ because it helps me see why I am human and what it means to be human. And if I’m walking that line, I can tell you that I have moments where I make a video or write something I’m passionate about, and slowly realize that my level of passion or love for something may never mirror that of my viewers.
So, when I am hyped after finishing a write-up or a video, the rest of the masses may not care, it may not resonate, and they may not have/make time to read it at all. First, that’s hard as hell to come to terms with, and second, I think it’s sort of a hidden definition behind art and its meanings.
Think about Stanley Kubrick for a second. He directed The Shining, one of my favorite films of all-time. The camera angles are insane, the writing is top notch, the character and suspense build up gets me every time and it is nearly impossible to look away from Jack Torrence (Jack Nicholson) throughout the entirety of the film. Recently, I started the Stephen King novel of the same title, and 20 pages in, the two versions of the story are already completely differentiating. The feel from the opening pages of the novel does not mirror the opening wide-shot, landscape scenes with the creepy music in the movie, and it was pretty eye-opening at first to see.
When I did some research on both the film and the novel, I came to learn that Stephen King did not enjoy Kubrick’s take. He felt the film version of Jack Torrence was already crazy, compared to a troubled, alcoholic writer looking to turn things around in the novel version. Recently, I viewed the film alone and took it all in with my own thoughts and opinions. I saw certain scenes I had never remembered, character traits I missed, terrifying scenes I never felt were terrifying during my younger years, and so on and so forth it went. Now, that is art, folks.
Yes, I realize I just went from George Harrison to Stanley Kubrick, but that also adds to my reasoning behind my love for art. I can go from artist to artist, filmmaker to musician, director to screenwriter and still find some type of commonality between them all. It’s pretty insane really, but it somehow all makes sense to me. Weird, huh?
However, just like George Harrison, I am looking for more meaning out of my life, myself, my family and why I was put on this Earth.
How am I going to define my time here?
What will people say when I’m gone?
Will some of my ‘art’ live on for others to study and examine and talk about?
Man, I sure hope so.
Where as humans are mortal, art lives on forever. Maybe that’s why I like it so much.