Why people like art

Why do people like art? The answers are many, varied, and often, intensely personal.

In this week’s article, I’m exploring why people like art. Please keep reading to discover my thoughts on the subject. If you’d rather watch and listen, feel free to jump to the video at the end.

Detail view of Celtic, part of my Hot Cross series
Image credit: Hilary Clark

Do you like art…?

A couple months back, I posed a series of questions on my Instagram (@hilaryclark13) as a sort of research project. One of those questions was “Do you like art? Why or why not?” The people who chose to respond all liked art but their reasons varied. All were as individual as the person.

One person was an art student when in school. She was initially inspired by architecture when creating her own work, drawn in by the aesthetics, feeling, look, design, and color. She remains connected to work with natural elements and architectural inspiration. However, she has a stronger connection to another art form, one she was introduced to by her mother: graphic art. Their shared love of graphic art, particularly that of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, created an additional bond between mother and daughter. She loves art that makes her think, feel, and offers a sense of freedom.

© 1892, Toulouse-Lautrec, “Ambassadeurs”
Image credit: Wikipedia

Another shared she likes art because it takes her mind in new directions. She sees an artwork and it triggers thoughts and emotions that allow her to expand her own vision of the world.

A third person sees art as a basic need, one that fuels her body and mind with inspiration and emotion. She’s drawn to all venues that share art – film, music, theater, museums, dance, and more.

A fourth likes art that speaks to her soul. She’s drawn to art that touches something inside her, evokes emotion and is the catalyst to connect her to memories and past experiences.

And a fifth shared she has a Masters of Art in Art History. Her connection and love of art is created by how much she can learn about a culture based on the art people create.

Art as transformation…

No one replied to my question with a “no, I don’t like art”. I think that’s because all of us like or love art in some form. We’re all drawn to the beauty, the message, the boldness, the subtlety, the colors, shapes, lines that make up artwork in all its media.

Like the person who sees art as a basic need, I believe art is available for us to offer us an opportunity to transform. To transform our vision. To transform our minds. To transform our hearts.

Art as a transformative vehicle opens us up to see the world in a new way. Each person sees something different in the art he or she views. And this individual perception allows each of us to imagine our own reality as part of the artwork itself.

My art…

I create feelings out of fiber – bright, bold, abstract textured fiber paintings. The act of creation allows me the opportunity to change the way I perceive my own reality. Through art making, I develop a connection to the feeling I’m creating.

We get stuck when we attach so strongly to a feeling we think that’s all there is. My work lets me feel the feeling and then step back to observe the feeling. Through observation, I can learn what the feeling is trying to teach me. And through the learning, I can transform my reality.

All art forms offer this opportunity. The art that draws you to it is trying to teach you something. And I think, maybe, just maybe, that’s why we love art.

Exit through the gift shop…

People love art for many varied and intensely personal reasons. It may be for a connection to a loved one. It may be for the opportunity to expand one’s vision. It may be because art feeds the heart and mind like food feeds the body. It may be for the emotion art evokes or it may be for what one can learn from art.

You may like art for one of the reasons above, or you may like art for a reason you hold deep in your heart. Liking art is personal, as individual as you are, and that’s a fantastic thing.

If you’re ready for a private (virtual) showing of my art, you can schedule an appointment here.

To discuss commissioning me to make a textured fiber painting specifically for you or someone you love, please schedule an exploratory commissioning conversation and we’ll see what we can create together.

If you liked what you read (or watched if you chose the video), please share with the one person you absolutely know would like it too!

Author: Hilary Clark

Artist, coach, poet, and writer. Creating feelings out of fiber. Aiming for modern renaissance woman. Will likely miss.

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