Making art is a profoundly good thing to do with your time. It makes our world a better place. Yet almost all artists struggle with doubt about whether what they are doing is worthwhile.
Many of us have also been told that when we are making art, we’re doing something frivolous, silly, or wasting our time. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Anytime you are feeling that doubt about the value of doing what you love—it’s strikes me often—you can look at this list to rekindle your commitment to your art.
Here are 9 excellent reasons to answer the call of art
1. You become a better, happier, more fulfilled, kinder person when you make art, follow your dreams, do what you love to do. (It doesn’t mean you become a saint. Of course, there are plenty of badly-behaved artists, but it does help.)
2. You become a more imaginative and humble person. (Nothing can humble you like trying to make good art and grow as an artist.)
3. You become an inspiration to others. When you make things and do what you love and follow your dreams, it encourages, delights, and inspires others.
4. You give voice or form to things that others cannot express for themselves. You help others feel seen, heard, understood, less alone.
5. You enlarge the world for others and help people appreciate the world. You express things others didn’t see, hear, feel, know, or stop to pay attention to. You also make the world more beautiful, wondrous, and magical with your art.
6. You help people wake up to what is actually going on. You can be a visionary, a way-shower, a shaper of culture and society. You can shed light on things that need light shed on them.
7. You help people feel, think, and experience life deeply. You help people come alive.
8. You open new visions, new possibilities, from which new worlds are born. You motivate and inspire, instigate and foment, and lead the way forward.
9. You uphold values that are deeply in need of being upheld in our world today: values like love, wonder, play, compassion, gratitude, honesty, and also outrage at what needs to change.
Yes, you may also be a bit of a pain in the neck sometimes. Making art can make you obsessive, self-involved, and weird (by societal standards). It does that to me.
But I am also more joyful, alive, real, funny, balanced, and have more to give when I give myself plenty of time in my creative bubble, tinkering around with the joy of art.
So, go forth and make art. It’s an excellent use of your time.