Why Do We Have the Arts?

I love writing. It’s not so much typing the keys, but more along the lines of selecting the right words. I suppose it is similar to a painter selecting the correct pigments for their pallet. Perhaps it is akin to a sculptor selecting the perfect stone, chisels, for music, the right notes, and the choreographer’s ideal steps. All of the arts have their unique things connected to them. It is always what the artist does with the basic materials where the importance lies.


As a youngster, I hated writing. Also, I could not see how writing might be an art form. Just putting some words down on paper was ridiculous. As I grew, I slowly understood that it might be art-worthy, but I still could not fathom how great written art could be.


All this time I quite liked reading novels and even the newspaper. I never gave it thought most of the time. I read the assignments as requested in school, and I wrote the best I could (which was horrible).

Aging as slow as we all do, so also did I begin to understand excellent writing. I started reading classic books, the ones that interested me. Modern classics tempted me, and I dove in, reading them. Years poured by before I began to understand that I could write something other people could enjoy.

It took many tries, years before I found the joy in writing. When that happened, I reveled in discovering characters that spoke, hurt, and loved all independently. They lived, died, and struggled through crises of their own making.

Thoughts of readers breathing hard while anticipating the outcome of a struggle or crying at the sudden loss of a beloved character, perhaps laughing at some crazy antics, all give me pleasure, a kind of catharsis of my own.

Strange, I should have the reaction so often sought by artists for their audience to experience.

Hmm, that’s worth pondering.

Could this be the reason for which we have art? Oh, sure, beauty is in the eye of the … and all that. However, babbling that phrase says nothing about why we have the arts.

Music is a basic urge; I know that. Every culture has its version of it, and individuals worldwide hum and sing even to themselves. Even the deaf culture appreciates vibration. Given that, why does the musician compose or perform? I go into detail in my metaphysical book on that subject.

We see graphic art in everything, colors in nature, shapes of all kinds, and textures. Are they simply mimicking what they see in nature? Is that all it is? It may have started that way. But I think the idea of graphic art grew past that beginning posture. The same for any of the arts – developed more than their rudimentary beginnings.

I want to know why the artist, of any form of art, creates? Well, why?

Sure, beautiful textures zing around then, but I think doing it strictly for those feelings shortchanges the artist. There should be at least an acknowledgment that the artist needs feedback, and I’m not saying it must be positive feedback either. There should be a cause-and-effect thing going on in some way or another. The artist creates, and the audience generates emotions resulting from it. Does the artist do the actual act of constructing that art for the feeling they receive when in the act of producing it? Does it not follow that the emotions need to find their way back to the artist?

Perhaps that is the key. We create art for an audience; that’s a given. At least for those that perceive it. The thing that is missing is, what about the emotions resulting from the art. The artist has their feeling braided throughout that creation, hoping the audience feels the same emotion at the same level as the artist.

Here’s the trick — sometimes, the feedback is not the same as the one hoped for by the artist. Two things can happen here. The first is that the emotions fall short, and the art is trash in the audience’s eyes. But the second thing that can happen is the audience’s emotion far surpasses what the artist intended.

It is the hope of that last thing that is the valid reason for art. I hope you can also see it.

Now that I’ve cleared that up in my mind, I need to remind you that I have written a couple of thrillers that I would love for you to purchase if you like thrillers. If you have read this on my website, click on Published Work in the menu, and it will take you to the book information. If you read it on Amazon, you can find them easily.

Okay, so much for the commercial. I would like you to sign up for my newsletter. It’s easy, free, and you don’t need to worry about me selling or giving your information away. Ever. Just click right here.https://www.jerrywbell.com/newsletter

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