What is Art?

Is art only sculptures, and paintings, and things? What about a play or a movie? What about video games?

Is art only what can be seen? Then how would you define poems, songs, and fine cuisine? Are singers and songwriters liars or just mislabeled as artists?

Can only finished pieces be art? Then how can movies and video games publish and sell books of the half finished sketches and paintings that inspired the final product?

Does art have to not have a sales intent to be considered art? I have seen greeting cards, movie posters, and even commercials that would challenge that idea.

Everyone has an opinion on what is art and what isn’t. There is no universally accepted definition that encompasses all of art. Even artists are split on what art is and can be. Art is a profession that is shrouded in mystery, romance, and glamour. In art school, the focus was on teaching you the tools of your trade so they didn’t get in the way of your creativity and expression. Not one of my teachers even tried to define “art”.

One thing that I’ve yet to find an exception for is that all art tells a story.

For movies and videos games, the story is blatant. For greeting cards and commercials, the story either encourages action or evokes emotion. The best art in my opinion always does. Paintings, sculptures, songs, even well made food tell a story – even if that story is as simple as “this is what I care about”.

Do you use art as part of your business’ messaging? Do you make art yourself? What story do you want to tell? Is your art telling that story?

See you next Wednesday.

Chris Jabas