Success within the artistic world of expression and communication is often elusive, even to those creating and speaking in it.
Create something so abstract that people don’t know what you’re trying to say, and you’ve missed the point of that art form; create something so generic for the sake of making a buck, and life gets–well–boring.
But creating something that speaks to a collective heartbeat, while still making individuals feel uniquely awed, is one of the greatest successes a creator can have.
I’ve seen paintings so terribly abstract that I’m convinced not even the artist knows what he was trying to paint (mostly likely because he was on some bad hippie lettuce). I’ve also seen song writers throw out their classical training and write the most predictably pathetic worship sings simply because they knew the mass-market would buy it and everybody could sing it.
The earlier drug reference aside, both scenarios are faulted.
For one, artists need to be thoughtfully specific. They need to have an audience in mind. “I’m creating for __________.” And secondly they must have a motive. A destination in mind. “Before he or she experienced my piece, the person was at point A, but after my offering, he or she should at least be on their way to point B.”
This is the business side. Art must connect with people if it is to be sellable, if it is going to reach a wider audience than just someone’s grandma or college roommates. It needs to have a certain packability that can be simply expressed and communicated in such a way that the public wants more.
But too obvious, and art risks its greatest foe: being cliché.
All artists I know, whether audio or visual, want to be original. They want to be ahead of the curve, authentic, and pushing boundaries.
This is the artistic side.
Art displays life as it could be, in a more perfect sense. A well written and executed worship song elevates our perception of and experience with God (arguably all good art does this); a powerful painting depicts a brighter sky than the one we are presently under; a moving dance stirs the core of a person’s soul to love their spouse more deeply; a drama convicts us of error and endorses a more steadfast line of integrity.
The problem? Art was never meant for your sketch book. Such a terminally ill condition is the lifelong lot of some humanity’s great creative ideas. In short, your art has to sell. Whether it’s your lack of motivation or your unrelenting pursuit of the obscure, you’ve get to bend to the fact that your gift needs to be shared if it is to ultimately glorify its Creator.
We all know our fair share of “broke artists.” But more often that’s the case of an artist that doesn’t know how to “market” themselves than a public who’s unwilling to purchase. Or it’s the case of an artist who has never fully embraced the confidence that God has in them to create meaningful works of art.
He should know. He put it there.
Because God made us to create life-symphonies that impact the whole world just like His have. ch: