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Art Is For Everyone

By Kemal Faruquee

One of the saddest views that I encounter is that art is elitist: an activity for the few. Nothing could be more wrong. Art is for everyone, and the creation of artwork makes people happy. Many people have told me over the years that they don't have any artistic talent. To this I reply, "So what. Neither do I!"

Let's consider an analogy. People take part in many activities that don't produce tangible results: for example, going for a walk through the park. When the walk is finished, there's really not a tangible result. Sure, you reap the salubrious benefits of exercise, but there's nothing left to hold in your hand. One of the unfortunate and implicit aspects of artistic creation is that there's an actual creative manifestation which results.

If you sit down and make a painting, you can bet that after an hour of this activity, you're going to have something. You may be pleased with it, or perhaps you won't be, but there will be a canvas or paper that has paint smeared around on it. You can look at it. Others can look at it. People can make comments, "Isn't that wonderful!"

However, the philosophy that I advocate is that the process is its own reward. The painting that results hardly matters. It's the process of getting from point A to point B. That's what makes the experience worthwhile. Remember the walk through the park analogy? The walk was enjoyable. The walk was its own reward. Well, why shouldn't we look at making a painting in the same manner: it's the actual process of dipping the brush into the water, dabbing the paint, applying the brush to the paper, watching the paint swirl out in subtle rings of various hues. Then, perhaps you start molding the lines into a figurative pattern: the wonder of watching the image appear! The joy of the process!

Afterwards, what does it even matter whether your piece of work is considered meritorious or not? Why should that matter. The experience is like a type of mediation. You draw on the right side of your mind. And, afterwards, if you're anything like me, you may find that your thoughts seem a bit more clear.

Who can deny the benefits of creating artwork when we look at it this way. It's sad that people say things like, "I can't draw," or, "I have no talent." Well, that really doesn't matter. The process is its own reward.

Copyright 2005 Kemal Faruquee

About The Author
Kemal Faruquee studied literature at City College and NYU. He currently lives in Pennsylvania where he writes books, makes paintings, develops websites, and runs Creative Memories and a Love Poems Website.

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