Updated: Mar 1
Art for arts sake is that what we do? Drawing and painting is something I did when I was a child without thinking, it came as naturally to me as breathing air. Art was fun, I could create without pressure to feel that it had to be good and my parents, bless them, used to put it on the fridge or mantelpiece without a question. Thats great they would say! I was also part of an art club where I would play with art materials it was genuinely fun. I would sit and draw, enjoy creating and expressing myself. I grew up enjoying art and having a good sense that I could draw well and make things. It was a way to express my feelings and a great outlet.
Having gone onto art college, a degree in art, then being an art teacher, encouraging others to pursue their talents and art skills, somewhere along the line art had become more about what art can get you, a performance of art. The art for arts sake had gradually disappeared only appearing every now and then. It has to make you money right or its not worth doing? or get noticed? or be in an exhibition? Now I know that you are reading this thinking NO WAY I'd never think that. However it had crept into my psyche without me noticing until Covid 19. second lockdown. A time of reflection and just being.
Now I have spent most of the last year pressuring myself to feel like I should be creating because I am creative and don't I have more time? I started sketching everyday or trying too, however this soon fizzled out... Why? Well I touched on this in my last post about our Maslow needs not being met and being in a state of shock because of Covid. Also the idea of creating sustainable artwork had been bothering me, more about that in a moment.
So what Art for arts sake have I been doing? One thing and another has led me to start drawing on the iPad. In my life I have worked as a web designer before the introduction of build your own sites like WIX (do I get commission for this please?) the old fashioned way of html, flash, photoshop and dreamweaver so I am not a complete beginner in the tech department. However drawing on the iPad is a skill in itself. I have a cheap pen that I bought to work with and I have thoroughly enjoyed for the first time in a long while just PLAYING around and drawing. Not restricted by the cost and storage of art materials. I can try oils, pastels, charcoal and paints without the mess as well!
This is my first attempt at drawing on the iPad - I have now downloaded several apps which I am having a whale of a time PLAYING with not all of them create little videos like this one. So the joy of playing with art materials and different apps has taken away on overhanging burden of pressure that I didn't really know was there.
During this time I realised that our environment being destroyed and producing more waste than the planet can cope with also bothers me when it comes to creating art. After years of drawing and painting I have a lot of art work and sketchbooks, which is great if I die there will be a collection of my artwork for the whole world to see because I'll be famous ?!?? Right? Well a trip to a charity shop or the local rag market has taught me this is very unlikely to be the case (although I can't quite let that dream die.) So artwork I can't sell I need to give away and stop hoarding, and find a new way to create sustainable artwork. (this probably could be a whole blog of its own on sustainable artwork). Also acrylic paint is plastic right? Don't get me wrong Im still going to continue painting and drawing on paper and do sketches on recycled paper and on scrap paper but maybe I need to think about becoming a paperless artist?
So back to my point I wrote a blog a while back about creativity and play. I can honestly say this is the first time in a long while I have simply felt no pressure and wanted to just play and create for fun. Art for arts sake! Play and creativity have been linked for a long time and as I have discussed before play is something we as adults so often forget to make time for then wonder why we are not creating much! My son is sat playing with his toy dragons as we speak creating a whole world that only he is party to.. have I played today? will I allow myself time to?
I asked at the beginning of this blog art for arts sake is that what we do? There are obviously lots of answers to this question but I would say doing Art because you want to play with materials, ideas and generally explore is perhaps a part of the way to answering that question...please leave your own thoughts on this below thank you,