10 Reasons Why We Create Art

What drives us to create? Of course you know the age old question: What is art? But a far more interesting question to ask ourselves is: Why do we create art? What motivates us to do so? What prompts us to act?
You might create to stay young and flexible or feel that you are born to be an artist. This, however, doesn’t really get to the core of the question.
Curious to find out your own reasons for creating art and be inspired by it? Read our top 10 below!

1. To show our experiences

As an artist, you can be inspired by what you see. You want to show others your experience to drag them into what you are going through. Put them in your shoes. Open peoples eyes.
Growing up, we have a big need to show our parents what we can do. Later on, it is important to us that our friends know of our abilities and perhaps about our crazy stunts.
At least as an artist, you feel the need to display your art, your point of view, your part of the story. We might not be children anymore. But right now, the whole world is our playground.

2. To provoke

While art, as a means of showing your experience, can still be quite neutral, using art to provoke isn’t. A reason to create art is, because you want your art to make people think, to provoke action and make people talk about your specific subject. It is possible you create art in order for people to be moved by it. To provoke action. Aside from provoking in a negative way, giving joy, enriching lives and making people laugh are also reasons to be motivated as an artist. Those two sides of provoking aren’t mutually excluding. When you are able to portray the push and pull of life, it enriches your art.

3. Social connection

By means of art, you can make people move away from eachother, but it can also connect. It can make different groups of people come together. It can be a social gathering, like a wedding or funeral. Or an actual bridge, creating a way to connect two shores.
We are social beings. When you experience something relevant, you want to share this with someone else.
Even if your art in itself doesn’t have a social goal, by creating art, you can achieve a way of connecting yourself with others. It doesn’t matter whether your goal is to connect with a small group of oddballs or the whole world.

4. To experience life

Art does not only have an impact on the people you want to reach, it also has an influence on yourself. Creating can make life fun. It can make you go on a journey. Whether this is real or imagined. A lot of artists enjoy the process of creation. To experiment with different elements. To do things you didn’t think of doing before.
By creating, your limits are being pushed. It gets you out of your comfort zone. By traveling, trying to understand the world or learning from it. Or, by capturing your experience through art, maybe you are able to return to that particular event and relive it. By being creative, you are moving. Movement will create your experience. Experience makes you feel you are living.

5. As form of transcendence

You can use art to become a better person. Creating can be a form of therapy. A way to create flow and escape time and reality as you can see, feel and touch it. You can feel transformed by it, being able to withstand or overcome the troubles of life.
Sometimes, life sucks. Pink colored glasses are far out of your reach. The glasses you are wearing aren’t even neutral colored. They are grey or maybe even close to black. At that point, it helps to do something you love. To put up some music and go for it! You can make something  beautiful for the sake of bringing more beauty in the world. You can enjoy the process, not precisely knowing where you’ll end up, but ending up somewhere anyway. When taking a break, you realize, life is great! Or, at least, it is not that grey anymore. Don’t forget to admire your own creation!

6. To express ourselves

Ever done this? It is a rainy day, you are walking somewhere and with nobody around, you start singing. Freeing isn’t it?
Not all of us show who we are on the outside. Even so, what is on the inside must come out every once in a while. To express your emotions and to show who you really are, can be a form of art. By calling what you are doing, it is easier to withstand being ridiculed. You can use it as protection. As a way to say “This is me!” without making it sting too hard for others. The need to express yourself is closest to the feeling of being born to be an artist. You just need to reveal what is inside of yourself. Because, keeping it in is not an option.

7. To express what could be

Science can inform art. Especially movies use science and, most of the time, artistic freedoms are being used. But art, perhaps your art, can also be used as inspiration for scientific research.
Yes, as an artist, you are probably messy, chaotic even. This, however, can also be a good thing. By shaking things up, new ideas can come to life. A new path could be seen and walked upon.
Most people need some form of structure in order to manufacture a type of creation. You do not need this. When others see a blank sheet of paper, they see nothing. You see endless possibilities.
Of course routines are important. They can be critical to our survival. Even though this makes us stay alive, art can make us thrive. Your art can make life worth living.

8. To sell

Do you think commercials are art? Not everybody agrees. However, artists do work on commercials. Think of a composer making a jingle or a graphic designer making a poster, actors selling products on tv.
How can getting money from what you love to do, feel so cheap and empty? Is the eventual result to your product a good enough reason for creating art?
Of course it is! Because this reason is part of the many reasons you have. Even though most of us do not like to look at the financial side of what we are doing, we still like to create a prosperous business. Because, by doing this, we can live from what we dream of doing.

9. To pass on and record

Art can be a tool for teaching. To pass on information to our children. It can record memory and history.
You can probably remember those boring educational books you needed to read through at school. Nowadays, books like that are filled with pictures, comics and fun facts. Little movies are part of lectures. Who knew learning could be fun?
Recording history is important. Anne Frank’s diary is a great example to this. If she didn’t write her story down, what we know about World War II would be different. Writing every day can be tedious though. Great respect to everyone who does!

10. To empower

You can empower people with your art. Maybe because people feel supported or because you inspire others. They feel strengthened within their specific situation. Perhaps you are a social worker and use art as a means to enable people to run their own lives. Or you feel teaching others your particular set of skills is part of your societal duty. Even if your art isn’t meant for society as a whole, your art can inspire others to become artists themselves. Inspire people to reach the goal of their dreams. Your art can make others be able to take difficult decisions and change their lives for the better. Also, to give power, it can make yourself feel good. It empowers yourself.

So go on and finish what you started! Or start something completely knew. You already have us curious.
And don’t forget to put your art on this website!

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About the author

Author of this post

Hi, I am Rachel. Somebody with an interest in art. Particularly dancing, paintings and when art is being paired with social societal components. Salsa dancing and painting are my hobbies, writing is what I dream to do for a living.

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