Art is a form of self-expression — but what is the worth of self-expression? Why express yourself?
What is the purpose of art?
There are many reasons for making art. Let me start with us — the individual.
1. Individual reasons for making art
Reasons why we should make art:
- Feeling of enhanced power, motivation in life
- Detecting and observing more beauty around us, in our everyday lives — which makes us feel more gratitude for being alive
- Enrapture: When we are in the zone or flow of making art, we lose sense of time, self, and we disappear totally into our artwork. This state of rapture is something that I know I get addicted to. It is the ultimate drug, and elevated state of consciousness
- State of joy knowing that we are creating artwork that can help other humans, and advance the whole field of artwork
2. Societal reasons for making art
Furthermore, when we make art, of course we share our artwork with others. Benefits of creating art extends beyond ourselves — the artwork we create can benefit others, society, and other individuals, such as:
- New ideas we can share with others. The hope that others take these ideas, extract these ideas, and improve 100x on what we have discovered or pioneered.
- We recognize that society, the collective, and the human race as a whole is ultimately more important than us, the individual, because ultimately we will die (maximum 120 years lifespan), whereas humanity will continue to prosper for thousands upon thousands of years. Hopefully indefinitely.
- It is our duty: Harmony in the taking and the giving. As individuals, we have been assisted by others. We have reaped much from the empowerment others have bestowed upon us. Now it is also our duty to give back. Too much taking and no giving is no bueno.
Thus in short, the benefit of making art is twofold:
To express literally means (ex + press) — to push outwards.
Thus, to express yourself literally means to push something out of yourself.
In crude words, this is my thought:
If you don’t express yourself, it is like creative constipation.
As we all know, part of a healthy digestion is to literally (ex+press) out waste products from our system— or else we cannot function as human beings.
Nietzsche has an idea that as artist-philosophers, we are like bees that are becoming overwhelmed with the nectar and honey within us, or like a cow that is over-full with milk — udders about to burst, that we need to expel, or express our creative force with others.
Because what you have within you is valuable. As we value honey and milk, we also value your artwork, thoughts, and ideas.
Express yourself because your inner-creations are valuable.
Pragmatic reasons for self-expression
Furthermore, practically speaking:
- The more you share your value, the more wealthy, influential, powerful, and respected you will become
- The more you share your value, the more direction and purpose you will feel in your own life
- The more you share your value, the more you will build up the positive parts of your ego and self-confidence and pride.
In short, by sharing your artwork and by expressing yourself, everybody wins.