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“If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?”

“Art for art’s sake,” or something more?

If a tree falls in a forest

What happens if an artist doesn’t share their art?

  • A chef creates a delicious dish. But no one tastes it. Shouldn’t they share with people?
  • A writer writes a great book. No one reads it. What if the book touches people in some way?
  • A jeweler designs a gorgeous necklace and it’s never worn. How sad.

If artists didn’t share, museums would be empty and there would be no galleries. And forget Instagram. The scroll would be incredibly boring. Life would be so dull. Imagine every item of clothing plain. Every dish, every napkin, every rug, every chair, every truck, everything — plain. No jewelry, no high fashion, no movies, nothing. Maybe I’m being a little dramatic, but you get the idea. Boring.

Art is the artist’s gift to the world.

Picasso said, “All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.” Children draw something. Anything. And are eager to show it off. They are proud of their creations. Refrigerators covered with crayon drawings.

Is it enough to remain an artist?

I’m lucky that art stayed with me. But I make art and don’t always show it. Sure, friends see my artwork. Some of it — pieces I choose to prop up on furniture around the house. But that’s about it. It’s time to change that. I’m not saying I’ll share everything. Hell no. There are many experiments in every studio, after all. No one wants to see the painting that turned to mud. Or the oil-painted flower cut in half because I was careless with my scissors. But sharing a curated collection. Definitely.

Art is a solitary profession, sometimes exasperating, but also often euphoric. Sharing will hopefully bring others happiness as well.

Isn’t that the point?





6 thoughts on ““If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?”

  1. You know. I once heard it said a long time back that kindergarten aged kiddos’ when asked if they are an artist they will jump up and down and say Yes, I’m an artist I want to be an artist when I grow up. Then, every year (especially after they reach 9 or 10) there are way less kids that are raising their hand and saying they are artists.

    This always made me so sad. Because I think everyone needs art like they need a little sunshine.

    I hope my daughter keeps raising her hand when she gets asked if she’s an artist…forever. Just like you do every day Ani.

    Your art is like sunshine and hugs of the biggest kind.

    1. Dear Kimberly. I don’t know what to say. I’m so touched by your comment. (You made me cry.)

      Your daughter is lucky to have you. Some of us artists back in the day were afraid to be full time artists because of that stupid “starving artist” mentality.

      Hugs back!

  2. This totally resonates with me too, Ani. And I also loved Kimberly’s (sad) story! I recently realized that I’ve been holding my own art a little too close…which is counter-intuitive because deep down I make it because I want to connect. When fear stops me from sharing, I definitely don’t get that sense of connection!

  3. This is a challenging question for me. I agree that an artist who wants to make their artwork their primary source of income need to show it. I also think there is great value in creating simply for creation’s sake, without the need for public exhibition. We often forget to allow art to be a hobby, simply a pleasure. Yes, children want to show off their creations. They also have no hesitancy to create and create and create without the need for their creations to be seen, simply for the love of it, the make-believe of it. So I’m of two equal minds on this. And I love that you shared your thoughts!

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