Defining Art

How do you define art?

I have had a great love and appreciation of art for as long as I can remember. If you’re reading this blog, I’m sure you share a similar experience! One of the aspects of my life that has evolved as I’ve gotten older is how I define art in my mind. When I was younger, I thought that art included drawings, paintings and sculptures . . . and that was about it! Then I discovered music to be art – that one really blew me away. When coupled with acting, I could experience musicals as almost a double artistic experience! I had experienced the performance arts in general at a very young age, but didn’t see that as artistic expression for at least another ten years. When looking at the most formative experiences of my life, I honestly consider when I broadened my definition of art to include filmmaking to be nearly at the top of the list. Art has been consistently in my life, and more than that, it has been consistently inconsistent!

In my journey of discovering what artistic expression could look like, I tried out a number of different art forms. I began writing short stories and poems in my youth, I spent a few years as a tap dancer, did many years of vocal lessons, tried my hand at calligraphy and other forms of lettering (pun fully intended there), and acted in plays and musicals since I was seven years old. Yet, I didn’t actually consider these activities to be forms of artistic expression until years after I had begun them! Some may say it was due to a lack of cognitive maturity to be able to understand the concept of art, but I find myself still learning of new art forms almost daily, and continually challenging my own definition of art.

Changing my major to Art History has helped me delve into a new world of discussing art as well as discussing what art actually is. Encountering such different art forms at a collegiate level with the proper language to actually discuss them has been an absolute joy. I’ve gotten the opportunity to learn that art simply doesn’t have a concrete definition. Artistic expression truly has an innumerable amount of forms it can take. Perhaps the most important lesson I’ve learned throughout my adventure with art and artistic expression has been this: The purpose of art and the impact of art is more important than whether or not it is a traditional form of art – the artist and the audience both have a hand in defining it.

Keep challenging your ideas of art and keep an open mind!! This will allow you to be not only a better artist, but also a better appreciator of art.

See you next week! 🙂

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