On the surface, art doesn't seem very important. I mean, my paintings are not saving lives, feeding the hungry or providing clean drinking water to anyone. When I'm working hard or when I can't sleep at night because I'm thinking about my next project, I wonder if it might all just be a waste of energy.
After going through this thought process many times over the years, I've come to the conclusion that despite it's obvious lack of practical usefulness, art is essential because it contributes to our health and happiness as individuals and as a society.
It isn't just about aesthetics either - although that's definitely a big part of it - I think that art gives us new ways to look at the world, it helps us understand each other, it creates dialog, a sense of community and simply makes the world a more interesting place.
I can usually snap out of my melancholy mood when I remember that making art is my way of connecting with people and showing them how I see things. Even though it might sound a bit negative, these reflections have actually become an integral part of my creative process.
I'd love to hear why you make art or why you think it's important. Leave a comment!