How art appreciation can help you find your own muse
"THE ARTIST IS A RECEPTACLE FOR EMOTIONS THAT COME FROM ALL OVER THE PLACE: FROM THE SKY, FROM THE EARTH, FROM A SCRAP OF PAPER, FROM A PASSING SHAPE, FROM A SPIDER'S WEB.”
Despite what the department of education thinks, art is an integral part of culture and civilization. Art has been with us since time immemorial, helping us connect to others. Everywhere you look today, you will find examples of art, making inspiration easy to find. Next time you are seeking your muse, go to a museum, examine a sculpture in the park, or even contemplate a sketch on the sidewalk and find yourself inspired.
Where for Art thou, Muse?
"The visions of his heart/ That trembled to impart/ Some fragment of his thought/ Through the strange lips of Art." Charles Hanson Towne
Since the dawn of time art has been with us…
Take the cave drawings found in Lascaux, France: Art that is 20,000 years old (by some estimates). What were these stone age artists thinking when they drew these beasts and abstract figures upon the walls of the cave? Was it part of some sacred hunting rite or were they merely the graffiti artists of their time? What would these artists think of our own interpretation of their art? Would they be humbled by thought that eons later, their work could still inspire?
Or take the golden record loaded with images and musical pieces that scientists included on the Voyager Spacecraft. Among the images of our DNA and languages, our art is also represented. Works of great composers, drawings, and pictures of the Taj Mahal and the Golden Gate Bridge were also included. In 20,000 years when these spacecraft finally make it to another star and possibly get discovered by another sentient race, they will know that we humans were not just defined by science, but also by art.
Art has both influenced and defined who we are. In fact, the ability for people to create art is most likely what makes us so dang successful as a species. Art connects us to one another, creating bonds that go beyond mere herd instinct, allowing for the development culture and even civilization. Art can be considered the product of a creative mind operating at its fullest potential. Without the creative capacity to make art, we also lose the ability to make tools, or to solve complex problems. Without the ability to recognize art for what it is, we lose the ability to connect and to be inspired.
Whether it is hanging up in a museum, taped on your bedroom wall, or painted on the sidewalk, art can be the trigger that releases your own creative forces onto the world. Next time you are looking for your muse, try looking at the creative output of others. Go to your local museum and get lost in the displays and exhibits. Spend some time looking at that sculpture in the park. Admire the work of a local graffiti artist. Visit a famous building. All of these are examples of art and if you spend some time to really look at it and contemplate what the artist was trying to say, you are already halfway to finding your own reasons to create.