What is it Like? The Process and Experience of Creating Art

How can I describe what it is like creating art?
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Well, there are a lot of art quotes about it – here are a few.

Art Quotes

  • “When it is working, you completely go into another place, you’re tapping into things that are totally universal, completely beyond your ego and your own self. That’s what it’s all about.” ~Keith Haring
  •  “The object isn’t to make art, it’s to be in that wonderful state which makes art inevitable.” ~Robert Henri
  •  “Art is a collaboration between God and the artist, and the less the artist does the better.” ~André Gide
  •  “Art will remain the most astonishing activity of mankind born out of struggle between wisdom and madness, between dream and reality in our mind.” ~Magdalena Abakanowicz
  •  “The main thing is to be moved, to love, to hope, to tremble, to live.” ~Auguste Rodin

What can I compare creating art to? 

> creating art is a process

> through that process there is an experience

> through that experience there are internal elements that happen – thoughts, emotions, desires, feelings, and reactions that are all just like… a personal experience.

I would like to compare creating art with the personal. Whatever your personal experience of thoughts, feelings, and emotion. Experiences that cause your heart to leap or break. The times that you are so focused and controlled and in control, of certainty. These are the similarities of the artist in their studio.

And for some, the comparison could be the adrenaline of taking risks or the anxious waiting for the arrival of long awaited news. For others it could look like moments of parenting, family, or the intimacy of a relationship. It could be similar to feelings or desires of success at work or school or a project. It could be compared to some of the intense drain and restlessness of being homeless or feeling alone. An extreme comparison can be the heartaches of suffering, disease, and death.

The artist holds the ability to access the experience, whether it is their reality, a memory, or an imagination of it. I think because of this, the artist can at times be viewed in the negative as “just being dramatic,” simply reproducing the “real” experience or in worst cases, emotionally parasitic. There seems to be little sympathy or joy alongside the artist because of these negative views.

However, I think it is important to remember that whether “real” or not, the artist is still experiencing while creating, and their experiences are their reality. Be kind to the artist(s) in your life.