Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The Importance of Being Artist

Sometimes the world can be a bit scary.  I mean...really... Russian meteors and fiscal cliffs can really put one in a funk. Unfortunately it's when times are tough that one of the biggest casualties is the Arts and Arts education. Art is often perceived as a luxury item and in school it has become an elective that has little or no value in the harsh pragmatic "real world". Well, let me just say, art is one of the wonders of the universe that make the "real world" something spectacular. Art is a mysterious force. I don't understand it's power...but I do know that it is capable of reaching parts of my soul that nothing else can. It is a way of communicating that speaks beyond our world of atoms and molecules.

It is because of this, I plead to you, don't forget your artists.  Don't forget them because when things seems dim they can bring enlightenment through music and art. Currently it is a tough time for the arts.  Many artists are struggling to survive, in fact many well known artists are having difficulty making a go of it.  I understand, after all, the recession hit everyone and everyone is a bit edgy.  What I'm saying is this:  Support the arts in whatever way you can. If can't afford it monetarily then do it in enthusiasm and promotion.  Trust me when I say that we don't want the arts to fade away. We all will gain when the world is filled with the magic of creativity.  

Here are a few suggestions.  
  1. Buy original art- if you can afford it buying an original piece of art is a great investment in culture.   When giving gifts, original art can be a treat, now matter how much or how little you spend.
  2. Go see live music or plays- it always amazes me how little local bands get paid.  So if you have a place to listen to music…don't wince at the cover charge.  It's for a good cause.  Also if you see a street musician...drop some moolah in the hat.
  3. Take a workshop- many artists make a portion of there living teaching (me included).  There are a number of places around the globe and a tremendous amount of talented folks sharing knowledge.  
  4. Support local festivals and events - many cities have local events that involve artists and performers.  
  5. Education - the arts grow if people understand the importance of art from the get go.  So make sure you share this with your kids.  It's easy for the arts to get pushed aside.  If you are an artist consider contacting local schools.  Many art teachers would love to have an artist come and talk to there class.
  6. Hire a Band - having a party?  Local musicians rock!
  7. Make Art - Not everyone has to be a professional artist, but everyone needs a dose of creativity to reset and get them through the grind.  I can't tell you how many folks I run into take classes to reboot and refresh.  Art is one of those things that helps us connect with ourselves as well as others on the planet...and that seems like a pretty worthwhile thing to do.
  8. Experience Lots of Different Art - Lots of ideas and lots of good stuff out there.  You never know what might be a source of enlightenment or inspiration.  
  9. Visit Galleries and Museums - Many places have gallery nights and walks.  Make sure you check out what's happening locally.  Also not a bad idea to become a member at museums you like.  
  10. Abandon Art - a growing number of artists of all levels are creating art for the sole purpose of abandonment. The purpose is to create art and offer it up to folks without any expectation other than adding beauty to the world.
  11. Talk-Blog-Share-Talk Some More -  tell everyone  you know about artists you like.  It's a big world but sometimes artists need a bit of help finding their audience.  

So let me leave you with of list of places that have supported me through out the years so in turn I want to support them.    The following places are stores, organizations and events that have worked hard to keep creativity alive, so if you can, help keep 'em going.   This is just my list...and is certainly not all inclusive.  It is just my way of saying thanks for all that you do for the community and artists like myself.  

  • My buddy Colleen Darling - she and I have been doing Day of the Dead workshops in Mexico for quite a while now.  Now we are looking at expanding into other areas in Latin America...starting with Mexico City.  She is one of the best-est people on the planet and it has been a treat working with her to share the magic of Mexican culture with folks.  You rock Colleen!

 I encourage you to add links of people or places that are friends to the arts in the comment section.  

The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls.
-Pablo Picasso  


artgirl said...


Anonymous said...

Michael thank you for writing from your heart.I love your words and hopefully you Will not mind too much that I will be sharing much of your post with my high school students as well as my artist friends! You are truly a special person to take the time to do so many shout outs. Again thanks!:)

Anonymous said...

Micheal, this is very inspiring ion many levels. You touched the core of artists at different stages of development and gave words of inspiration. Thank you for this awesome post!!!

Carol said...

Great post Michael! I will link to it on my blog and write my own list of artists and places that have helped me.

Teresa said...

Excellent post! And so true. The arts are our reason to get up in the morning. They bring life! For us all. Bravo,Michael!

Anonymous said...

Please add "Buy a novel" to your list. Writers are artists, too, and besides the current financial situation affecting all the arts, publishing is in the midst of a revolution that makes lots of stories available but that pays few, much of anything.

Kokopelli said...

Great post! Thank you for writing about art, its importance to the world and every community and also to the artists who make art. How much darker would a world without art be!

Lani Gerity said...

Great post! More art, more workshops, more creativity!
Here's what I would love, a workshop in Vancouver so I could visit Salamagundi-West.
Oh, and let it be a workshop on creating faces like the one with goggles or power fetiches with nails in them. But in Vancouver!

Carol said...

Very well said, thank you! I am sharing this to get the word out!!

Seth said...

Thanks for this post Michael. You have expressed so many things here that I am sure many, many artists - including myself - have thought. What a wonderful list of art venues, art lover, and art supporters you have provided too!

Hollie Haradon said...

As always, a very en point post. I will be sure to share.

Parabolic Muse said...

Michael, I'm late to this, but I have to tell you this is a much-needed article you've written. It would be great as a zine. I may create that and abandon it everywhere I go. (I wouldn't use your article of course--you just inspired me.)

I don't have the funds for taking workshops much any more, but art is always what I do, what I look for, and what I support when I can. Yesterday I gave a friend a thank you gift of a one of a kind pendant from a blogging friend of mine, and one of the great things about doing that is that you know the receiver will have something no one else has. And they loved it!

Also, when artists need financial help, it's always a priority to help them. I may not be able to go to workshops right now, but we sent out a check today, and I know it goes for something of intangible worth.

We always get something back when we support other artists. Thanks for reminding us.

Willow said...

Very inspiring and I have sent copies of this post to my friends...thank you.