Being an Artist is not easy. It is frustrating, all consuming. Initially a thought occupies your mind. Something will catch your attention and it gnaws away at you demanding attention. What do you do with it? The best description, although cliched, is “ It’s like having an itch that you have to scratch”. This is a personal perspective. What has this to do with the world. For a moment let’s stop and consider this as a type of knowledge. My need to scratch an itch is a personal experience. It is personal knowledge that has a familiarity. I recognise this. Does this preclude others from the experience? Surely it is part of being human to be moved by beauty, to be repulsed by horror. Where is the Artist in all this? Does the Artist transform personal knowledge to shared knowledge? Are they providing a voice to those who have shared in the knowledge but have not been able to express it.
That would seem to be an effective but somewhat simplistic answer. It does however detract from the other variables, the hard work, the need to have a voice and create an artefact that reflects what we (all) feel. If this discussion is to be developed there needs to be evidence from other sources. Let’s go back to the question for a moment. Why does the world need artists? Providing shared understanding seems to be a good all round global response. It accounts for why Artists are venerated. However it does not explain the experience or the necessity to create art.
The classic characterisation of the artists is the tortured soul who is always looking for perfection. Having picked up the metaphorical pencil, why did I need to keep doing it? Why has good enough never been good enough? Was it competition? Was it a God complex? Was it a need to be noticed? Myths abound everywhere. Given that I have a long hot Italian summer ahead of me, exploring these questions seems like an interesting idea. Furthermore, we live in a time of plague with the possibility of being sent back into our thoughts in a moment. I may just stay under the loggia with them for a little longer.