Daily Color: “I strongly feel that every poem, every work of art, everything that is well done, well said, generously given, adds to our chances of survival by making the world and our lives more habitable.” –Philip Booth
A quick stroll through the Internet—Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and so on—reveals that the world is full of amazing artists, incredibly talented creative people of all kinds, making art and music and poetry and dance and theater and books and movies and so much more. The world sings through their fingers and words and images. Almost every day I am moved to awe, if not to tears, by a work of art that has been shared online.
And a slow stroll through a museum or gallery, or through a gorgeous, lavishly illustrated book or magazine, or listening to music, confirms that art is everywhere. It is constantly reaffirmed for me that one of the reasons we are here at all is to create, to combine colors or words or musical notes to express and inspire profound emotion—joy, anger, sadness, love. It makes no difference whether the art is small or large, simple or complex, utilitarian or of no practical use. We see or hear or read something, and we are moved.
With so many artists of every stripe out there making their art every day, in my lower moments I face an uncomfortable question: does the world really need yet another artist? In other words, who needs ME?
Or more specifically, who needs my art? Well, I do. I need to make things, I need to work with color and texture every day, I need to create and share beauty. But the world does not lack for beautiful things, and I daresay the world would take little notice if I stopped making stuff.
Furthermore, making objects that are superfluous, that have no practical purpose, that are made only to be beautiful, presents me with another dilemma. In my own life, I want to clear out clutter, reduce my dependence on things, take up less space on this planet, use fewer precious resources. How can I justify making more things that I hope other people will want, that will only clutter up their lives?
It all comes back to beauty, and to good energy. I believe that people need things that are beautiful, that are impractical, that serve no other purpose than to soothe their souls and hearts. I believe that the emotions and love and good energy that I stitch into a sweater or temari or embroidery send little sparks out into a world that is too often too dark. And perhaps my tiny sparks will join with the sparks that other artists are sending out, all the time, and help to create just a bit of light that, in Philip Booth’s words, might “make… the world and our lives more habitable.”