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What is Art Really?

Paint Palette

Before I give a detailed description of what art is, let me first talk about how you and most people think of art.

It's common for the average person to have some false concepts when it comes to the subject of art. Here are two that I meet quite often:

  1. I can’t afford to buy art and
  2. Only the very wealthy have the luxury of buying real art.

Sadly, this mindset, while common, is false.


Why is it false?


Well first you’d have to decide exactly what art is.

According to (2017) the word Art means: “1. The quality, production, expression, or realm according to aesthetic principles, of what is beautiful, appealing, or of more than ordinary significance.”

Armed with that definition if you look around in your immediate environment you will start to notice that you are, in fact, surrounded by art in your home, on your way to work, and even when you are out shopping.

I know some of you are probably saying, “yeah but when I think of art I think of master’s works like the recent Da Vinci painting that sold for $450 million dollars (Holland, 2017) and Da Vinci painted it 1500 years ago. I couldn’t afford or create something like that.”

My response? It’s all perception and agreement. There is an agreement in society that a work of art is only art if it was created a long time ago by someone who became known, after their death, as an artist of talent and skill, often having died in poverty.

Did you see that? I’ll say it again, “They became known as an artist”. Sure, it was after they died when they could no longer create any more art or reap the rewards of their hard work.

But this doesn’t have to be. We as a society agreed that an artist’s work becomes famous and valuable after they die because that is what has happened. This evolved over time but it is not a law and it’s not carved in stone. The real key is, and I’ll say it again, “they became known as an artist”.


Let’s take a look at another type of art. Novels.

How many authors have gained fame and fortune from their published works that launched them into infamy when their followers and fans became so great in number that their stories were picked up and made into movies?

So, you see, all you have to do is become known for your work and you will have the fame and fortune you deserve. You could actually not only make a living with your art but you can become known as an artist.


How valuable is that to you?

If you are an artist and you’re not making a living with your art you are missing the greatest opportunity of your life to make a difference in the world. That’s a bold statement but it happens to be true.

If you look at all of the great, “golden” ages in human society, artists were at the core of each of those moments in time in one art form or another.

Artists see and create art that embodies the world as they see it. A place of beauty and magic and wonder.

You can literally remake the world with your art. And become known for that.

How great would that be?




Holland, O. (2017, November 15). Rare Leonardo da Vinci painting smashes world records with $450 million sale. Retrieved November 16, 2017, from CNN Style: (2017, November 15). Retrieved November 15, 2017, from