Make Art That Matters
I've been thinking about tags I use and have used in this space and on social media. I like the idea of tags as a way to curate a collection of posts by category. I like to tag my posts with things that mattered to me, phrases or words that capture what I am trying to convey. Some examples include: Mindful Field Notes, Mindfully Made, Everyday Sacred, Refuge From the Noise, Reasons to Look Up, Reasons to Zoom in, and so on. These tags don't necessarily help anyone find me or my work. But they do allow me to catalog my own process and remember my intentions as an artist and writer.
In recent months, I started tagging my art with Make Art That Matters. At first it felt like a personal protest against the onslaught of posts intent on selling me something and the movement of illustrators and artists tagging their work with Make Art That Sells. Don't get me wrong, I fully support artists and makers getting paid for their work. In fact, I believe many artists underprice their work in relationship to the time and cost it takes to produce quality thoughtful art. Indeed, art has value. When I sell something I've made, it feels like an acknowledgement of my hard work. It makes it financially sustainable to make art for a living. But, the value of creative work goes beyond money.
Making art in all its varied forms is an act of love. It is a gift of attention and intention. It has the power to cultivate cultural shifts and inspire new perspectives. It can evoke feeling and action. Making art matters.
I think about this a lot in my own process. Whether I'm taking photos, writing or creating a piece of visual art, I try to stay connected with my overall purpose as a creator. I want what I make to inspire meaningful connection. I feel I am touching on this with cards and Connection Critters to hold handwritten notes. Prints drawing attention to the details and beauty of the natural world as a way of motivating others to explore the natural world with intention. Mindful Moments cards to invite daily mindfulness.
These offerings are a good beginning, but I want to grow my reach. My work is my platform for highlighting topics that mean something to me: Reciprocity, Healing in Nature, Beauty as Refuge, Mindfulness, Impermanence, Gratitude, Deep Listening, Courage and Resilience, Integrity, Everyday Sacred, Open-hearted Connection. I want my art to reflect what moves me, to infuse my passions into the things I make and write. I want my art to motivate a response, even if that response is one of deeper listening and attention. I want to make art that has value. I want to make art that matters.