Blog #84 Art as an Obligation?
While listening to a popular photography podcast recently, the host shared his perspective of making images [art] as an obligation. We are all individuals and therefore have a unique point of view of our own lives. Therefore, no one can make the art that we make except ourselves, he continued. If we don’t make the art of our own life, no one will. Therefore, he concluded, we must make the art of our own lives or else it will never be made and the world will lose out on something.
Obligation? Responsibility? While we can all comfortably can throw these words around when discussing marriage, parenting, or occupations that deal with life or death situations, like the police, a surgeon, or an airline pilot one does not easily consider the role of an artist as having the same call of duty.
If I told you that you have to make pictures, you owe it to the world, surely you would respond with a sidelong glance. I actually agree with the podcaster’s sentiment that we all need to be making art for ourselves, each other, and the world. Our lives are unique and only we can share art that we see and we make.
I think there is some value in taking on and accepting this point of view. It’s a selfless and altruistic stance and one that can provide us with a modest place in which to begin our creative process. You are unique! Your art is unique! Only you can make your art [photographs]. So you might as well get to it.
Finally, there are many ways to define a “healthy” life. Work, relationships, sexual connections, financial, spiritual, and physical areas are all generally accepted areas of attention for good health. I suggest that to develop your creative side [and yes we all have one] is to lead a well-balanced and healthy life. All parts of you need to be activated for optimal life heath. Do it for yourself, and others, and the world at large, whatever “it” might be.
The light is always right.
**Images in this blog post were made on a Nikon camera, probably a 28mm lens, Kodak Tri-X 400 35mm film and developed at home with Bergger Berspeed somewhere on the streets [and ferry] of Hong Kong**