Art is a uniquely human endeavor, and act of genius. Art is what we do when we do something for the first time, do it uniquely, and do it to touch someone else. The generosity is built into the act. Painting might be art, pottery might be art, customer service might be art–but none of them are art if all you’re doing is commerce, or phoning it in, or following a manual or a map.
Art is where we expose ourselves, because in addition to being human, we really have no choice but to accept failure. And it’s failure (or the potential for failure) that creates art. When we talk about emulating the bodhisattva, we accept the risk that maybe we won’t touch anyone, won’t shed any light, won’t make a difference.
The only way to do art, real art, is to embrace that risk. To do less is to hide.
This post is #6 in a week of 7 questions that form The Week of Inward Looking. Each day has a different questioner, and a different theme:
Dec 26: Patti Digh On Bendiness
Dec 27 Ken Robert On Shadows
Dec 28 Andrew Mellen On Becoming Organized
Dec 29 Jen Louden On Service
Dec 30 Jonathan Fields On Creativity
Dec 31 Susan Piver On Spirituality
Jan 1 Seth Godin On Becoming an Artist