How to know if your art has purpose

One of the main reasons people create things is to have them acknowledged by others. Your creation might set off a debate amongst people, it might grab people’s attention and make them think about things in a new way, or it might simply make people smile. Whenever someone reacts to your creation, you can say that your creation is indeed fulfilling its main purpose because it’s being noticed by others, who are interpreting it in their own way.

When it comes to art, what is its purpose? Is it to get people thinking? Is it to get people to like it? Is it to remind people of a particular place or time in their lives? For me it’s the latter – I want my landscape paintings to make people remember a place they visited that means something to them. I was inspired to paint by seeing wonderful places and experiencing things I still hold dear today.

I could say that my art has two purposes: I want people to react to it, but more specifically I want them to remember a place that means a lot to them.

Even though you may know why you’re creating art, how do you know if it’s doing what you want it to? Simple – just ask people. If you’re having an exhibition, the opening day is a great way to get talking to people and gauge their reactions. Show your art to family and friends and see what they think. Put it online and see what people say. You’re only going to know if your art has purpose if you see what impact it has on people. When people tell me my paintings remind them of a particular time and place in their lives, my art has fulfilled the purpose I have given it, but it’s also fulfilled the more general purpose of simply being appreciated by others.

Your art might not be well-known but it still serves a purpose and every time it’s seen by someone, it’s fulfilling some purpose. Even if just a few people react to your art, it’s still fulfilling a purpose. The challenge is getting as many people as possible to react to it. The more people are exposed to your art, the more of an impact it will have and the more it will fulfil its purpose.

The purpose of art


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