Thursday, July 12, 2012

Decide For Yourself

A person who won't read has no advantage over one who can't read. - Mark Twain

I once got into an argument with a friend about the nature of art, and what can properly be classified as art. We were talking about one guy in particular who uses the exact same subject matter in everything and really treats it as a logo. I argued that it was really design because he wasn't taking advantage of all his skills with the medium, but instead focusing on the design of his works. My friend said his subject didn't matter as much as how successful he is with his work and that it was art because of the methods he was using to create it.

I brought up an analogy that ended the conversation pretty flatly: knowing how to make art and not using your skills in producing, is like knowing the Bible and ignoring everything it tells you about life. Maybe it was a jump, but it did exactly what I wanted, ended the convo.

Move on...

To me, there is a certain level of discernment that should happen when acquiring knowledge, all the information in the world can't help you do anything if you can't make a decision about it for yourself. But it seems like some people are rather pleased with their views to begin with, whether solidly founded or not. I personally can't live that way. At what point does a person say, alright, that's everything I'm willing to learn and experience in my life?

It is crippling, to me at least, not to use my knowledge and my decisions about the world, and equally not to gain knowledge and experience. Sometimes our society will put certain people on a pedestal for seemingly no particular reason, as the guy in the aforementioned story is in my opinion. You can use your energy fighting that, give up, or you can focus on yourself. I can spend my time criticizing the guy, or I can accept that people don't see that same way I do, make a decision about what that means for my art, and move forward. I hope I can always choose the latter option.

Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society. - Mark Twain

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