I love going to the fair. It’s such an interesting experience. All the people in the state are invited to participate by submitting something. Perhaps many of those projects represent a good part of their interests and skills, and yet few, very few, do it for a living. I’m sure they’d love to. In fact, if the opportunity presented itself, I’d bet most contributers to the items at the fair would far rather follow their interests instead of their present jobs if they could have the same basic pay and benefits.
But then again, perhaps if that were the case – if everyone did their hobby for their occupation, perhaps the individual works would not mean as much to the artist. As it is, people create what they create for the sake of creating; for the joy and fulfillment that comes of expression and creativity. There is a pureness to a piece that was created for the sake of the end product. When someone creates something for money or position, the art is merely a means, and not an end of itself.
There is just as much to be said for a piece that is created for the sake of a principle, idea, or message. Art gains its meaning in the intent of the author and in the reception of its audience. But when something is created only for money, the piece is only worth its monetary value. It can only be worth that amount, and rarely more. The remarkable thing is that there are some artists (and musicians and authors) that are able to put infinite meaning into their work, and still use the piece to make a living. Those are the real professionals. Those are the people that can carry emotion, meaning, and purpose in a frame, as it were, and share those gifts with the world. This may be a difficult balance for creators to find, but certainly the truly passionate will come through, and will make the world a far more beautiful place for the rest of us.
I believe that many of the truest and greatest authors and artists will never be known, because they are too busy living to put their art on paper. Many of the deepest thinkers and the greatest ‘live-ers’ have not the time to immortalize their compositions by putting them on paper, because to do so might take time from the glorious day to day experiences that make them the great artists that they are.
Gratefully, painting, music, poetry, and all of the great arts are products of the mind and heart, so they do not vanish with death. This life is only a grain of sand on the beach of eternity, and the greatest masterpieces will not show up in mortality.