Oct
6
2010

Is Art Fun? by Micah Mullen

Is art fun? Today I was asked this question at my job during a meeting for a new fledgling project. A question that I would think would have a definite YES - seemed much more difficult to answer. I spend hours and hours each week in front of my easel, at my day job I spend even more time reviewing art materials and focusing on how to better improve an artist's life, many weekends are spent at museums, galleries and shows. So... probably 90% or so of my awake life (we'll leave dreams and nightmares out for now) is spent doing art, observing art or learning and selling art materials. Shouldn't it be fun!!?? The same person that asked me this question, also later stated during the meeting that art is way for one to learn more about oneself. I certainly believe this is true. This past Saturday as I finished painting the picture that is shown on this entry, I often thought I really would rather be watching college football than sitting in a lonely, isolated room with just my thoughts and my painting. Yet something kept me there . . . perhaps it is my compulsive personality, perhaps I knew I had deadlines to meet, perhaps if I did not paint that day I thought the painting might be inferior. It never occurred to me that the reason I was alone in my studio on a sunny 80 degree day in the middle of football season was that I might be having fun!

I perplexed this question about art being fun for a few hours after it was asked. I think asking me if art is fun is asking me if I enjoy life. Like anyone I have good and bad days, but my life always gravitates back to art. To me fun seems like more of a temporary word. "I had a fun time at dinner the other night". To use "fun" as it relates to art and my life discounts the massive impact art plays in my life. In some ways it is even spiritual - One rarely describes spirituality as fun, but it is often described as positive and fulfilling.

As I sit here now with the computer in front of me and the easel behind me, there seem to be alot of fun things to do between now and when I go to sleep . . . It's already 6:30 - I should be painting by now.

(Shown) Pocosin Lakes Wildlife Refuge - 9x12" Acrylic on Canvas

 

Comments (2) -

Robin

Great article! Art is fun! I also think, as an artist, it is something that is a part of you. Creating if how we operate!

Jennie Traill Schaeffer

What a terrific take on the word "fun" as it equates to art. I'm asked this all the time and often have to wax poetic to my students about the art-making experience. I generally tend to draw an analogy between art-making and yoga. With all of the hours one puts into creating, not all of them are going to be comfortable or pleasant, but you find comfort in those moments of "stretching" or learning. It is those moments when we learn and grow. I really like how you described spirituality and its fulfilling nature. I might borrow your analogy. Thanks!

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