Most of us have read and heard Seth Godin talk about our work as ‘making art.’ To be honest, I am not sure I quite understood what he meant until recently when I heard Ryan Yazel speak. Ryan shared how in high school he used to ‘draw’ a house on his Texas Instruments TI-83 Plus Graphing Calculator. Classmates were amazed and asked, “How did you draw that?”
Ryan them compared his dot matrix creations to moments when we encounter true art. We don’t ask how they were created, we ask, “How did you think of that?” Art takes us somewhere beyond mechanistic manufacturing. We feel differently, we are challenged in new ways, and we for a moment in time see life differently.
I was a music composition major in college. But a terrible pianist. I usually wrote music that I couldn’t play, mathematical elements and short phrases pieced together to fulfill the assignment.
The best song I ever wrote I first sang. It’s true. I was in the dorm shower and began singing a melody line over and over. I quickly dressed and went down to the dorm’s piano and sketched out an ‘art song‘ titled “Love is Not Time’s Fool.” An adaptation to Shakespeare’s Sonnet No. 116, it was sung at our wedding two year’s later by our good friend, Sheri Dewald Mellema. And it was art.
We need your artistry.
Feed the artist in you.
We spend our time on trivia, headlines, video games, and reality shows that aren’t artistry in anyway. Rare is the movie, TV show, book or song that causes us to say, “How did you think of that?” We are in a society that teaches us to produce, but it’s not art. Artistry takes time to develop, nurture, and percolate. It’s not microwave, but rather steeps in cultivated thinking, sauteed by exposure to other art that leads us toward that different thinking. In school, we learn to ‘get the grade’ without writing the paper or making the presentation that causes others to marvel,”How did you think of that?”
We need your artistry. If you’re not challenging yourself to think new and creative thoughts, challenging your mind to grow no matter your age, we may not get to see it. And that would be a shame.