What’s the Role of an Artist

Often I would think about what’s the role of an artist in the world? Is it to entertain, or to just decorate people’s spaces, or just be the conversation piece, or just another vocation like potter or craftsman, though they seem to be doing all that. In my case, it just became the space to learn a lot about myself and the world we live in.

Sometimes we live like silent observers, then follow some light and subtle nudges from the unseen. Then we want to participate in a more meaningful way, to make some difference and contribute to the evolution of humanity on this little planet. But, that’s just intent, a sense of purpose, a layer beyond my own skin. If I succeed then great, if not then it was not in my hands, to begin with.

While looking online, about what other artists had to say about their function in the world I came across quite a few interesting statements. Some of which I have enumerated here to give a clearer picture of the function they perform in society.

Artists are a vehicle for expressing universal emotion.Lesley Birch, York, UK

Artists are responsible for unearthing the truth.Nina Fraser, Portugal

Artists work to illuminate the margins and make societal changes.Ginny Sykes, Chicago, USA

They tell stories and pass on traditionsMaarten Westmaas, the Netherlands

Artists connect with and inspire people globallyShih Yun Yeo, Singapore

Artists record and preserve our human historyBruno Castro Santos, Lisbon, Portugal

Artists offer messages of hopeAleta Michaletos, South Africa

They are ambassadors of the natural world.Poppy Balser, Canada

All of these statements, obviously are the personally felt reasons of the why of what we do and hence perfect answers. However, they establish one fact “Artists create variety to the otherwise mundane and repeated sameness of the world. That’s why one of the attributes of a mighty creator is that of an artist.

He doesn’t stop at a few hundred types of creatures. He creates millions of species – 8.7million at the last count. This is just about the small planet earth. Trillions of galaxies and planets till infinity. And what is contained within those, we have no idea or even the wildest imagine can’t fathom.

Another very important function that artists perform is of providing an alternative reference point. both in thought and action for society- a sense of artistic pride for the culture they belong in. That’s why when the artists in any society are not celebrated or respected, its impending the call of doom and gloom