We can find many similarities between artistic endeavors and life. In a past article, I talked about how drawing with ink serves as an analogy for navigating through life. Lately I’ve been thinking about how art is like a relationship. Here’s how I see it.
Fall in love
Somewhere along the way, you find art. It may be from the very beginning, at kinder garden, a high school sweetheart, or you may stumble upon it on a bright day when you’re a young adult, or even a dark alley when you´re a senior citizen and think you tried it all before. But you find it. Or it finds you. And you fall in love. Instantly or slowly, you find the courage to approach it.
The relationship starts, it may enter a honeymoon phase, or be a bit tumultuous at first. However it goes initially, it completely enchanted you.
Give and take
You give it your passion, time and attention. It gives you great rewards in the shape of joy, sense of self-worth and recognition (even if it’s just your mom, it’s a plus). That’s the simple version.
But it may also give you headaches, throw tantrums and even give you heartaches from time to time. In return, you give it patience. That’s when you need to remember that you love it and that its value is in the process, not the end results. That sometimes creativity and curiosity will lend a hand at fixing some of the cracks that may appear. If you take what doesn’t work and analyze it, inspect it to find what variables may be at play, you’ll discover that every aspect of art making is an opportunity to learn and enjoy fixing those cracks, if you don’t attach and associate your self-value to any result.
But it also helps you heal, smile at sad times, and teaches you perseverance.
Nurture it everyday
Like in all relationships, you have to invest time and effort in order to make it grow and flourish. When you neglect it, it neglects you. You just have to remember that you need it. Give it a little time and attention every day, even if it’s just by thinking about it, looking at anything you’re doing with artsy eyes, and you’ll be nurturing it. It will grow and respond with an idea, a nice piece, or just an inner smile.
In sickness and in health
You may have not known it back when you first fell in love, but your art love relationship is forever. In sickness and in health. Even if at some point you try to cut ties with it, you will never be able to, not really. It’s inside you. It has always been, and always will be, even if you found it later in life. It’s a part of you, you cannot separate from it. It’ll be with you everywhere you go, in everything you do, see, touch, smell and hear. And that’s a truly wonderful thing.
Barbara Din is a visual artist, graphic designer, painter, interior designer, crafter, musician and writer living in Argentina.