“Find purpose, means will follow.” Mahatma Gandhi (from The Painter’s Keys)
Do artists need to have a purpose? Many artists will say they just want to make art. Purpose doesn’t matter as long as they can make art. But is that really true? If an artist is jumping from one subject to another, one style to another, does the end product of creation mean anything to anyone? The final creation appears similar to the bouncing pattern of the pathway of a jackrabbit. The rabbit may know where he’s going, but nobody else does. What good is jackrabbit art to anyone?
Those who see art as having a higher purpose than just making pretty pictures have spent a bit of effort determining what the higher purpose is. Artist Ann Rea says on her website, “Our purpose as artists is to shift the perception, the feelings of the viewer, of the listener, the reader.” To shift perception requires a focus. A focus requires a purpose. It is up to each artist to find that purpose.
In an article for the Artist’s Network, artist Lee Hammond is writing about the “Creation of Art with a Purpose.” Hammond states, “Having a calling as an artist is a true gift.” Being an artist is a gift. Each artist determines what to do with the gift. A search of the heart will eventually turn up where the gift becomes a calling. Along with the calling comes the purpose. Once the purpose is found, the means reveals itself.
Artists can follow in the path of the bouncing jackrabbit or they can seek out the path to a higher purpose. The idea of a higher purpose is a pretty awesome goal. Artists who have followed that path are creating wonderful art. Besides, all that zigzagging around in the wake of the rabbit just brings on a headache. And who wants that?