Alan Just's gallery and portfolio.

What is Art?

Please challenge me!
Well, Art is an act. But it’s not just any action. It’s a conscious, deliberate endeavor with the power to reshape the human mind.
Now, you might ask, “What about Decorative Art? Is that different?” Yes. Learn what makes decorative art different.
Design? That’s a whole different thing. Its purpose, its driving force, is to tackle problems, find solutions.
Art, in its essence, is anything that is intentionally crafted to captivate the human mind. It has the capacity to transport our imaginations and emotions to unbounded heights.
Art objects and performances often stem from a place of self-expression. And the desired response from its audience is to accept this expression, to feel that sense of shared human experience, that “we are all in this together.” Whether it’s the infectious energy of Beyoncé or the profound depth of Michelangelo, Art can be a source of shared feelings and significance.
As a Fine Artist, I have no interest in making the wall happy – that’s the domain of Decorative Art. My primary concern with space comes into play when it impacts the viewer’s interaction with the Art, particularly when it disrupts the auditory, tactile, or visual focus. Art, by its nature, is immersive. Any elements that distract from this immersive experience should be reduced or eliminated. Consider a carefully orchestrated environment like a music concert, where every facet, from sound volume to lighting, to the performance itself (imagine the dynamism of Mick Jagger), contributes to dominating the sensory experience.
But let’s consider the difference between Art and Design. With Art there is no structural consequence for failing other than receiving withering opinions and a lack of sales. Design, however, is a different story. A Design failure can lead to collapsing bridges or a business strategy that misses, directly affecting people’s lives and well-being.
I identify as Artist. My Designer and Illustrator identities are secondary.
What I am (an Artist) is different from who I am. Who I am is quite changeable. Some days I am kind and giving. On other days I am a self-absorbed jerk. You see, our inconsistent behavior plagues our lives. We struggle to prevent those behaviors from defining us. But I am always an Artist.
How does this happen?

Nick Cave’s advice on being an artist:

You don’t need to know who you are to become an artist. Art moulds us into the shape it wants us to be and the thing that serves it best. As a songwriter, I have come to understand that the more I try to make art that somehow reflects what I perceive myself to be, or the identity I wish to project upon the world, the more my art resists. Art doesn’t like being told what to do. It doesn’t like me getting in the way. When I attempt to impose my will upon it, the work becomes diminished and art takes its better ideas elsewhere.
Art is a divine and mysterious force that runs through all of us. It is a thing of supreme spiritual potential that only comes into its true and full being if we abandon all those cherished ideas about who we think we are or are not. Art is entirely indifferent to our self-annihilating excuses, special case pleas and circumstantial grievances. We must cease to concern ourselves with our unique suffering – whether we are happy or sad, fortunate or unfortunate, good or bad – and give up our neurotic and debilitating journeys of self-discovery. Art of true value requires, like a jealous and possessive god, nothing less than our complete obedience. It insists that we retract our ego, our sense of self, the cosmetics of identity and let it do its thing. We are in service to art, not the other way around.
... if you want to create, sit down, lower your head in deference to the task ahead and get to work. But get out of art’s way! Art will, in time, show you who you are. One day you will be labouring away, lost in the flow, a glorious and unfathomable thing unfolding before your eyes, and art will suddenly and outrageously turn to you and, like a master pleased with his vassal, say, ‘Look. Look who you are. You are an artist.’
Love, Nick