Creating for Others
CONFESSION #16: I often create things with the end of goal of having people see them and enjoy them, but this can often lead into different dilemmas.
In this three day series, I'm focusing on who my art is for. Essentially, I'm thinking through why I create art, who my audience is, and how that audience affects my creativity. Yesterday, I looked at creating art for myself. I came to the conclusion, that it is nice to create art just for me every once and a while, but that it doesn't ultimately bring lasting joy. It brings momentary joy, but none of the lasting kind.
This brings me to creating for others. Does creating for others bring lasting joy? And my answer is that it doesn't. Like creating for myself, creating for others brings momentary joy, but sometimes things come up that can rob the joy out of creating.
For one, I'm a people pleaser, so when I create art with others in mind, essentially I'm thinking through how to make something that a wide variety and majority of people would enjoy. While this might be a good mindset to have for some artists, it also presents a conflict.
When creating something in the hopes that others will enjoy it, there's a slight chance that I will miss the mark. My art might confuse people. They might not "get it." They might think that they can do better (which is a mentality that I think a lot of artists and audiences have). My art might just be ugly to them. They might not agree with my themes or ideas. All of these thoughts and things can add up into the joy being taken away from one's art and creativity.
A favorite artist of mine, Lecrae has some wise words from his song Free From It All:
You live for their approval, You die from their rejection.
I do want to create art that people enjoy, art that inspires and encourages and speaks truth. But I don't want to create art for the sole intent of winning approval, respect, or admiration.
Creating just for myself and creating just for others is flawed. They don't bring lasting joy, and they can even bring more trouble than joy. Who is my art really for then? Who do I create my art for in order to have lasting joy?
We'll take a look at that tomorrow.
This post is part of a 31 day series called Confession of a Creative Christian.
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