Painters and musicians and other “creative types” don’t hold a monopoly on art. When we create something new, inimitable, and intensely personal – and then take the risk of putting it out for the world to see and judge, we’re artists.
There are plenty of artists among us:
- The entrepreneur who gives back by devoting himself to making his whole city more entrepreneurial
- The activist committed to spreading freedom of information – even at the expense of his own liberty and life
- The foodie who makes her own opportunities by creating her own world around her interests instead of just waiting for them to fall into her lap
- The junior-level data entry employee who figures out a better way to do things instead of just blindly following the company script
I always flinch whenever I hear someone say that they’re “not artistic”. We’re no longer sitting on assembly lines memorizing rote instructions and carrying out orders like robots. We’re each privileged enough to be able to strive for greatness, to fully apply ourselves and take risks and make a dent in the world, no matter how small. This process is art, and you have the ability to create art for your entire life.
But the moment you renounce art by not caring, by treating your life’s work as “just a job” – you cease being an artist and you become just another cog in the machine. You’re not sticking it to the man and you’re not a cool hipster for caring less than everyone else. You’re just denying yourself the ability to really live.
“What is the most depraved type of human being?”
“The one without purpose.”
Sure, it takes effort to create art instead of putting in the minumum amount of work required. But the feeling you get when you hold nothing back and fully apply yourself to your chosen task can only be described as pure transcendant joy. Forget money and fame – extrinsic motivators are nice but not even comparable. Creating art by applying yourself fully to whatever you choose to do is the most divine purpose of life.