Creative work and design is a process. It manifests itself in many forms.
Visual arts, such as painting, sketching, watercolor, sculpture, photography or videos, legal work, writing, etc… portray life or emotions for viewers to consider and appreciate—or not.
Timeless concerts, piano concertos, all forms of music and the mastery of instruments make up just a part of performance art. Along with music, one might list dramatic arts (plays for example, from the barnyard to Broadway).
We often think of art as a window on history. Without it, for example, how would we know what a Roman soldier looked like? Or how the dinosaurs towered over the treetops back in the good old days of the Mesozoic era?
The value we place on work and art comes from a mosaic of opinion – each one counting as much as the next. In that context, art is appreciated or spurned. It is said to be “…in the eye of the beholder” because it pleases and inspires people for different reasons. Or, it may be found offensive, depending on one’s perspective.
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For centuries, art has been creative work that seeks to serve its consumer, or to present an opinion or to evoke an emotion. It operates on a pass, fail or tolerate basis. But the success or failure of any work or a piece of art often may be traced to either the presence, or the absence, of love.
Here is one example that might provoke thought: Those who display their art on store walls, the public highway system or government property may not have been created to offer love or express service as an end result. Though the artistry and the creator may possess amazing talent, it may seem a bit of a stretch for the receivers of that “art” to call unwelcomed vandalism a gift. So a fair question to ask might be, “Does or should creative work serve others?”
In this unexpectedly traumatic year of 2020, creative work has been deployed to display activism, peace, and an appeal for community support. We’ve seen evidence of murals, photos, videos, musical performances, spoken word presentations – from many whose intent was most likely to promote feelings of or show love and inspire unity – not the opposite. In my mind, art is not meant to be hateful or hurtful but to serve those who serve others and strive for togetherness with every fiber in their being.
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As a creative agency, Epiphany, too, believes that art is meant to serve and to love. Yes…art is meant to love. How’s that, you say?
Take the best creative work you’ve ever done. Maybe it won recognition in the form of awards or accolades. Your work could be on a marquee in Times Square. But, is there love behind the design? Is the message spoken by the art coming from a place of love of the craft? Is real joy one of its by-products? Probably “yes” to all of the above.
Now think about routine creative work for a business or non-profit that serves the homeless, or works with immigrants, illegal aliens, the abused, the mentally disabled, or just “average Joes?” Is that work award-winning? Probably not. But it is equally worthy because it serves an audience by sharing the creative love of the people who are so passionate to help. It may inspire others to apply for the job, to volunteer for the duty, to donate to the cause.
At Epiphany, we’ve seen that in massive ways. As creative professionals, we want those who receive our services to know that what we do comes from a place of love.
And this final note: we firmly believe that the word “love” is synonymous with the word “serve.” Our work is important beyond what we create on a computer screen, a canvas, a guitar, microphone or camera. Our encouragement to you and to all, please love and serve.
This is your gift.
by guest blogger Patrick Copeland