Six Legitimate Reasons to Make Art

Categories: Nitpick Six

Steven Depolo/Flickr
A factor in the decline of decent art was recently dragged onto center stage by the New York Times in an article called "Brooklyn Communal Cool: The Brand." The piece, authored by a person who spells "mic" like "mike," focuses on a communal-living quarters in Brooklyn called the Clubhouse and its ties to a "new media" company called BKLYN1834. And if you couldn't guess by the fact that somebody started a company without any vowels, it's a bunch of bullshit.

Here's a choice quote that basically sums up the article:

"For our generation of artists, we realize that we are each our own brand, but not everyone knows how to manage this," Mr. Reid said. "Our business is to equip artists with these tools, which feels like a natural, organic progression of what we already do at the Clubhouse."

Amid the swirl of eye-rolls associated with the fraud and fakery of "indie" pop-art and its interaction in a new-media marketplace, we'd like to present to you the six legitimate reasons to make art. (Hint: it has nothing to do with "branding" and everything to do with this Bill Hicks clip.


6. For Yourself

When something is important to you it shows. The effect of being in love with what you're doing is that you become magnetic -- people will marvel at you as you achieve the unthinkable in our society by being comfortable with yourself. It's such a dumb concept that it sounds like a social manipulation technique in one of those pickup artist books. Yes, there will always be some guy in a furry hat who will attract the vapid and easily misled, but the rest of the world wants legitimacy.

Sebastiaan ter Burg/Flickr

5. For Yourself

When you watch a guitarist kick his pedal-board across the stage or someone throws a fit because another person in the band missed a cue, they're not upset because of their personal commitment to creation. They're pissed because someone made them "look bad" in front of other people. In this particular example, they're serving themselves through the perceptions of others and thus, not truly doing it for themselves. In the words of many a great Internet meme, you're doing it wrong.

Nick Ares/Flickr

4. For Yourself

You know who caused the Holocaust? A person. You know who abducted young men around the Milwaukee area and drilled holes in their heads because they had intense abandonment issues? A person. You know who leaves racist comments on YouTube videos? A person. People are generally a bunch of messed up idiots. Disregard them whenever you are creating something.

Sponsor Content

My Voice Nation Help
James Harris
James Harris

I think that as an end result, all art no matter the reason gets a certain...let's call it some kind of vague authenticity score...but the more outside influences get stripped away you develop a kind of super authentic core that just can't be attained through externals such as money, or even the performance of something already created. It becomes something else then, with its own virtual authenticity and usefulness(and I'm certainly not one to knock someone's ability to support themselves by art alone), but never the same as that singular act of personal creation. I consider that moment to be a peak among a mountain range, if that makes sense.

Jeremy Keltner
Jeremy Keltner

I mostly agree with the point you're making here BUT I also support my family with the art I produce as a photographer. Which in some ways is "doing it for myself". But I also love the relationships that I build with our clients and giving them memories that they get to enjoy for generations to come. So it's more than just "doing it for me", IMHO

Cheryl Thomas
Cheryl Thomas

I usually hate your articles (sorry). This one I loved. You probably don't care. I'm sure you wrote it for yourself :). Great job!

Homer K Blua
Homer K Blua

This article is also known as " Art Communists take a crack at capitolism; rft shakes its head" Great article!


I make art sometimes and it is terrible stuff.  I am sure first graders could do better.  But I sure do enjoy it.

Now Trending

St. Louis Concert Tickets

From the Vault