Art 101: Why is Art Important?

Art 101: Why is Art Important?

For thousands of years, humans have coexisted with art. Can you imagine a world without art? How would you feel if you are not surrounded by beautiful architecture, no music to listen to, no books and poetry to read, no sculptures to look at, and movies to watch. Wouldn’t that make life extra mundane and boring? Art makes life a little less complicated. It makes our existence more joyful and meaningful as it teaches us to stay inspired with nature and incorporate it with art forms, share experiences with others, and try to experience and celebrate the culture of others. This article is a celebration and ode to all the artworks in the world because it will answer one of life’s most asked questions: why is art important? This question not only concerns the artists but also academics, historians, philosophers, and scholars because that’s how important art is to human nature. 

Through the utilization of a flowstone that detects uranium which is helpful in archaeology and in dating artworks, scientists have found the earliest artwork as of this date. According to research by scientists, the earliest artwork can be traced back more than 40,000 years ago inside of a cave in the Borneo jungle. This artwork is a depiction of wild cattle and uses iron oxide or ochre as a pigment. This alone proves that since time immemorial, we always have had the need to create art for whatever reason it may be. So, before we discuss why it is important to our existence, let’s dive deep into the topic on why we create art in the first place. 

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Why Do Humans Have the Need to Create Art?

  1. To record history and keepsake of events:

    The earliest artworks that scientists have discovered over the last few decades show that humans have the tendency to record what is happening around us. The image of a cattle may be a vague message in modern times but if we try to interpret it, it appears that the caveman who painted it wanted to record what he saw. Another example is the paintings that we see in the pyramids in Egypt which show events, important pharaohs, a record of their traditions and methods, and many more. Moreover, we write in our journals, we paint what we have captured on our eyes, and so forth because we want to memorialize that event. 

  2. To express themselves:

    Communication is a primitive human need and we can use art as a means of communication. Whether it’s a feeling, an idea, or to communicate words, many people still resort to art in order to express themselves because words are oftentimes incapable of fully expressing what we really want to convey. 

  3. To make them feel good:

    Writing songs, poetry, or essays; creating a painting; singing and dancing, and other artistic activities allow us to feel good about ourselves and our environment. There is something about finishing an artwork that gives us a sense of pride and accomplishment. Thus, art allows us to translate our pain and sufferings into something beautiful, it helps us to escape reality even for a short while, and it reminds us that life is full of beautiful things-- if we can’t find those beautiful things, then we can create them. 

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Why is Art Important?   

  1. Because it shows human progress:

    Part of our nature is to progress and change over time. We don’t only use art to record history and events for the sake of recording it, but also, we want to see our growth and development as human beings. Because we want to improve. Many artists continue painting because they love the sense that they feel whenever they see the progress that they’ve made throughout their artistic journey.

  2. It helps us understand the culture of others:

    Understanding different cultures is very important because it allows us to connect with others on an emotional level as well as to be empathic. Art also allows us to experience various cultures through influencing our ideas, teaching values and beliefs, as well as experience different things in our lifetime. Perhaps its biggest influence on our  ever-changing culture is that it has the power to change the  perception of society as art is often used as a vehicle for social change. Furthermore, art adds significance to people's lives and aids in the preservation of the world's culture.

  3. Art contributes to the aesthetic of everyday life:

    Other than nature, art brings aesthetics to everyday living. Due to the negative cost of industrialization which leads to urbanization and the destruction of our environment, art reminds us that life is still beautiful. Most importantly, it reminds us to take care of nature while we still can because we are facing the consequences of our own creation, too.

    Thus, by immersing in arts, it makes life less mundane. By listening to music during our everyday travel to work, it somehow makes you forget how tiring the day is or how awful the traffic is, same goes with reading books. Art emphasizes that there is more to life than our mundane jobs and long list of errands.

  4. It helps us shape our sense of self:

    Art may be used to express oneself and helps in forming a person's personality. It is a vehicle for self-expression and a mirror of what the artist knows and what they do not know about themselves.  Accordingly, artists often try to make sense  of the different factors that shape  who they are as a person and as a citizen to their society. They help us to understand who we are as to ourselves and others. Immersing in creative pursuits helps a person understand who they are by allowing them to explore their life's path and seek truths about themselves. It allows for self-exploration and the discovery of their nature in order to be true to oneself.

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