The Artistic Ego (Pt. 3)

Yesterday, I introduced the idea of creating for the sake of utility. I'd like to take a second and unpack this a bit further. The distinction is about the end goal of our creation.

The couple in the garden was instructed to join God in the creation process. To reflect his creative spirit in their tending to his creation. After the fall, however, they transitioned into creating for utility. They needed something to cover themselves, so they fashioned together leaves in order to make coverings. They created to fulfill a need. To borrow a definition from the dictionary, utility is something, "designed chiefly for use or service rather than beauty, high quality, or the like."

The leaves they sewed together were not because they had a desire to create a great accessory. And it wasn't because they were interested in innovative uses of the leaf.

It was to cover their junk. Literally.

Artists do this all the time. Figuratively.

Art has power. It can move people to new places, and experience parts of themselves they didn't know existed. Utility cannot do that. Utility cuts corners and covers things up.

Art should be about opening up our souls. Utility is about ignoring them. Just ask an artist who is working a job they hate for someone they don't like in order to pay rent, as opposed to discovering and creating what they love to do.