Artistic Meaning In Our Modern Era For The Arts

General Definition To Artistic Meaning

Artistic meaning can be applied broadly through a general definition. It essentially means an individual has an artistic capacity to create something with their hands and mind.

Does this artistic meaning in a broader sense then allow for anyone who creates to be called an artist? It is easy to say yes, but is it true?

I wish to bring forward a critical issue which has begun to impact visual arts within our modern time. It is this issue which has caused many artists to contend with problems when self promoting.

Artistic Meaning Should Have Artistic Expression

Artistic expression is a cornerstone to defining artistic meaning. It is here that the why behind a creation is explored.

Is the object of art for the sake of expression as an original work? Is the object produced as a product to sell? Here the paths clearly begin to diverge.

The purpose of art comes into focus behind the creation of the artist. By contrast the self benefit or monetization of product becomes the focus of a maker.

There is nothing wrong with profiting from a product. Rather the greater point here is to distinguish the difference of how we define artistic meaning.

Why this becomes important will be seen in how these two groups of people arrive within the same market space. One is genuine as an artist and to their art.

The other merely is an opportunist seeking to profit from what art can hold.

Artistic Meaning Within Visual Arts

Historically the artistic meaning within visual arts has changed through time. In other words, what was accepted as such an art would change with time.

Throughout the last two to three thousand years each iteration of what is artistic meaning held focus to one end. It was the artists ability to represent, express, hold purpose and preserve culture, and influence society.

It is these key influences which would ultimately define what art is or what is accepted. Some consider this view to be too narrow for what they believe a broader definition of artistic meaning should hold.

I disagree with the broader acceptance in definition for art due to a key philosophy. The value in art must be weighed. This value extends well beyond quantifying art through a monetary means.

In other words, there is a clear difference between what ends up on a table in a yard sale or is kept as an heirloom.

Artistic Meaning Can Be Measured By An Artists Development

Artistic development is directly tied to artistic meaning. Another way of saying this is that as the artist grows so will the depth, purpose, and definition of their art also grow.

Artists use elements of art to build principles of art within a composition. A composition expresses or reflects symbols or imagery that is a part of who they are.

This artistic meaning is dynamic for it will always gain depth across time.

It should be easy to recognize the influence and purpose of what this kind of artist pursues. It holds a higher purpose than merely profit.

Those artists who seem to have little development but remain within a limited scope face issues. More often than not they will have many items of similar or like kind.

These items can at times be original hand made works that are sold too cheaply. In essence it becomes a production mindset rather than a creative process.

The Difference In Artistic Meaning Between Arts And Crafts

There is a clear distinction in the artistic meaning between art and then crafts. Society has taken these two and combined them into a mindset of arts and crafts.

Words and definitions have meaning and influence. Can a craftsman be an artist? Yes they can. Yet we must once again look to the purpose of the creation and its meaning within art.

To put this simply, there is a clear difference between an art gallery and a craft fair. No one would mistake one for the other.

Nevertheless in the world of marketing these two use the same terminology and assume the same identity behind artistic meaning. Why? It is to gain visibility through appropriation in the marketplace.

In truth the cheap crafts or maker products hold no artistic value nor any artistic meaning. Indeed they are claimed to hold this meaning by a broader definition of that meaning. Yet its scope ends there.

As a result of this appropriation we see an influence within the broader marketplace that causes issues for artists.

Appropriation Of Artistic Meaning And Its Negative Impact

While no serious art gallery in the world would mix Van Gogh with the grandmothers crafts fair, this is exactly what happens in the marketplace. It is clearly visible in our online world.

Institutions like Etsy have perfected this watering down of what is artistic meaning. It is for this reason I have strongly suggested that artists remove themselves from these locations.

The unfortunate part is that these institutions were originally born with the intent and purpose of helping genuine artists and craftsmen. The goal was to give a platform for them to be seen.

Today more mass produced products of an artsy bent, many of which are imported from factory settings, hold the market share. The genuine artist is once again hidden from sight.

What Can An Artist Do To Reclaim Genuine Artistic Meaning?

Long ago I began to promote that genuine artists should have an online gallery that is their own. Self promotion should extend beyond what the broader institutional platforms offer.

It is unfortunate that so many artists use social media without questioning how it is used. Due to this social media can cause harm when used improperly. It is not a platform but rather a public relations outlet.

It becomes easy to miss who the artists real competition is as they focus on the problems of the market space. They forget the historically proven methods of past artists and how they moved forward before modern technology existed.

It is imperative that modern artists use a blend of methods. These methods must come from the older paths of history and merge with the technology we now know and use.

How it is used must be framed within the definition of what is artistic meaning and purpose. Is what we do holding true to the definition of what art is, or are we merely pushing a product?

Practical Application To Artistic Meaning

Artistic meaning is not merely a theory or interpretive concept. It holds real meaning in how an artist conducts themselves and their work.

It extends into how artists live their lives. How they seek to reach others in their community will reflect this meaning.

Despite the difficulty of the art community, the artist defines their artistic meaning through these means. The means range from individual development to public outreach.

It is unfortunate that our time has forgotten these greater principles of living as an artist. We have exchanged these paths for likes and shares on platforms which have no depth.

We turn genuine meaning into nothing more than a moment of noise for mere seconds of gratification to an end where little actual return is ever present.

The artistic life must be defined by each artist. I dare say that those who follow the masses will find less meaning than those who chart a genuine path.

To this end I hope that there will be artists that begin to see this realization. If they do, not only will their community benefit from their work, but so will the artists life benefit from the community.

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