Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Art for Ourselves or the Client?

Here is a topic for discussion that I have been pondering for years... The original conversation comes from "Craft Versus mass Production" blog on

Do we create a piece of art for the client/viewer or do we create a piece of art for ourselves?
I had a blacksmith tell me a story about his project of restoring a small railing that was way up on top of a hundred foot high church steeple. After the blacksmith took down the old piece, he looked on the inside of it and there was some very fine chisel work. The chisel work was extensive and very well executed. The chisel work could never be seen by anyone viewing from the ground, not only was it 100 feet high, it was also facing in towards a wall.
This leads to the question... why did the blacksmith put such amazing art where it never would be seen? Was it for the client or for himself?
I tend to lean towards the idea that, as an artist, we create beautiful artwork for ourselves first and then the viewer/client second. I do know that I feel much better making my art as good as I can for my own satisfaction and integrity regardless of what the client sees or feels from it(within reason, of course). Maybe, and hopefully, the client will someday appreciate and understand the art, but sometimes, if ever, it takes along time for another to absorb the true meaning the artist intended.

I am interested in your opinion on this one...

Smyth Boone


Mystic Silks said...

Smyth, first I am in love with your work. Second, to answer your question, I think we do create art which pleases us first, then we hope and trust that it will please another--it's a labor of Love, Smyth--:)--if that art does not please us, it will not ever been seen by another.

Smyth Boone said...

Great point, I do agree. It makes going the extra mile and keeping on top of the details worth while. It is my art after all.