I do not pretend to know the meaning of life. I think most people would agree that the reason for our existence is largely unknown. I would also argue that most people would like to think that we are here for a reason. The answer is not clear but I like to think we exist to be happy if for no other reason at all. Happiness is the most sought after feeling in the world. What if there is a reason for that? I contend that art is one of the most important vessels towards happiness. If art is an important aspect of finding happiness then art is by default an important facet of life in general.
Art is not merely one thing. Art can be defined as “various branches of creative activity” it can be virtually anything. Art to me is anything thing that goes beyond a functional physical purpose. I believe it occurs when the making or experiencing of something is done so for pure joy and happiness. The idea of art differs greatly from person to person depending on their personality and identity. To a cook or a foodie who seeks pleasure from food rather than just nutrition food is art. To someone who writes not only to record information but to create an emotional journey for readers literature is art. It is this transition from a practical and functional use of a medium to an enjoyable one that may not be overly useful is what makes something an art.
But why does art matter? It matters because it creates happiness. If art is the extension of a medium to an enjoyable use it must obviously create happiness. If the sole purpose of art is to produce pleasure than that is worthwhile in itself. I see people everyday indulging in arts of all kinds food, music, visual arts such as clothing, ect. The concept is not only very relevant to our generation but it has been omnipresent throughout history. The same core emotions that one receives from watching the latest visually stunning movies were being felt by the ancient Greeks as they viewed magnificent sculptures constructed thousands of years ago. The process of pleasure seeking through artistic mediums has been persistent throughout time. This tells us that the need is innate to our species and is therefore very integral in our lives.
But why does joy matter? you may ask. Is it not simply an emotion like any other? Joy and happiness are sought after deliberately by all humans. Whether it is the enjoyment experienced through love, art, or just satisfying a basic need we all seek and achieve it everyday. Can the same be said for every emotion? I would say even though we experience many emotions everyday happiness is the only one we look forward to. It is this fact that leads me to believe that art is part of our purpose on Earth. Being that the purpose of our existence isn’t clear the search for happiness is one of the only evident reasons we exist. We see it everyday the happy live and those with no joy find it hard to just keep on living. By extension the prospects of viewing and creating joyful art can alone keep people going. If art can help preserve and improve human life than it must be important. If our joy and happiness don’t matter what does?