Is what you see in your mind, what you see in your finished piece?


“Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.” This interesting quote by Edgar Degas is often used by many while trying to explain what art is, irrespective of the medium. To be honest, it is indeed a complex combination of words that can be interpreted in a number of ways. However, at the end of the exercise, we will realize that it does talk about one of the gospel truths in art.

An artist toils hard to give that perfect expression to his imagination through their works. However, the real test would be to make people find meaning in his creations. Of course, an artist should go by what their instincts say while creating their work, but they should also be able to make others see what they are trying to say through their work. The inner meanings or the symbolism of the piece should be understood by their viewers. Even though interpretations may differ from person to person, the artist should be able to communicate the key underlying message effectively.

Many a time, an artist might have something in mind, the meaning of which somehow gets diluted by the time they finish their piece. The reasons behind this would be many, the prime reason being that they did not have the courage to present their thoughts to the world in their original form. The fear of being judged has deterred many talented artists from showcasing their thoughts to the world. This especially holds true if what the artist has conceptualized is a departure from the mainstream. As a result, what is seen in the final creation is not what the artist visualized. If an artist is able to shake off this fear, and is confident in their abilities to make people see what they want, nothing can be better. However, to have that unwavering conviction in one’s work is not easy, as there are a lot of influencers out there.

It is said that a true artist works for their self and their creations should be an extension of their innermost feelings and thoughts. Yes, it needs a lot of courage to put your work out there to be judged, but it needs to be remembered that art in itself is meant to be an expression of ideas, which in turn will surely create questions. At times there might be a clash of opinions too, as reactions to art are quite subjective, but the true essence of art lies in this very fact. It is meant to be visual and needs an audience to appreciate and interpret its meaning.

A good artist will always keep striving to be true to their craft, but also work hard towards helping their viewers understand the meaning of their work. Be it through the title of the work or other means, they should put in all efforts to make people see their vision and not get influenced by the fear of being judged or by popular trends.

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