Art is what we do with our extra time. It is more leisure than life. “Art is everything you don't have to do,” as Brian Eno put it.
The starving artist is compelled to have a day job. We can't make art without the backbone of cash.
However, the cashless value of writing a poem, painting a picture, or photographing the trees could save your life.
It is in making up stuff we find meaning. The canvass enhances our lives, inspires us to express ourselves. That freedom can be liberating.
Writes Louis Menand in his latest New Yorker piece entitled Can Poetry Change Your Life?
“But I got the same painful pleasure out of writing prose that I did out of writing poetry—the pleasure of trying to put the right words in the right order. And I took away from my experience with poetry something else. I understood that the reason people write poems is the reason people write. They have something to say.”
Art translates life. It takes us places. We need stories and memes in order to keep the everyday exciting.