“The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance.” – Aristotle
There is a joy, a rapture, that I find in projects that are creative and for people I like. I got up at 5am this morning, and have been working on family portraits for clients (super busy right now!) and a logo/brand identity project for a friend of mine. I normally don’t do logo/brand identity stuff… but I have to say that the process is thoroughly enjoyable and gives me a creative buzz.
What brings relevance to this quote is the inward significance of the work I have been doing, and how it makes me an artist, and is an expression of my art.
My family portraiture is an expression of how much I love family as an institution, how much I enjoy working with kids – their youth and playfulness is intoxicating – and how much I love seeing the love in families that I know to be true in my own. It reassures me, comforts me, and uplifts me. Love is a beautiful thing, and in the context of people connected by blood, with a common objective, founded on a strong relationship, the love is utter bliss.
The art of my family portraits, therefore, is the inward significance of the love, connection and energy found in the family unit. Not for nothing does my website say I photograph loving, energetic, connected families.
The logo/brand identity project is art in a different way. It is a quest for the inner significance of the work, and the person for whom the brand will live and breathe. It will take time, it will require me to dig deeper and bring forth my skills of illustration and drawing that are latent and unrefined. The project will ultimately be successful and beautiful, and yet another expression of my art, but that will come after the struggle, the learning, and the journey.
This struggle and journey are the parts of that creative project that I am enjoying the most. The feeling of satisfaction I will draw from knowing I dug deep within myself and crafted something meaningful outwardly and inwardly for my friend, will be akin to that of a framed finished family portrait that SHOUTS love and connection and energy.
It is such a rollercoaster, being an artist, but the beautiful part – for me, at least – is that I am fortunate to be able to connect with my emotional, creative, sensitive, insightful self, and earn a living for myself and my family while doing it.
Huh. How about that. After all it comes back to love and gratitude.