I was talking to my friend today about art and I made a flippant (whiny) comment about not having enough time for art these days. Later on, driving back home, I was thinking about my comment and realize that I was completely off base. As of late, there is little of my time that is not dedicated to utilitarian tasks, it's true. But what I meant is that I don't really have time for craft. There is always time for art.
I know that there is as many definitions of art as there is people, but I think most people can agree that art has at least two components, process and product. Both of these components contain aesthetics and statement.
As a minimalist and a busy person (who has little income and even less to spare), I not so much into the product side of things. I enjoy paintings, theatre, and all that lovely stuff, but consuming the art, the product, is an event for which requires time, money and focus that is rare at this stage in my life. In my neck of the woods, attendees of art events and buyers are overly represented by the older population and it makes sense, since they are the ones with the key resources that makes the art go round: time and cash.
As for making the art product, a finished tangible item, well, I dabble a little. It's actually one of my greater sources of guilt, feeling like I'm not spending enough time in creative pursues. Even still, I try to avoid the word 'artist', for some ill-defined unease, but the lines between craft and art is always murky, and I've been accused of art often enough that I've grown familiar with the idea at least.
Whenever I start to feel bad about not producing enough art, I remind myself that process is just as important. There is not a linear relationship or timeline from process to product. Some days I'm all process. Some years I'm all process.
This seems like a process year.
'Make the best with what you have' is an value I live with. Perhaps this is a case of me extending this out to 'make the best art process with what you have'. I may not have much time, but I have a list of things to do, and I'm going to do them thoughtfully, creatively, and, gods willing, provokingly.
Art is embedded in life. The trick is, to be aware of it. Art, for me, is choice. It's thoughtful, and deliberate choice that I make in what I do, how I think about the things I do with my time. Aesthetics come in frequently, not really in arranging, but in appreciating the view, satisfaction I take in noticing small details of the world around me. And sometimes arranging things just so. And sometimes letting it go fly and noting the beautiful arc things make when they are temporarily unmoored from gravity. Statements abound.
The art in living may not produce a lot of product, or even something that is easily shared with others. It's private, a dozen moments during the day when effort, values and aesthetics align. Sometimes you can capture it (that's probably why Instagram is so popular), but more often there are few words to describe and it's forgotten almost as soon as it happens. It's process.