Should an artist mold their life around art, or art around life?

I have spent my afternoon pondering this question and the unrelenting response has been… I think an artist should allow the art to flow from their life freely and not so much about the molding. When I think of the word molding, it makes me think of something that is formed and stretched to fit into a form or to conform to that which it would not necessarily be found in nature or otherwise. It is not something that is organic. Art should be an extension of the individual. It is like air, water and food to the artist, one cannot exist without the other. The individual and the art share a symbolic coexistence. Without the art the individual would suffer and without the individual the art would not be created.


So how can you separate the two?  Should you even try…? For me, art is a way to create balance and work out conflicts in my mind that I may not understand. In the beginning it is a way to explore ideas and concepts that may have never occurred to me. It also provides a method for me to work through things that might be anxiety producing for me or shine the light of clarity on things that are fear based. It allows a symbiotic process to explore and it gives me on many levels permission to play and explore. Without worrying about the finial outcome(s).


There are the times that I feel that my life is surrounded and molded around the art making and then other times when the art making seem to consume every element of my being… this is more of a fluid concept and there are no absolutes. It is a still serene lake with rough currents just under the surface.


How does this apply to you in your art or your creating?  This can take many forms; art can be something that is literal or figurative.  Painting, writing, dancing, teaching and accounting they each have their own unique mediums that they specialize and excel in. What capacity does art occupy your life; a career, hobby or merely something that you have dabbled in? How would you answer the Question, “Should an artist mold their life around art, or art around life?”


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