After visiting an art museum in Venice, Italy and seeing some really “gross” stuff, I wondered about boundaries for art. What are the rules of it? Also, if you’re an artist what boundaries should you set for yourself?
Art does have rules based on what society thinks is acceptable. If you are an artist you should create your own rules to keep your mental health.
Keep reading and I’ll share what art truly is, whether art can go too far and why every artist should create their own rules and boundaries.
What Art Truly Is?
I once heard a while ago that art is the physical manifestation of something emotional. This is why it’s far out there because we can’t explain it.
Other times art can also be used to share ideas and create political stances.
I took the picture above in Barcelona, Spain and it’s definitely a political stance on something (funny right?). There is also the famous art called Guernica by Pablo Picasso that could be of an anti-war agenda.
Maybe it’s to show the horrors of a war to prevent more wars from happening.
Of course, there are TONS and TONS of examples of art being used for a political stance and another great example would be the Holocaust memorial in Berlin Germany.
It looks like you disappear into the sea of graves. It could be that no matter where you are in the maze you are going uphill.
I do admit when I walked through it the maze felt just weird and creepy.
Art is somewhat political since it has to do with someone’s freedom to express themselves. You could say art allows someone to express themselves and say “I make the world and I’m NOT just a bystander.”
It could also be used to shine a spotlight on something that might be overlooked.
The coolest part about art is that each person interprets it a little differently. There is no concrete answer to the meaning of a piece of art and due to this, it’s profound and hard to put into words.
You might be wondering what the benefit of art is. A large benefit is that it may just change your viewpoint on something and this could open your mind.
Having an open mind on something could show you a benefit you didn’t even know existed. Who can forget what Einstein said about the importance of creativity?
One thing for sure is art makes the world more interesting and without it, things would be MORE dull.
Can Art Ever Go Too Far?
Art can go too far when it is judged by society to create more harm than good.
Art is supposed to push the limits and get someone out of their comfort zone to think about something differently. When does it go too far? This is a great question that doesn’t have a clear answer.
When I was in Venice, Italy seeing a very disturbing art piece (I didn’t take a picture of it) it was a bloody, nasty mess I was wondering about these boundaries.
Another example would be when Kathy Grifin took a picture of what looked like Trump’s head and it “hurt” her career. You could say it backfired and you can read more about it HERE.
The audience is the ultimate judge, right?
You are also seeing this with social media and determining when speech becomes hate speech, depending on what the audience thinks.
Another area is with reminders of the civil war in the U.S. The General Lee statue in Richmond Virginia being removed was due to it causing more harm than good.
There was an outcry over the NFL Football team name “The Redskins” and was changed to “The Washington Commanders” recently.
These are questions that each culture has to answer. Some cultures are more strict and closed such as China which has LOTS of censorship and the government controls “everything,” even erasing the “Tieneman Square” massacre from their history books.
There are also some cultures that are MORE open such as the U.S. with more LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Trans) rights, musical freedom, and less censorship.
There are benefits and negatives to both approaches, but the million-dollar question is where do you want to live?
In some cultures such as the U.S., the boundaries on what is acceptable are constantly being moved from Elvis to the show Fear Factor where people do very gross stuff for money such as dive into sewage.
I totally would dive into sewage for enough money (if it was safe).
Oh, and who can forget about the show Jerry Springer which constantly involved nudity, fights, and cheating? Maybe you could call all of this art?
Art is similar to drugs, where as long as the benefits outweigh the negatives the drug will be legal. Coffee was illegal for a time, but more people wanted it and then it became acceptable.
During the pandemic, marijuana become legalized in more places due to its benefits.
The MORE important question apart from society’s boundaries is what boundaries you should create for yourself involving art.
Why Artists Should Create Their Own Boundaries?
One of my favorite sayings is from Jocko Willink who feels discipline creates freedom. There is some truth to that right?
If you don’t have discipline and do whatever animal urges tell you to do then there is a good chance you will end up in a jail cell or maybe even dead (losing ALL freedom).
Even Cesar Milan the “dog whisperer” says that dogs cannot be peaceful or teachable if they have no limits set to their freedom and their emotions. Are humans the same? I think there is “some” truth to it.
If your boss doesn’t create boundaries for you, then as an artist or business owner you SHOULD have the discipline to create your own.
Just like with “crazy friends or family” it’s good to have boundaries for your sanity. It’s the same with accepting work.
My blog is a piece of art and words are my paintbrush. I accept tasks that meet the criteria that I set for myself. The most important “rule I have” is that I’m interested in my work, I’m doing it for my benefit first.
If you have ZERO interest in something even if the compensation is VERY high, then that might be called a soul-crushing job, but who am I to judge right?
Another thing I think about is not to bite off more than I can chew. I wrote a piece about content writing and stress HERE, that I really got into for my OWN sanity.
If you are a content creator or artist you HAVE to stop working at a certain time and detach. This means not thinking about work, taking calls, emails, or whatever.
How often you work depends on each person, but having a set schedule and sticking to it, I think is VERY beneficial.
The MOST helpful boundary might just be knowing when to walk away and quit something.
One of my favorite authors Annie Dukes just wrote a book all about quitting HERE that I’m excited to read.
Saying NO and quitting can be very good things.
The third boundary that I have is to be compensated for everything I do. The world will steamroll over you if you don’t ask for payment.
Every content online I have a call to action (this is my compensation) and I feel VERY good about this.
The fourth boundary is I have the right to say NO to anyone or anything at any time. This includes someone else’s bullshit agenda on when something HAS to get done.
Someone else’s emergency isn’t MY emergency. There are other boundaries that I set for myself and hopefully, some might have helped you.
As a creator creating your own boundaries can be a great thing for your mental health and happiness.
When it comes to getting into art many people feel they need to go out and buy an easel and lots of paint. It might be easier to crawl first and you can actually do some “really” cool stuff with a pencil and a piece of paper.
Just check this out HERE on what is possible (amazing right?). Plus, this can be a great place to learn it and spend next to NO money to get started.
You might be wondering OK, is there a way to earn money from this art? One idea that I’m a fan of is this place HERE that I wrote a blog post about.
This place focuses on doing the boring stuff, while you get to do art and get paid for it. Cool right? If you are interested in inspiration this place HERE could be a cool place to check out. It’s tailored to Tattoo art, but can be applied to other things as well.
One of the easiest ways to earn money with art (I feel) is with blogging, Youtube, and affiliate marketing. After 10 years of affiliate marketing, multiple Youtube channels, and blogs I created an eBook that I feel can be very helpful.
I’m giving this eBook away for free at this place HERE.
I hope this blog post about art and its rules and boundaries were helpful. Bye for now.