Now, as you all may have noticed, I do consider myself to be a creative person; Whether it’s entertaining you guys with Elf Blood, trying to write longer form drama in the shape of graphic novels, or even just mucking around with a bass, I do enjoy just making stuff up. Primarily, the stuff I make up tends towards being a story of some kind or another, since a) I like stories and b) I find that, for me anyway, it’s the best way to explore ideas and concepts.

However, there are those who deride the creative types, those who do not deem them useful to society and would rather they go do something more useful. I’m sure we all know these types. People for whom anything that’s not a science or profession is immediately worthless. In my engineering dayjob, fortunately I don’t come across many of these types. After all, most people watch TV, or listen to the radio, ergo deriving pleasure from art. I have come across one or two of the worse examples, those who are ACTIVELY rude and go out of their way to make lives miserable for those in more creative jobs than theirs.

Now, this post isn’t so much about the rudeness: That’s just them being jerks. What I do wawnt to address, however, is the perception that art is worth less than, say, maths or physics or soup-making. Yes, art has no immediate use: In a post-apocalyptic wasteland you could not eat it, nor could you hunt with it or defend yourself with it. Even in these (more?) civilised times, one could argue that there is still no immediate use for art, even within the realm of marketing: One could convey the message simply by handing slips of paper with just the facts in plain text to people.

I think that last statement, facetious though my tone may be, sort of points towards WHY we have art. Life without art would be DULL. Without art, we would diminish our ability to fantasize and escape from the drudgery that, let’s face it, most of us slog through day after day. Without art, we would not feel vicarious feelings: Everything we felt would be happening to us at that moment in time, which is not novel and is in many cases outright dangerous (imagine the situation you would have to be in in order to feel the same terror you felt when you watched Alien). Without art, humanity would rapidly fall into a boring, dreary greyness, a muddy brown slosh of routine and repetition and conformity. We don’t have magic in the real world: Art is the closest thing we have to inject a little color and sparkle into reality.

Of course, one also runs into the problem of defining ‘art’. I personally think that art is everywhere, whether you see it or not: As long as it makes you feel something deeply, it could be considered art. The reflection of a sunset on water. The sound of the wind as it rushes through the towers of a city. The seemingly-simple elegance of a singularity, reaching profoundly to infinity. If you want, you can find something awesome in everything. And if you consider just the facts and figures, you’ll never see it. You would simply see glare as the light reflects, you would hear nothing but noise, you would find that zero that’s been buggering up the bottom line of your calculation. You need that little spark of artistic vision to recognise the beauty in life and draw it out.