The Art to having PURPOSE as a Maker. By river bennett

River Bennett (Photographer: Rahkela. Quotes via WIRED.co.UK)

The ART to having PURPOSE as a Maker.
 

Will.I.Am was recently asked:
"Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?"

His response, "I would invite the best Japanese chef ever. Then I'd invite today's best scientists and innovators like Dean Kamen, Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk, Marc Benioff, and the world's most influential venture capitalists, and the dinner would be about investing in new innovation led by youth in inner cities."

This is the man who was born to a single mother in a poor area of Los Angeles. He co-founded the Black Eyed Peas in the 1990s, and the band has since sold more than 31m albums worldwide. In August of last year his song "Reach For The Stars" was the first music to be broadcast by NASA back to Earth from Mars. (Like, I mean seriously, how good is he?) He donated $900,000 to the Prince's Trust to help young people develop technology skills. He has done countless creative entrepreneurial ploys.

He is a man who creates with and for a PURPOSE. 

Recently I went to an art exhibition of contemporary art in the city of Sydney. 
There was art scupltures in this event that rocked my world. There were paintings that sent me to a magical place with their perfect combination of colours and form. Some images sent messages about injustice and political biases that left me confused. Some I had to move away from, because of the dark fear they evoked in me. (I don't do horror. Freaks me out. Ha.) 
I was stopped by a filmmaker at one door as they informed me that there was pornographic images inside and that I may not want my two year old son to be exposed to it.
There were pieces about death and hell and hate. There were pieces about life, positive attitude and inner peace. And there were some that were just hilarious and it felt good to have a laugh with the people that surrounded me. 
As I walked around the exhibition I realised the crazy swing of emotion I was having. One minute I was  pumped on life, ready to take on the world, the next, I was wanting to get away from the piece due to the sadness it evoked. 

I was curious with every piece I studied as to what the purpose of creating each piece was. 
Because we as makers have the potential to reach deep into people's emotions and pull out whatever is under the surface of their hearts, whether good or bad. 

Music is crazy for this. Lyrics can send you to a thousand places at once - a paradise, a heartbreak, an inspiration, a depression. 
Certain photographic images can make the viewer feel happy, fearful, turned on, shocked, numb, maybe peaceful, maybe the feeling of gratitude, or empathy.

It's quite a responsibility artists and makers have isn't it? 
So what exact emotions are you as a craftsman or woman wanting to draw out? What is it exactly that you are wanting to say? Is art really just about "expressing ourselves" for ourselves?
What is it you want to be responsible for?
Our art has influence whether we like it or not. Whether it's one viewer who accidentally came across your work in your garage, or tens of 1000's viewing or listening online. 

Our art should mean more to us than just "getting it out" or doing it for ourselves as an "outlet". That can be a selfish way for us to live. 
The thing is, your gift has had purpose all along. You carry something worth caring about, and how it effects others matters. You are more than just an amateur artist who creates for yourself. 
Let's be artists who add to this world with a certain purpose in mind, that we would be intentional with our art. 
It's being mindful and paying a respect to what gave us the talent in the first place. 

So today, tonight, whatever, why don't you go back to the drawing board and rediscover why it is you create. What it is you want to achieve? 

"Every young person is going to be inspired to be a maker from now on. It's like how everyone used to want to be a musician, an actor, an athlete -- but a maker is what people are going to want to be." states Will.I.Am. 

You have been given a gift. Find the PURPOSE in your art and make it count.