Each passing moment is a snapshot. Each snapshot, a sketch of an essence. Each sketch, a work of art. To live authentically is to live artistically. Who I am is a work of art, who I am becoming is art in progress, and the impression I have on humanity is an artistic expression.
When I embrace the beauty of a sunrise or gaze upon the ocean’s raging tide I see art that was created by a skilled artist, a detailed craftsman. When I connect with my children or spend quality time with friends I am expressing art through love, attention and friendship while also experiencing art reflected upon me. When a moment is created, whether by written word, paint on canvas, by way of vocation, even dancing between the sheets with my husband, art is in motion.
Creating art is liberating, expressing art is meaningful, and communicating artistically (speaking with intention) is downright sexy. But, sometimes there is a vague line between art and entertainment. I often think about what exactly I am portraying in the moment. Am I producing art or am I being entertaining? I have to ask myself: Am I living authentic and truthful, or am I simply being eclectic and amusing?
When we align ourselves with the belief that life itself is an expression of art, we can look at ourselves with the same intention and hopefulness as an artist who is looking at a blank canvas and think, what if? We already do this within our home! Walking into an empty house we start imagining the couch here and the kitchen table there. We consider the flow of people we hope to be coming and going within it and we think about sleeping arrangements, privacy, walkways, and about gathering spaces. Then, we consider our own personal elements of style. Are we boho-chic, or are we rustic glam? Do we identify more with classic lines or modern abstract? When we consider these things, we are communicating to ourselves and to others that we know who we are and we begin the process, the art, of intentionally welcoming all who enter here.
So how do I really know if I am simply being entertaining?
Here’s what I found to be the difference between art and entertainment:
Entertainment reaffirms our own point of view, while Art considers the view of another.
Entertainment is directed towards a large number of people, while Art is directed towards individuals.
Entertainment is easily digested while Art makes us think.
Entertainment can be passive and comfortable while Art can require active engagement and be an agent for change.
Lastly, Art tells a truth that lasts through time while Entertainment tells you what you want to hear while being transient and trendy.
What I know for sure: I want to leave a legacy, not fizzle out like a seasonal fad. I want my life to be a work of art, a beautiful masterpiece that has been skillfully and intentionally designed. I do not want a home filled with smoke and mirrors, surface conversation or an atmosphere that screams crash-pad because my life is too busy to care. And, while I do occasionally favor a binge of comedic production and recreational entertainment from time to time, I certainly do not want to be known for putting on a show. Artist – yes! Carny – no thanks.
I hope this process of identifying the elements that differentiate between art and entertainment help to bring about some good conversation within you, and among you. My belief is that if we will continue to learn how to curate the life we desire to live, we will eventually find ourselves living it!