The Quick Q & A editorial in Beautiful Bizarre Magazine is a much loved regular feature, in which we ask 6 artists the same 4 questions. In the March 2023 Issue 40, these were the Quick Q & A questions:
- If you had to choose only three words that you feel best describes your work, what would they be, and why?
- What advice did you get as a young artist that still influences you today?
- What do you love most about the medium you have chosen to work in?
- How does art add value to society?
We feel that the artists’ responses provide such a valuable insight for our community of artists that we wanted to share one Quick Q & A response from each issue with you, going forward. The March 2023 Issue 40 print issue is sold out, but you can download the digital magazine via our webstore to read more. To ensure you never miss an issue again, you can also subscribe to Beautiful Bizarre Magazine, and have each issue sent straight to your door each quarter.
Excerpt from Issue 40 // March 2023 Quick Q & A editorial: Yousuke Kawashima, Kim Anderson [Honourable Mention, 2022 Beautiful Bizarre Art Prize], Taj Francis, Dan Zollinger, Mei Mei and Tanja McMillan respond to the below Quick Q & A:
How does art add value to society?
“This is a very difficult problem. I am a painter who paints my very personal world. There is no excessive message there, just something that says, “I like this kind of world.” But I am not alone in this world. Just as I am fascinated by a movie or a novel written by someone else, I am sure that other people will be fascinated by this world that I have created. A story made by someone interferes with someone else’s world and spins a new story. The connection of the world spread in this way is called “culture”. Culture cannot be created by one person. The value of art is not necessarily visible, but it has a very important role as a “carrier of culture,” receiving it from the previous world, weaving this world, and connecting it to the new world.”
“Making art is essential for my own personal well-being. However, I believe this is also true on a more universal level. Art provides us with a language to try and make sense of our existence in this world in a way that nothing else does. Being a human is difficult and messy and we’re often at odds with our environment. Artists have the means to go deep, bringing things to the fore to help us deal with them. Art can be confronting and beautiful, comforting, and strange, it can offer different perspectives and help us understand ourselves better. Ultimately, when I imagine a world without any art at all, I see a desolate place without any heart and soul. That’s when I realise its value.”
“Art is the thing that keeps us moving and living and motivated. It doesn’t just add value, I think it’s the soul of society. It might feel a little hyperbolic to say, but I genuinely believe that, at the end of the day, we always come back to art in some form to renew ourselves. Beyond money, and investments, and even being decorative, beautiful or functional, its value is something that is intangible. It’s a language. Art adds value, because it is a language that we can all connect with. A society without art is a society that has lost its voice, expression, and its means of communicating with our deeper selves.”
“When I was a less mature person, I perhaps selfishly saw art more in terms of how I could benefit from it personally. Things such as financial reward, ego-based recognition, awards, etc. Initially, these things can sustain you, but for me I realised they weren’t fulfilling. I’m not saying these things carry no importance, but there is a greater purpose to making art than taking care of our own needs. In time, and with maturity, I began to recognise the more society-based mission of art. To bring enjoyment to others, to move and inspire them, connect with them spiritually, or just add something beautiful to their lives. Once you are painting for others as much as, or more than, for yourself, things become exponentially more gratifying!”
“At an individual level we get to explore ourselves through art, but we also communicate and get a deep personal satisfaction when we accomplish the smallest creation. Art is part of human nature, it can bind people together in a community. I have worked for years developing community art projects and I have created MeiMei Social; my own community interest company. The project aims to work with communities of different backgrounds, focusing on people with limited access to art materials or a creative environment. We want them to experience creative workshops and activities that help them to develop new skills, prevent isolation and learn about art that is also non-mainstream, activities for these communities are free of charge.”
“I genuinely believe art and music alike are the most important contributions to any society. Art is such a profoundly valuable form of expression and cultural identity, a tool to explore ideas and see things from other perspectives. Through the making and sharing of art, we are able to tell stories, educate, heal, unite, inspire and hopefully become more compassionate and kind humans. It is such a gift to give and receive. I am an absolute advocate for public art, too. Everyone should have the opportunity to experience art no matter your class, religion, colour or gender. I’ve always dreamed of one day making an art park filled with exceptionally beautiful art installations from across the world that everybody can get amongst. How fun would that be!”