Art without an audience
Is there a purpose in creating art without an audience to appreciate it?

The act of creating art is a universal behaviour attributed to humans, with its origins dating back to prehistoric times. This aspect of human culture adopts a variety of forms, such as visual, literary, and the performing arts. For many, their first step into a preferred art form stems from an internal passion. The question is: how long will an artist’s intrinsic motivation sustain their propensity for creating art? 

At one point or another, in the unique journeys of aspiring artists, the need for an audience agitates the once impenetrable desire to create art. Social media offers an easy avenue to present masterpieces to the world, igniting a spark of motivation. The initial broadcast of artwork through a post, equipped with hashtags like megaphones, causes an urge to constantly refresh the page with the expectation of immediate likes. Unfortunately, this feeling can dissipate quickly with a lack of response from the desired audience. 

Seeking out other channels of promotion is commonly subsequent. This shifts the purpose of creating art from intrinsic fulfillment to audience approval. I am not suggesting this is wrong; the fact you are reading this right now illustrates my desire to share my passion for writing with an audience. 

But what truly is an audience? What audience matters to you? 

The purpose of creating art is about individual passion and love for the craft. Regardless of the debates on whether an artist can be their own audience, the act of creation must be for oneself. This becomes difficult with the push on commercial return, which challenges the intention behind an art piece. 

Popular artists such as Vincent Van Gogh remain a source of inspiration for creators who struggle to find an audience to showcase their work. His biography relates his trouble sharing art publicly, with only his family supporting his work. While reaching an audience of millions can take time, embracing the few who appreciate your art is equally important. 

This also serves as encouragement to share your art, regardless. Vivian Maier was a brilliant photographer who kept her work hidden, leaving it to be discovered only after her passing. It is a disservice to not only yourself as an artist, but to the world to not attempt to share your artwork. 

There is a concern that the very purpose of creating art from internal passion is being threatened by artificial intelligence (AI)-generated art snatching the spotlight from artists. However, various artists do not see AI as a threat due to its obvious lack of creativity and uniqueness, even with its ability to closely replicate aspects of real work from the amalgamation of different sources. Artists strongly deny AI’s ability to reproduce their craft, with some even taking advantage of this tool as a collaborator.

The passion for creation can never be replaced and should not be dampened by the need for commercial return or audience approval. The best artists create for themselves and allow their art to guide an audience to them.


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