UNDERGROUNDDon’t define art

Like clockwork, The Creative Unground has delivered me another message. This time I found it in one of my jean pockets while loading the washer. Are they that close? Who – Are – They? The note said the following.


Dear Mr. Nick,

Be warned. “THE MAN” loves to define art. If you can define, then you can control. Control what? Art! Maybe this does not worry you like it does us. Think about it, if The man can control what art is…He can control you. How, you say? By determining what your art may and may not be.

The real artist does not define, they know better. The artist may not even know why they know – you know? The artist knows that the art will tell you what art is if you ask it. Did you know that art can talk back to you, like magic? – Yes. Magic! – Real artists know that the art does not come from their fragile egos. We are just the vessels that art works through. The best artists get out of the way of their art.

Too weird? Maybe you can relate to the following. Ever been so frustrated by your sad attempt at creation, that you give up and do something else for a while? Imagine you go for a walk to clear your thoughts. As your guard is down – BAM – right in the prefrontal cortex – a solution! That’s the magic. Some say it’s your unconscious. Others say it is the gods! This is how art reveals itself. You hunt it, and it and sometimes, it shows up!

Consider then your journey of art a hunt. Don’t Define. You don’t need a predetermined mission statement. Lay in the tall grass of your studio. Sift through brushes, colors, fabrics, and words. Pick your weapon of choice! Patiently wait for the art to show itself like a tentative prey animal. When it does, shoot. Or just watch in wonder. Point being, you’ll know art when you see it.

Love, The Creative Underground

P.S. Don’t define. Hunt.