Friday, March 27, 2009

Why You Should Buy Art Friday - You Are What You Eat

We've all heard this term before, usually in conjunction with the consumption of food. I think it also applies to the consumption of media.

We are a consumer society. Every aspect of our lives is tied to a consumer element to some degree. Every day we are faced with a myriad of choices of things that we will spend our time and money consuming.

I've compared the price of artwork to eating out at fancy restaurants before, to point out the long term enjoyment of a beautiful piece of artwork over the short term enjoyment of a nice meal. Also, I discussed how artwork is not merely an indulgent decorator purchase, but rather could be considered a long term investment.

What I've been thinking about lately is how we spend our media time and money. I think in the pursuit of well crafted art, literature and film over commercial hype and the blockbuster mentality we are feeding our minds quality media.

Instead of listening to the advertising gimmicks we need to be taking the time to place our dollars in the hands of people producing quality. By being intentional in this we are working towards moving our society in the direction that supports creative thinking and craftsmanship. These industries are often at the brink of disappearing, by funding them, you are creating a sustainable environment for these creative businesses and giving them the potential to flourish.

They say that a mark of a society at its pinnacle is that there is a thriving intellectual and creative culture, this cannot happen unless people place their time and resources into developing and supporting this. If our culture spends all of its time and money supporting McDonalds and Hollywood, what does this say about us? (the term "garbage in = garbage out" comes to mind)

Also, we know what can potentially happen if we consume a steady diet of junk food, our health deteriorates. Same can be said of a steady diet of junk media, our mental and intellectual health can stagnate and deteriorate. By seeking out media that is thought provoking, engaging and intellectually stimulating, you are keeping your mind fit and vigorous - potentially elevating your own creative output.

My challenge to my readers this week is to seek out something that is not the lowest common denominator. I honestly think it can be anything that supports craftsmanship and quality over "more for your money". Value for your dollar doesn't always mean the lowest price or the largest quantity.

Be intentional in this, replace something that you would normally spend money on. Go see a lot of movies? Go to a repertoire theatre and check out a foreign film. Buy a lot of magazines? Spend a few dollars more and get an independent publication in the genre of your choice. Shop a lot at discount home stores or Ikea? Go to a site such as etsy and support an artisan. Try something organic - really, your possibilities are endless here.

I just want to encourage you to not to be afraid of "getting less" or "spending more" I think you should try to savour and enjoy something special. Lets support our creative culture somehow this week. I invite your thoughts on this or what you discover! Have a great week.

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