The diversity of personal (life) experience enriches the character of an artist, or any individual, by exposing him or her to a broader scope of existence. By participating in the greater reality observed by looking through a wider lens, those who maintain an open mind and a willingness to learn can acquire knowledge not commonly obtained otherwise. The broader life experience is often acquired through travel, and interaction with other cultures. For those not able to travel, the study of art in its many forms may provide similar benefits.
Contemporary education, including artistic training, by contrast, depends more upon memorization of a standardized set of methods or facts, considered to be “knowledge”. This approach to education tends to limit individuality and artistic creativity. Education may lead to wrote learning without meaningful knowledge, just as artistic reproduction may develop technical skill without necessarily leading to knowledge or understanding of Artistry.
Art takes on many forms of expression. Static forms represented by the “Fine Arts” include Painting, Sculpture and Architecture. Some sources include Music as well, though generally the term is restricted to the visual arts. Dynamic or Performing Arts more commonly consist of Music, Dance, Stage and Film productions.
All Art stimulates the senses in multiple ways. The Culinary arts for example are a form of artistic creativity that result in sensual pleasure stimulating sight, smell, taste and sometimes even sound. Martial arts by comparison produce little pleasure sensation, offering only the benefit of exercise through that discipline. These visceral sensations often arise in the previously mentioned art forms. What then do we mean by Art?
One viewpoint, (my own) believes that for Art to have true meaning and value, it should also stimulate the mind. Thoughts, emotions and subliminal sensations can result of the interaction of the observer with the artist’s work. Each observer through their own set of life experiences would necessarily possess a variety of memories and individual sensations. However the successful artist recognizes those human experiences common to all. By being able to identify and re-present to the observer those common elements, the observer connects personally, both emotionally and intellectually to that art.
Therefore for artists to be successful, in addition to being technically skilled, they should be able to stimulate the human intellect as well, which is perhaps our highest sense. The one sense most often ignored.