Yes, it does.
Even while the world is in chaos. Like it is right now.
Even when there’s a global pandemic. Maybe especially during our present circumstances.
We’re struggling to maintain any sense of normalcy, and some of us are actively preparing for the official start of the zombie apocalypse. A lot of creative types, across all disciplines, will be thinking: “What is even the blankety-blank point of finishing my painting/screenplay/novel/musical right now?”
I’ll tell you what the point is.
Art matters. Whether the world is sane and safe, or messed up as blazes and very turbulent.
It gives us beauty and order in the midst of ugliness and chaos.
It reminds us life isn’t always this bad. And that people are capable of producing more than fear and hate, pain and agony.
Art provides a safe space to explore all those nasty but necessary discussions on politics, prejudices, humanity’s failings and our own personal obstacles, and how all of it could get better. By indulging in literature, music, theatre, dance, we allow ourselves the chance to dream and to reach higher.
Think of those who came before you, which influenced your own creative pursuits. Our current artistic endeavors will inspire the next generation to do the same, to attempt more than a repeat of past mistakes, to strive for a truly new future.
Hint: You don’t have to write a dystopian novel about a thinly-veiled COVID-19 outbreak to make an impact in this direction.
And your medium doesn’t have to be realistic to accomplish this. Particularly in moments of great duress, fantasy appeals to the masses, and, really, with little wonder.
Art also helps us gain a little, much needed, perspective. We don’t have to focus on the mega-crisis all the time. Other aspects of life are still important, and taking an hour to catch up on your favorite series, or learn what happens in the next chapter, or to sketch a dog chasing a ball make all of that seem more real.
One day, the mega-crisis will be resolved, and then we have to have something to go back to. It’d be great if we never completely left it to begin with.
So, while you’re wondering if there’s a point to your art among all the other stuff going on, here — just, stop. Don’t give up on your art. The world needs it now, and will need it in the future.
Keep writing, drawing, painting, singing, dancing. We’ll read it, swoon over it, sing and sway along.