There is a group of people that continually impress me with what they write and how they think; artists.
Of course I include those commonly thought of as great in the history of art in this list, but the people I’m thinking of now are much more, shall we say, down to earth? For example, this post was actually inspired by reading articles by Scott Kurtz and Doug Tennapel, both of whom are webcomic artists.
Here’s what I’ve decided. Artists think emotionally. I’m a huge fan of deep thought and intense debate. Seeking truth is important to me on a level that’s so ingrained I don’t know that I can really explain it. Philosophy, theology, ethics, and apologetics consume my thought life on a regular basis. Yet somehow I am never as affected by deep thought from a thinker as I am by deep thought from an artists.
I don’t think the reason for this is complicated at all. It is very easy to seperate higher reasoning from daily life and practicality. We do it all the time. Talk to any ethics professor. It is impossible, on the other hand, to seperate emotion from any aspect of our life. If something affects us or communicates with us emotionally, it will affect and communicate with all of our life. A man wholely convinced of the evils of lies by a dissortation will never be as honest as a man who has been deeply hurt by deception. This is just how humans function.
Artists naturally tap into this human truth. Art is never successful on any level unless it manages to connect with the viewer’s emotions. As such, anyone who manages to create art has managed to think and then communicate emotionally.
This is why I believe artists manage to function on a deeper level of thinking and understanding more often than most. It is a simple matter of practice. The more you do something, the more it becomes a natural occurance. Artists work, practice, and strive to think and communicate deep emotions and, through these emotions, deep truths. As a result of years of that in their life, it becomes natural for them to think deeply through their emotions.
This isn’t complicated, it’s just the nature of the role of artist in the human experience. Complicated or not, I tend to pay attention when an artist has something to say.