Art is more than just a pretty picture. Until we truly understand what it is that art does for our society, we won’t ever value the work put out by artists of all genres. Artists will continue to hold their hands out for whatever they can get paid or they will continue to be offered ‘exposure’ in exchange for their hard work.

Artists speak up for the world, but not often for themselves. And so many of us want to know:

[Tweet “Why do people find it so difficult to pay artists for their work?”]

Perhaps the first question is: Why is art important? Because we don’t have a problem paying for things we value, right? So, why should we value art?

Art creates change. It is the heart and soul of a society. It’s a mirror. It expresses who we are, what we think, what we dream about, what we wish for – and it does this all, in a beautiful package that stops people in their tracks, grabs their attention and changes them, either subtly or profoundly.

As part of the #3ThingsThursday linkup hosted by Pink Chai Living, The Write Balance and Love Laugh Mirch, I’m sharing 3 examples of how art creates change by driving messages into people’s souls.

1. You can say: I think people should be allowed to love each other, no matter what. 

OR you could do this:

This impacted you more than the statement itself because of the music, the videography, the raw human emotion…and even before any words were spoken, you got the message loud and clear. And if you cried as you watched this, you were not alone. Why is a video like this getting millions of views and being shared virally on social media? Because it gets to us. And guess what? It’s art.

2. You can say: Women should be allowed to breastfeed wherever they want.

OR you can do this:

Do you get the message now? That women are made to feel so embarrassed about a natural function that they feed their babies on toilet seats of public washrooms in countries where breasts are exposed in advertisements ‘just for the fun of it.’ (P.S. That was me with the first baby, and I felt sick every time.) This woman is saying what I was thinking. We have never met and probably never will. But her message reached me and empowered me. Because it’s art.

3. You can say: Wouldn’t it be great if we could just live in peace with each other?

OR you can do this:

Presented this way, your message can certainly outlive you. Because that’s what art does.

Think about a world without art, if that helps you see its value. Imagine a world without the storytellers who stretch our imaginations and remind us that anything is possible. Imagine a world without the poets who coax those feelings out of us with every word they seem to have plucked from our collective soul. Imagine a world without colour, or form or shape, all of which depict a message that connects us without language.

Imagine a world without people who refuse to be quiet about the things that matter – and who find ingenius ways to get us to see ourselves for who we are.

I dare you to go a day in your life without art.

So, I ask again: Why do people have such a difficult time paying artists for their work?

I’d love to hear your thoughts! And please go check out the other bloggers who are linking up today by visiting any of the hosts’ websites.