It’s a common feeling amongst hobbyists’ that because they are not selling their work, their art is worthless and means far less than the art they see hanging upon the pristine white walls of a swanky art gallery.
So, is this true?
It really depends on how you value it. From a monetary point of view, art is worth whatever someone is willing to pay for it. This is hard to judge because it very much depends on the right person seeing it.
For example, we know that a Jackson Pollock painting can sell for millions. However, would I buy one myself (if money was no object)? Probably not, because it’s simply not my cup of tea. In that sense, what’s worthy to one is worthless to another.
Even when it comes to an art collector, often they will invest in a ‘signature’ and the art itself is secondary.
Art is subjective, therefore extremely hard to put a price on. A price will always be too high for one and too low for another.
So, what if we take money out of the equation? What is it’s value then?
Let’s first of all look at what value it has to the artist.
It’s sad but true that all too often a professional artist is painting what they know is likely to sell and that will please their collectors. Sometimes this comes at a cost to the artist because the value for them is more about what it pays than how the art makes them feel.
A hobbyist, on the other hand, is free to paint or draw whatever and however, they like. This is when art has the most value, I think; certainly to the artist.
It’s quite startling, the physical effects that anxiety can have. Art can be enormously therapeutic and beneficial to our mental health and this, in turn, has a knock-on effect on our physical health. Even something as seemingly trivial as a doodle has this kind of positive effect.
The power of creating is something we are often unaware of. We think the most important part of creating is the result, when the reality is, the most valuable part is the process itself.
So, whether you are drawing stick men with a biro, or creating hyper-realist oil paintings, the value can only truly be judged by the effect that the process has on the creator. The result is irrelevant.
In short, a doodle can hold just as much value as a Jackson Pollock, just in a different way.