Why Art and Emotion Will Always Go Together

Art and emotions are intertwined. This can come from the artist, who often invests their soul, thoughts, and whatever emotions they are experiencing at the time of creating the particular work, even if it is only subconsciously. Artistry can also bring out an emotional response from the viewer. This is the main purpose of art, which has been around ever since cave paintings.

It’s All About the Message

Artists, regardless of the medium, want to try to send their audience and potential audience a message. They often use their artistry as a form of communication. They do so with the use of color, lack thereof, shapes, sounds, slow or fast movements, the framing of a shot in a film, background, a way a sculpture interacts with its surrounding, etc. Many art forms can cover either a variety of subject matters or look at the same topic in a different light. Art has always wanted to say something — to have meaning.

A very important aspect of artistry is that it is influenced not only by the medium, be it painting, sculpture, films, and so on, but also by what is happening in the world. This can be the world that we live in, which some street art tends to comment on directly or the artist’s internal world. Either way, every artwork has a message behind it, even if it is just to have fun.

We Are Designed to Look for Hidden Meaning

We are designed to look for the meaning of art since this is how our minds are wired. This is what happens when we attend an art gallery or watch performing arts shows. While we are observing art, the human eye likes to look for symmetry and emotional artistry. Symmetry can show off the technical skills of the creator, but it is also just more pleasant for the eye. However, not all art has to be symmetrical since it all depends on the message. If a work of art is asymmetrical, it can show conflict, thus adding to a story.

The use of space and colors is also important when looking for a message. This is what anyone who studies art will tell you. For example, a wide-open space can give a sense of calm, especially with bright colors since nothing is hiding from you. However, if you have the same open space but add more dark colors to it, as well as more shadows, this can create uncertainty, maybe even fear, since there may be something hidden from your eyes. The latter is what many horror movies use, especially with outdoor scenes.

Emotional Response to Art

When we are consuming art, regardless if it is old-school fine art or modern art, we experience what is known as “meta emotions.” It is when a bunch of emotions can come to us all at once. A good work is a combination of technical skill with the complexities of the subject matter that brings out strong meta emotions. Our view of artistry can be influenced by our thoughts, upbringing, culture, personal experiences, or even what mood we are in when we look at the artwork.

That’s why we can often experience a rush of emotions while looking at a work of art. Sometimes, we are aware of this, but mostly we are not. Plus, a lot of artworks can show signs of the time, which can also trigger a response from us.

It is not only happiness and fear that we can feel. It can also be slight sexual desire, such as when viewing erotic art, for example. In other cases, it can be the feeling of freedom and wonder when looking at the movements of talented performers on the stage.

Learn how to appreciate art in few minutes here.

Conceptual Association to 

When one views art, there is a conceptual association that comes along with it. This type of association was established long before we have even looked at artistry in our early childhood. When we were babies, we would make connections between things to bridge a gap in our understanding of something, even simple concepts. As we grew older, that “bridging of the gap” became more conceptual and linked more with emotions.

That is why an image of a bright, open field can give a lot of people the feeling of freedom since when a lot of us were younger, we would play in a park or a garden with a lot of free space surrounding us. Therefore, when we look at these pieces, we mentally go back to similar emotions that we have experienced before, even if only on a subconscious level. That is why people can experience the same piece of art in completely different ways.

The Effects of Making Art

As we’ve said, when a person creates art, they tend to put their emotions, thoughts, and feelings into the work. Artists combine their technical knowledge and skills with their personal conceptual associations and emotions. They wish to tell their viewers something, be it a story, a political message, or something else. They may just want to comment on the state of the world as they see it.

While creating art, they use the subconscious part of their brain [This is your brain on art] to put the colors, composition, movements, and subject matter together. However, it may take time for the viewers to fully grasp what the artist is saying. As mentioned before, people have their own conceptual associations that come about when they look at a work of art. Hence, there can be a gap between what the artist is saying and what the audience understands. With time and effort, artists can make their messages clearer without compromising their work, or they can try to. 

Final Word

Artistry and emotion cannot be separated. That is what appreciation art is about. This quality is what makes all the works of art in the world throughout time interesting and viewable. Without emotion, art can fall flat and not create an impact.