Charles Pratt once said, “Be true to your work and your work will be true to you.” Art means passion, joy, energy, life, expression. Art encourages me to be true to myself. As my work reflects who I am, I find out who I want to be in the future day by day. Art is not a delicate oil painting or a well designed poster. Art is a value that teaches me how to protect my own voice. I often ask myself what it means to be an artist and what responsibilities follow after the title.
It’s been ten months since I’ve been working for one of the godfathers of graphic design, George Tscherny. Everytime I walk down to a stiff staircase to the basement of his office, I see and feel his life long works of graphic design ranging from an envelope design to a wall size poster. The entire basement filled with cardboard boxes each labeled and neatly organized dating back to 1951. I see the evidence of an artist being true to his expression throughout his life. From this experience, I always remind myself to continue being true to myself.
Today, I believe that art should not only remain as paintings, murals, drawings, posters, and other visual solutions. Art’s process, creative thoughts, should bring other fields together which leads to next development in society. An artist's creative mind should always collaborate and apply to other professions such as engineering, business, anthropology and many other exploration. This way, the society can not only enrich in life, but also future that leads to the next generation.
The benefits that art gives to the society are countless. Most importantly, one benefit that stands out is energy that improves the society. Enrichment of arts in society provides many forms of platforms for individuals to be freely experimental in their study or exploration. Freedom in exploration encourages individuals to converse with each other. This doesn’t remain only in a form of visuals of design but also in the quality of life. In order to maintain this drive colliding with materialism, artists should keep in mind that values they want to leave behind that benefit the next generation. There are numerous artists in the past who sacrificed toward enrichment of the art. Despite the values that are created by money, time, and greed, we as artists should not lose our true expression.
Edmund Lee / NY / 2017