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art, creativity, fashions

1. ART. Art is a functional, aesthetic, meaningful product that a person creatively created; a useful, beautiful, worthy craft; a practical, precious, profound artifact; and it’s not mass-produced by a factory.  Art reflects a particular locality, a particular time (or times) of day and or season of the year, a particular culture, a particular person (or people), and a particular activity (or activities) or event (or events).  Art belongs to a place, a time, a culture, a person, and to an activity or event.  The best art strongly relates to a place, a time, a culture, a person, and to an activity or event; and, furthermore, it remarkably enriches the place, the time, the culture, the person, and the activity or event.  Simple local natural materials are enough to create deep and inspirational artwork.  The best works of art include the mind using simple materials to creatively make deeply meaningful art.  Using local natural materials helps to enhance the art’s belonging to a locality.  Great art can be as humble as a basket that relates to a place, a time, a culture, a person, and to an activity or event.  (Great art is not necessarily the most expensive art, world-famous art, or art made by a globally-famous artist.)  For example, a greatly artistic basket is useful, attractive, and worthy; is made from local materials; is sturdy enough and the appropriate size for a particular activity (such as holding a bunch of a particular local seasonal fruit); and a person beautifully hand wove in his or her local society’s cultural symbols with a touch of his or her artistic flare.  Art includes all creative makings such as visual art, music, dance, cooking, clothes, poetry, stories, etc. Each person is capable of making art; everybody is born an artist.  Each person is capable of making art that is great, if each person takes the time to and all the social and natural elements are in optimal condition. 

2. Overview of conditions that affect art. The profuseness of great art depends on numerous social elements and environmental elements being optimal.  Such social elements include living in a well-functioning family and having deep friendships; having a healthy daily routine; being in a healthy economic situation (having adequate food, clothing, shelter, tools, art); useful and hands-on education (learn to be capable and sustainable, discover connections); having enough freedoms; and having morals and spiritual qualities (kindness, honesty, courage, etc.) and practical values.  Such environmental elements include clean drinking water; unpolluted air to breathe; the fertility of soil and the vigor of habitats to provide people with natural resources for food, clothes, shelter, tools, and art); and the vigor of habitats to supply people with serenity, excitement, inspiration, and a deep culture.  Everything is connected to everything; thus, optimal health is most likely achieved when everything is optimal, when all social elements and all environmental elements are optimal. 

3. GREAT ART. Various examples of doing things and experiencing things that likely promote great art. Society can create an abundance of great art if each person is able to relate to, engage in, and be helpful to his or her local society, local culture, and local nature.  To make great art, it helps to be healthy and to keep one’s mind alert, inspired, joyful, and good-humored by living with morals, expressing spiritual qualities, and having deep friendships & kinships.  Hiking in the natural outdoors with family and friends helps keep the body in good shape and kinships & friendships in good shape.  To make great art, it helps to have family and deep friendships.  Family and friends are inspirations for great artwork.  Furthermore, the great outdoors is an inspiration too.  It’s best that ecosystems are healthy and natural outdoors are flourishing, because thriving habitats’ fascinating intricacies are inspirational.  The outdoors is big, vast in multiple directions, complex, changing, dynamic, exciting, calming, and mind-opening.  Being immersed in the outdoors helps to open, broaden, deepen, and enrich an artist’s mind and to imbue an artist’s mind with ingenuity.  A favorable economic situation for art would be having the natural resources (such as clean water, fertile soil, and thriving habitats) from which to hunt, gather, and or grow adequate food; and having the natural resources to have the materials for adequate clothes, shelter, tools and art.  Food is most nutritious when it is fresh; so locally-grown food is best and food that you prepare yourself is best.  Preparing beautiful, tasty, nutritious food is a worthy form of art.  Additionally, clothes, shelter, and tools are worthy forms of art too.   An artist creates art to be practical, to be capable, to be helpful to his or her local community, to be self-sufficient, to connect society to the environment, to live sustainably, to engage in culture, to shape culture, and to protect and celebrate the local society, local culture, and local environment.  An adequate education assists an artist to make great art that beneficially shapes and sustains all social elements and all environmental elements in the locality.  A local society needs freedom to be free to establish a school that provides an adequate education that brings out the great artist in each child.   Each person needs the freedom to do what he ought to do, to have enough time, to be healthy, to connect to the local society and local outdoors, to think for himself or herself, and to make great art.  Everything is connected to everything; thus, art is related to all social elements (health, economy, school, government, values, etc.), culture, and all natural elements (habitats, plants, animals, water, ground, air, etc.).

4. LOUSY ART. Various examples of doing things and experiencing things that likely promote lousy art. Likely, art is extremely lousy if all the elements are in dire condition; for instance, if: grandparents, parents, and children are separated from each other for the bulk of most days; families spend a lot of time away from home each day; most daily schedules are too hectic; many people have professional jobs, most of which are boring; the extreme divisions of labor make most careers too narrow; school generally gives wasteful tedious busywork; standardized test scores are worshipped; many people spend too much time in tiny, mind-numbing, depressing, indoor spaces; many people lack enough freedom to have the time to do enough exercising, being outdoors, relaxing, and resting; many people lack enough time to have deep friendships; many people lack enough time to prepare food in a nutritious way; intelligence is reduced to fragmented trivia; fame, money, career, vain fashions, reckless parties, and shopping become more important than kinship, friendships, health, spiritual qualities, and sustainability; and the drinking water has toxic chemicals, the air is polluted, habitats are destroyed, and natural resources are depleted so that there is not enough for food, clothes, shelter, tools, and art.  Everything is connected to everything; thus, if many people are uninspired and not making art and the art that is made is generally lousy, likely many elements are in poor condition as well.  If many elements are in poor condition, it’s logical that many people are uninspired and not making art and the art that is made is generally lousy.  If many things are dire: freedoms are lacking, deep friendships are lacking, education is fragmented and useless, culture is shallow, food lacks nutrition, the daily routine is hectic and boring, water and air is polluted, biodiversity have decreased, and habitats are destroyed, it’s no wonder that many people are uninspired and not making art and the art that is made is generally lousy. 

5. IMPROVING ART. Various examples of doing things and experiencing things that likely improve art. If art is lousy and many people are uninspired, improving art and increasing inspiration has a lot to do with improving all the social and environmental elements.  Art will likely improve, for instance: as grandparents, parents, and children spend more time together at their home and in the local outdoors; as the daily routine becomes less hectic; as education becomes more practical and focuses less on trivial things; as kinship and friendships deepen; as each family makes their own food in a nutritious way; as local societies make their own necessities; as people learn how to make a broad range of necessities (food, clothes, shelter, tools, art) for themselves; as freedoms and autonomy increase; as people spend more time connecting with the natural outdoors for wisdom, inspiration, excitement, and relaxation; as water and air become less polluted; as soil organically becomes more fertile; as biodiversity increases; and as habitats and ecosystems flourish again. 

Everything is connected to everything; thus, art is related to all social elements (health, economy, school, government, values, etc.), culture, and all natural elements (habitats, plants, animals, water, ground, air, etc.).

6. Quote from Siftings, by Jens Jensen, USA Midwest Landscape Architect
Knowledge and understanding of the out-of-doors reveal to one’s mind motives and forms.  These motives and forms are nothing to be copied, nothing to imitate, but they serve as an inspiration to sleeping forces that eventually will bear wholesome fruit.  Art grows out of native soil and enriches life as a people attempts to express and develop this growth.  It is contem-porary to life itself and is fastened in the chain of human endeavor.  It comes from within, stimulated by environments, and influenced by the customs and habits of a people.

Links:

Southwest Michigan's Sustainable Pursuits
In Southwest Michigan, various examples of how people are trying to improve social and environmental conditions to provide people and society with great art.

Additional Sustainable Pursuits
Various examples of how people of Michigan, USA, and beyond are currently taking action to enrich and sustain nature and society and to improve people's and society's art.

A Great Life, Great Culture
Explores a lifestyle and culture that supports great art.

Questions about Civilization and Uncivilization
Explores conditions in civilization and uncivilization.

Nature Connections
Explores many natural resources and habitats that inspires artists and provides artists with the materials to make art.

100% Totally Sustainable
What it takes to have the optimal conditions in society and nature for people to have the greatest art.

Imagine a School
A Sustainable School of Art. A school at which each student learns how to do activities that enrich and sustain the creativity and vibrancy of himself or herself and society. A school in which each child learns about his or her connections to social elements and natural elements; and each child learns how to make art that benefits, enriches, and sustains society and nature. 40 ways a school can be a benefit to children, society, and nature.

Sustainable Design is an Art:

z-design
A landscape architecture firm in Three Oaks, in Southwest Michigan. The firm’s mission includes designing each landscape with multiple purposes: each landscape to be beneficial to society and nature and to be beneficial, beautiful and enticing, useful, and engaging to the people who use it. Also, the firm’s mission includes enriching society’s art by designing artistic landscapes that help deepen connections between society with and nature.

Go to the social element Values.

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© 2008-2010 Pocket Pumpkin Press, last updated April 2010
Three Oaks, Michigan, USA