The Importance of Being an Artist in Today’s Modern World

My oldest son is living in Vancouver, BC while studying 3D animation and computer modeling. Bret is a talented artist with a degree in Fine Arts and Graphic Design. But like many young artists, Bret has a passion for Fine Art as well as technology.

This got me thinking about the subject of the possible irrelevance of Art in the world during this computer driven day and age. On a number of occasions, I have heard people speak of this…are we as artists a dying breed? Will we as ‘Fine Artists’ go the way of the dinosaur?

Personally, I think NOT!

Artists truly are the movers and shakers of the world. The ages demonstrate that artists have been at the forefront of every epic era. Oscar Wilde’s famous quote, “Life imitates art far more than art imitates life”, illustrates this.

Art has been said to be ‘an expression of both hope and despair’, which embodies all facets of the human condition. The awe inspiring cathedrals of Europe rose from the ashes of plague, cruelty and despair. After which, the forward thinking artists of the Renaissance era emerged in times of religious persecution and political chaos…

I believe, the worse things get – the more indispensable Art becomes. As our American economy sags and democracy weakens amid the smothering of our beloved earth, Art will find fertile ground and bloom.

Art in all its forms, is the universal language. It is the great equalizer and thinking agent. Art reaches across borders and connects the world. Great Art stirs the imagination, causing us to pause, think and reflect.  Art allows our minds to escape into childlike wonder. Paintings are windows to the imagination.

Did you know, the act of drawing and creating Art can help us relieve stress?  Also, Art improves students in their personal, intellectual, and social development. It can be especially beneficial for children from economically disadvantaged conditions or those who struggle to succeed in school.

Art records the footprint of all peoples, cultures and the world around us:

  • From prehistoric times, cave dwellers drew and carved on rock walls to record important history.
  • Inspired by biblical times, artists recorded the life and death of Jesus.
  • The Mesopotamians, Egyptians, Greek and Roman artists left us invaluable traces of their culture and our human heritage through their art
  • Still life paintings often adorn the interior of ancient Egyptian tombs and Roman walls and record information about the vessels and delicacies that the upper class might have enjoyed.
  • Lavish tapestries, book-covers in precious metal, ivory, jewels and mosaics help us understand the Dark Ages.
  • The Renaissance era was lead by visionary artists, such as Leonardo da Vinci, Botticelli, Raphael and Michael Angelo.
  • John James Audubon (April 26, 1785 – January 27, 1851)  painted, catalogued, and described the many birds of North America. (I know he killed too many while he was at it though…)
  • The Impressionists were considered the ‘radicals’ of their time and broke the rules of academic painting.

Sure, now we have the modern capabilities to record history with a camera. And yes, I loved the movie Avatar. In fact, it gave me a whole new appreciation for the artists in that industry. However, nothing will replace the feeling of being in the presence of great Art – whether you are at the Louvre Museum or staring at a beloved painting in your living-room. The silent story of the brushstrokes made by a master’s hand or a vessel formed by a primitive artisan will never be obsolete.

Upon graduation, my son is assured a job in the exciting field of 3D animation where he will be making computer games and creating feature films. I am excited for Bret’s bright future and his contribution to this newest expression of Art.

What do you think? I would love to hear your thoughts on this….~Lori

You might like to read:

Why Paint Abstract Art? or

Finding Great Art Instructions – 7 Tips to Help You

Feeling Blue in the Studio?

How to Choose the Right Paint Brush for the Art Technique

Tips for Painting Water and Reflections

The Best of 2010: Articles on Art, Marketing & Social Media

I found this essay interesting:

The Relevance of Art in Times of Crisis

About Lori McNee

Lori McNee is a professional artist who specializes in still life, and landscape oil paintings. She is an exhibiting member of Oil Painters of America, Plein Air Painters of Idaho, serves on the Plein Air Mag Board of Advisors, and is an Artist Ambassador to Arches/Canson/Royal Talens. As the owner of, Lori blogs about fine art tips, marketing, and social media advice for the aspiring and professional artist. As a social media influencer, Lori ranks as one of the Top 100 Most Powerful Women on Twitter, has been featured in the Wall Street Journal and named a #TwitterPowerhouse by The Huffington Post. She is a keynote speaker, has been a talk show host for Plum TV, writes for F+W Media publications including Artist’s Magazine, Artist’s & Graphic Designer’s Market, Photographer’s Market. Also, Zero to 100,000: Social Media Tips & Tricks for Small Businesses. Lori is also a member of the CBS Entertainment Tonight & The Insider Tweet Team.


  1. more than words

    • Nicely said – one of the things about digital arts is that they are not readily accessible without a ‘reader’ and need to be translated in order for humans to interact with them. If your hard copy art can survive the elements, as long as people have eyes and a sense of touch, your creation can speak to people throughout time no matter what the technology of the day is.

      • Hi Austin. How true that is. Thanks for reminding us of the very important difference between the two art forms. Most people are tactile and fine art is tangible. I really appreciate your great comment. It enriched the post.


  2. I completely agree that art will endure, no matter what technological innovations we make! Like Austin said we as humans will always be enthralled with something more tactile! That’s waht human nature is! They having talking about end of art for almost a century now but we still thrive! The human race has gone through turmoil through the ages but our ablity to love and create art has stayed the same…..

  3. nick scianna says:

    I find it sad ..when invited to people
    and they have low grade prints and faded photos
    on there walls
    I wish more people would realize how wonder it is
    to have least one professional hand painted picture in there

  4. This post reminds me of a conversation I had with a guy who, after I told him I was a watercolor painter, informed me that he was an artist too but he had never picked up a paintbrush or pencil. He mostly played around with Photoshop. While I don’t dismiss digital art, there is something to be said about the process of grasping the brush, applying those strokes, sketching those lines and conveying that sensual experience to your audience.

    Every time someone writes me and tells me they feel invigorated by looking at the colors in my work, or how one of my pieces lifted their spirits, I’m reminded of the importance of art an am grateful that I am able to contribute something positive and creative in this world.

  5. You are so right. I love how you made a retrospective list pointing out that artists really led others into new eras and left new aesthetics standards.

    • Hello Slavko,

      I enjoyed contemplating and writing this post. There is value in being and artist…and I can’t imagine the world without art. Glad you stopped by for a visit and comment.

      Lori :)

  6. Marie Wise says:

    Renaissance paintings document the history of the times. Fine art was a way of expressing beauty, recording events, and documenting history. Why should today be different just because the technology is different?

  7. Dear Lori:
    Thank you for this meaningful and thought-provoking article. Many years ago in university the academics frequently echoed the sentiment that painting was dead. But now? Watch the results of auction houses and what continues to be in vogue for fund raising! Yes painting’s posture continues to heighten and serve the public good.
    I certainly hope your son is enjoying studies in BC. Lots of inspiration, but big shoes to fill in terms of Canadian art history.

  8. Yes yes yes….. We need our children to create art not remove it from their education. Keep on Creating Lori. :D

    • Hi Melissa, thanks for your input here. I couldn’t agree with you more. Art was such an important part of my lower school education. I could relax, and feel free in there.
      Thank you for stopping by,

  9. in all forms art is an universal language.i agree with this. art can communicate all our stresses, happiness and all our feeklings. it is the reflection of our culture, lifestyle etc

  10. terri matthews says:

    This may be a odd quesion, but what is considerd Art?, real art?

    • That is a BIG question! Here are a few quotes to ponder…

      Art is a discovery and development of elementary principles of nature into beautiful forms suitable for human use.~Frank Lloyd Wright
      Art is not a thing — it is a way.~Elbert Hubbard

  11. Art, like paper books and natural media…will never disappear. From an engineer.

  12. Well said! Love the fact that we share the same opinion.

  13. life without art or artists? no way. It’s the breath of the soul, the colour of dreams, the essence of Love

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