Use Your Art

(This column is posted at and Steve’s Tumblr.  Find out more at my newsletter.)

In the end, if we want to use our creativity to promote freedom and such ideas, to connect to truth, we may find ourselves asking if our given art is useful.

We may write erotica, and wonder what that will do politically. We create videogames and think connecting blocks in patterns can’t do anything. How will our art make a difference?

First, don’t discount any value that your art provides. If you entertain if you inspire you do make a difference. I’m sure you can think of times you enjoyed something and it made your life better.

At the same time, don’t count out how a form of art can change the world. Erotica can challenge ideas about sex and gender used to manipulate others. The plots of video games can make us think. A seemingly silly story can conceal subtle truths that are otherwise painful poison.

Also don’t discount the other benefits. Money, fame, influence. Well-made art gives you other tools to influence the world. You may change the world not via your art, but via what your art brings you.

Besides, every piece of art you make means you get better at it, and may lead you to other projects more prone to your political goals.

But you may find, now or with practice you can use your art to do directly political things.

Can you write? Editorial columns and social media may be your thing.

Video editing can create documentaries and confound tyrants on social media.

Graphic design can craft websites to get out messages.

And, of course, we all know the power a good performance can bring.

So don’t feel your art is useless. It may bring comfort and joy. It may bring riches and fame you can use. FInally, it may be easy to repurpose to do other things.

You just have to find which way to use it. But you’re a creative – never stop until you dream up the way to turn that power to change the world.

Steven Savage