tsuweetnami illustration by justin richel
let’s talk about chocolate cake.
i like chocolate cake a lot. like, more than i should. like i exercise to eat chocolate cake, i skimp on other meals to eat chocolate cake, i use philosophical mind games to justify the eating of chocolate cake.
i’m eating chocolate cake right now.
during the week, i behave myself: eat healthy, fruit for dessert, long walks with lola, much moderation. but on the weekends, i binge. and i’m okay with that. that regular, predictable but oh-so-joyous routine of binging on a decadent dessert makes life grand. chocolate cake – or ice cream, or cookies… – gives me a few moments of personal bliss. it’s not something i really ever deny myself at the right time.
is it a necessity? certainly not.
can i imagine my weekends without a bit of indulgence? absolutely not.
miniature cake pendant by sillychic
as a school child, we’re taught about the necessities of life. we need air, water, food, and shelter to live. put simply, cut off too long from any one of these things, we wither & die.
earlier this week, i asked: is art a luxury? and you replied with a variety of answers i could not have imagined!
one such comment pointed out that while art may not be something we require to live, it is necessary for the formation of culture, the thing that makes us human, makes us more than individual beings. so while things like cable tv, down comforters, and iphones (gah!) may be luxuries, art & chocolate cake art not. they makes us who we are and at the same time give us moments of personal clarity when we are more than the sum of our parts. art brings us joy and inspiration. so does chocolate cake.
hostess cake push pins by bearduck
the luxury of creating
to me, what truly separates art & chocolate cake from the realm of luxury is our ability to create them ourselves. given a little time, a few simple materials, and a bit of inspiration, we can have art or chocolate cake whenever we’d like! while some people may specialize in the creation of these wonderful things, each of us has within us the power to create them.
because both chocolate cake & art are not only joys to consume but joys to produce, people who specialize in their creation are also very generous! at a dinner party, your host will not only cook you a delicious meal but will end that meal with a delightful dessert – free of charge, simply for the exchange of your company. artists are also exceptionally generous, consider jen’s feed your soul art project. awesome indie artists from all over the world contribute free pieces that you can print out and enjoy!
there is simply no reason to live without art!
the joy of consuming luxury
but i think what really gets me excited about living with art is our ability to bring art into our lives in so many practical ways. in my own personal definition, this is where art meets craft (but that’s another post, another day). one of the best parts of the indie craft movement is the way you can incorporate art, beauty, and design into your daily life by purchasing handmade goods: tea towels, office supplies, children’s toys, handbags, shoes, jewelry, magnets, plates, mugs, journals – you name it!
art is accessible in more ways than ever before!
luxury, by definition, is scarce, hard to get, expensive. art can be all of those things, true. but art is now also practical, abundant, available for any budget. we now have the luxury of consuming art with wild abandon. and i hope you take advantage of it!
i’m going to go have more chocolate cake.