What is “Art”?

Can you guess where this is from?

For this post, I’d like to spend some time exploring what art is and why anime qualifies as this (unfortunately, there won’t be much anime-wise, sorry). When you look at this picture, what do you think? How do you feel? (If you’re crying, I can understand why. ^_^) I truly believe anime is an artistic medium. But what is “art” anyways? Excuse such a philosophical question, but by all means, what is it?

Nearly everyone I know says it’s a way of expression. Others say it’s the application of creativity and imagination. All my art teachers said it’s anything you create with emotion. My brother says its video games. And my sister says it “pretty stuff”. :3


You could say art is something that makes us more thoughtful and well-rounded humans. Or “It is something of the heart”. On the other hand, art can be things like a cup or desk – y’know, aesthetically pleasing stuff? You might say “Art is in a constant state of change, so nobody can really pin down what it is.” You might even say “Art is subjective, and means something different to every single person on earth.” This can be the truth.

From a factual perspective, “Art is form and content.” Form as in the elements, the principles of design, the actual materials used.
For content, it is as in, what is meant to be portrayed, what IS portrayed and the reactions to intended and actual messages. Ok, enough beating around the bush!

No, not that bush.

By definition, “art” is: “The quality, production, expression, or realm, according to aesthetic principles, of what is beautiful, appealing, or of more than ordinary significance.” Meaning everything that was said above… is true. All of it. Not joking. I’m freaking serious. Ok, maybe you guys aren’t that surprised.

“1000 Words” by yuumei on DeviantArt

To me, art is something much more; it is a story, a story of all the best and most beautiful things in life, and the most horrific and darkest parts of the world. Art is the most powerful form of expression – it can easily express and invoke emotions in ways 1000 words can’t. They tackle difficult topics, and have celebrated for it.


Topics like love…


Reason # 1 why I love Clannad.




…is never the answer.


Conquer of Shamballa.


The “Truth” is cruel.



You know who he is.

They’ve all become critically acclaimed worldwide, and rightfully so. They dared to explore humanity’s best and darkest side; the true and ugly realities of the human condition. They venture into uncomfortable territory, and find the truth hidden from within. This is the stuff art is made of. Anime is capable of exploring this harsh territory, moreso that any other forms of cartoons out there. It’s what I spent my entire life studying, and is one of the biggest reasons why I love anime so much.


  1. Very good read, very well thought out, I don't really have anything to add, just wanted to say I liked it a lot :3

    • No worries, everyone has their own idea of what "art" is. Really, it's a thing understood not by the mind, but the heart.

  2. In terms of actual logic from my art teacher that I used to be a student of, art is something what any human can make/perform and that what's make our species unique. Artists are those who desire to improve their skills or take them up to the next level and anyone can become one if they try. Also, most true artists would say that and I'm not joking or making this up.

    But, you kinda have an interesting point for art in some sort of way.

    My recent post Moretsu Pirates Episode 9 Impression

  3. Well, art does not have to be actually visuals per say, but can also contain that of music, the written word, acting etc. It embodies the aesthetics, but the idea of aesthetics is not a universal for every culture. Therefore, art is life as some would say, since it is constructed by man and the environment he is in (the culture, etc).

    Although, that is just my worthless two cents on the matter ^^

    • I agree. My old music director (who was completely insane, and a friggin genius) told me that anyone can regurgitate notes on a page. The job of a musician is to give emotions to those notes and express them to the audiance.

    • Of course! While anime is an artistic medium, novels , films, music and video games are all artistic mediums too. ^_^

  4. The way Art would be properly defined as is "a medium in which invokes emotion deliberately and/or meticulously"; mainly because you feel emotion to everything, but not all is art. Specifically "Art" as it is as a medium is Logical application of ambiguous emotional attachment or value. The point you have made here is completely valid, but simply incomplete. Art is not mind warping or evocative of angst induced apathy towards it. Nay, it is the application of understanding and educational value to a medium to which an individual can enjoy. For instance, PMMM (if your an anime fan you better know what this acronym means) sets out to extrapolate a dark story involving the limit young girls can be pushed to before realizing the empty value of life and the acceptance, and above all, the decisions each character takes to change their circumstances. But the analyzable side of it can be disregarded so the viewer can observe at the compelling stage, understanding the complex aspects of the story through desire to understand the story more; a tangential discovery of the depths the story may go will cause the individual to learn and realize nuances to PMMM that allow him or herself to gain intuitive insight to the world around them. True art educates and entertains at a level that causes both to become blurred and indistinguishable from another. It creates understanding through emotional attachment (whether negative or positive) and vice versa.

    Also: How's it hanging, brother?

Leave a Reply