Much of the time spent working at art is practice rather than creative discovery (perspiration rather than inspiration), and practice, of course, is essential for building skill, which is itself a source of great satisfaction. Doing art also connects the person doing it with other artists and with audiences. It is, or at least can be, a source of important friendships. Doing art also connects the artist with a field of art, with a history and a language that goes far beyond what any individual artist does. Doing art has meaning not just for the individual doing it, but also for a society, for a culture.
Art also helps people to connect with and deal with their emotions. Art can help a person reach into largely unconscious parts of the mind and experience dimensions of self otherwise buried and voiceless. It can also help a person get a handle on emotions that are, to borrow a word from T.S. Eliot, “undisciplined,” and therefore inarticulate. Through the arts people can find voices to express dimensions of self usually left in silence. And through art, people can shape their own identity. Art is not just self-expression; it is also self-creation.