Today on her blog, Alyson Stanfield coyly asked:
If you create something and no one else ever sees it, is it art?
I think some of the best art are the small private things you create just for yourself, and then let fall away. The sketch you make on a frosted window pane. The impromptu song you hum while walking the dog. The doodle on a napkin before you throw it away. The “music video” you edit in your head as you listen to your iPod. The one act play you create in your head from an overheard conversation. These are the most meaningful and personal works of art, quietly made, quickly discarded, and never shared.
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I think the answer is a resounding yes. The distinction is in the word “else”. Like you say, a lot of art is personal, and though it may be created in the hope of sharing with others, its primary consumer is almost always the artist him/herself.