My little cousin Hannah in Ohio interviewed myself and my other cousin, graphic novelist Melody Ofte for her school report on careers. Here she is dressed us an artists, specializing in unicorns and rainbows. She asked us what we do as artists, and why we think our work is important in the world. I just loved the opportunity to articulate this, in words she could understand.
"I believe the artist is important because she can imagine something that does not yet exist, and then bring that into existence. When I look around the world, I see so many things I want to change, to make less suffering and more beauty, and I feel the artist is showing that the better world we imagine is able to be created, with time and attention and dedication, much like the process of making a watercolor or song.
I also think beauty and stories are vital to creating happiness, joy, and empathy, putting my in the shoes of someone else, which makes me a kinder and more compassionate person. So I think the job of the artist is important because it creates more joy and empathy in a world that really needs it."
Talking to Hannah about all this reminds me of the brilliant science book, Big Questions from Little People&Simple Answers from Great Minds listed as #2 of the Best Children's Books of 2012 here.