We are all encouraged from childhood to express ourselves in a variety of ways to encourage creativity. It is part of our mental well-being. As adults we may be fortunate enough to become professional artists but most of us develop our creativity in our spare time. Professional artists have an innate flair for colour, line, design and shape and look for opportunities to express themselves. To develop a unique style, there must be opportunity for reflection and training. So both an innate ability and skills are required.
Artists’ roles do change with cultural considerations as can be seen very clearly in the earlier exercise on the totem pole, the Giotto crucifix and the Minoan Snake Goddess. Western Art elevates the artist and his/her originality. The work of art is given status in a museum, art gallery or church and material value is placed on it. In non-Western cultures, art such as the totem pole, aboriginal art or other religious artefacts such as Byzantine icons certain rules are applied to the production of the artefact. The craft of creating art according to set rules must be learned and training is given. There appears to be little leeway for the artist to express his or her originality. It is the craftsmanship applying the set rules which appears to be revered.