Ask the Readers: How Thoughts Transmute into Art?


image by jinterwas


If art is based on thought, what is the transmuting process?

– Virginia Woolf, A Writer’s Diary P. 94

Woolf, a skilled writer and a deep thinker, posed the right question. I paused when I read it, and made a note of it to ponder it at leisure. I would like to share some of my thoughts with you, and learn what you think. What happens that turns our thoughts into arts?

We have lots of thoughts, millions of them. If you are like me, your head forever feels ready to explode simply because there is so much going on inside it. Where do these thoughts come from? They come based on our environment, based on what’s happening around us, in our lives….but that is not it. Thoughts also simply just come…unrelated to all external factors, but related to internal factors. We think about our past, our future, our dreams, our fantasies. We think about religion, death, peace, violence. We think about the neighbours and the co-workers. We think about everything, and yet not all of it translates into art. 

Of course not everyone turns their thoughts into art. But for those of us who do, what is the transmuting process? How do some thoughts turn into arts, and others don’t?  What is it about these thoughts that compels us to express certain thoughts through a creative outlet – whether a song, a painting, a poem, a book or something else? What makes some of these thoughts more art-worthy?

Share your views in the comments below, and tell me what you think about this transmuting process.

2 Responses to “Ask the Readers: How Thoughts Transmute into Art?”

  1. prolixbrio January 24, 2014 at 2:38 am # Reply

    Perhaps it is whatever subject our minds can augment, in collaboration with feeling, that create art. Thought is only half the component. If feeling is absent, it is not art, it is thought.

    • Dolly Garland April 9, 2014 at 12:10 am # Reply


      Do thoughts not contain feelings? Even if they are intellectual, they are not as a rule devoid of emotions.

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