When a work of painting, music or other form attains two-way communication, it is truly art. One occasionally hears an artist being criticized on the basis that his work is too 'literal' or too 'common.' But one has rarely if ever heard any definition of 'literal' or 'common.' And there are many artists simply hung up on this, protesting it. Also, some avant-garde schools go completely over the cliff in avoiding anything 'literal' or 'common'—and indeed go completely out of communication! The return flow from the person viewing a work would be contribution. True art always elicits a contribution from those who view or hear or experience it. By contribution is meant 'adding to it.’ An illustration is 'literal' in that it tells everything there is to know. Let us say the illustration is a picture of a tiger approaching a chained girl. It does not really matter how well the painting is executed, it remains an illustration and it is literal. But now let us take a small portion out of the scene and enlarge it. Let us take, say, the head of the tiger with its baleful eye and snarl. Suddenly we no longer have an illustration. It is no longer 'literal.' And the reason lies in the fact that the viewer can fit this expression into his own concepts, ideas or experience: he can supply the why of the snarl, he can compare the head to someone he knows. In short, he can CONTRIBUTE to the head. The skill with which the head is executed determines the degree of response. Because the viewer can contribute to the picture, it is art. In music, the hearer can contribute his own emotion or motion. And even if the music is only a single drum, if it elicits a contribution of emotion or motion, it is truly art.

~ L. Ron Hubbard

If you're an artist, always keep at it, there will be someone out there who sees the universe and soul in what you've created. Maybe they can't afford it, but it calls them like the siren in a sea, and they've saved for months and scraped, thinking all the time about how one piece you made has moved them. You can change a person's moment with your work, don't forget that.If you're an author, someone out there has read your work. They've laughed with your characters. They've cried with them. They've escaped into your fantasy or memories, and they've been changed by you. Nothing they do afterward will be the same. You will forever make them different and who they will become. Please don't forget that.If you're a singer or musician, you inspire others. People sing when they feel great emotion. If you're one of those who bursts into song at a moment's notice, imagine what that can do to brighten someone else's day. People are listening. They see you, who you really are. They are feeling the magic of those moments with you. You never know who's life you can change. You never know who is listening. Never forget that.It doesn't matter what kind of magic you create, don't ever stop. There is beauty, pain, and so many other things that depend on you to continue. Never stop. Let the world see your magic. Perform your craft with all of the fibers of your being. Shine with your light. Edge with your darkness. Do what you must, but never stop. Your creations are a gift to the world, so give with all your might.You never know who might need it.

~ Jennifer Megan Varnadore