The Staircase of Art: the Six Steps
In chapter 7, “The Six Steps”, of Understanding Comics: the Invisible Art by Scott McCloud, he defines art as a very broad term. He describes art as any human activity that is not derived from the two basic instincts of survival and reproduction. As an example he illustrates a caveman in pursuit of a female with only fornication on his mind. In another picture the male is chased by a vicious, carnivorous animal and once again with only one thing on his mind: survival. According to McCloud this is not art; not until the caveman escapes his near death experience and sticks his tongue out at the animal does he consider it art. Art, as he explains is created using six fundamental steps.
The six steps of any artistic piece are step 1: idea/purpose, step 2: form, step 3: idiom, step 4: structure, step 5: craft, and step 6: surface. The most important steps are the first and second. Without these steps, even with a great surface, the art would be hollow. McCloud uses a shiny red apple with a hollow center as an example. The apple may look delectable based on its appearance, but its center is just a space of emptiness.
McCloud really opens my eyes to some oblivious information. I would have never realized that a group of cave-dwellers would be depicted as an art. The way they spend their time taping rocks to make music, carving lines in the ground, and singing songs are all types of art. Apparently, the way I write my signature is also considered a form of art. In all art, even if the steps are not fully developed, the six steps are always part of the creation process.