The concept of beauty, or aesthetic appeal is one that philosophers and artist have struggled to define and value throughout the ages. In my opinion much of the schema that one uses to define beauty is culturally built but there are consistent quantifiable qualities that span across cultures and millenias to define an artwork as beautiful. These qualities can be defined by the formal elements of an artwork. Quantifiable elements such as line, color, and shape that are combined into formats and patterns that seem to have a universally pleasing effect on human beings. Many of these formulaic relationships that seem to create beauty can be found in the human body. Relationships between the average proportions of various body parts, as well as the line and rhythm of those parts came be distilled into mathematical equations that can create beauty. But as an artist can I simply create beauty by replicating formulaic recipes for fractal like proportion relationships? Is it even necessary for me to try to create something beautiful? Or is an art work simply impactful and valid because I created it? I believe that beauty is an essential part of an artwork and that the creation of it is hard earned skill. I do not believe however that this means that all of the pieces that make up the whole of an artwork needs to be aesthetically pleasing, or positively emotionally fulfilling on their own. Some of the most impactful pieces of artwork that I have experienced are a tremulous balance between the dark, upsetting, saddening, and even disturbing aspects of mortality and the healing eternal power that beauty seems to hold. When these aspects of sublime and grotesque are properly balanced they give an additional dimension to the visibly quantifiable beautiful attributes of an artwork. They capture not only physical beauty but philosophical, ideological, and spiritual beauty as well. The capture the beauty of ideas, experiences, and emotions. To me that is what being an artist means. It means the having the desire and skill to create objects and experiences that distill the beautiful complex intangibles of the shared human experience that is life into well crafted symbols and representations that appeal aesthetically, emotionally, and spiritually to their intended audience. In considering this tailoring towards a specific audience though the artist must accept that some of the deeper beauty may be lost to those who are not of that demographic. As mere mortals we can not create anything that has a universal appeal, but I do believe that we can draw ever closer to the divine as we discover and strive to draw the attention of others to that which is universally beautiful. No painting, sculpture, or photograph can full capture the beauty of God’s most complex and independent creation; humanity. Art work that is visually beautiful can draw our attention to stop and ponder the beauty, meaning, and importance of all that is seemingly invisible, intangible, and immortal. Could one define one’s self as an artist simply because one creates? I think yes. Just as the adversary defines himself as a god because he holds power. But why be the kind of artist that creates chaos, doubt, fear, unrest, and discomfort when you have the potential to create what all humans long for, peace, love, unity, understanding, and beauty? Though your artwork may never be the canvas that captures eternal beauty in all its glory it can the mirror that reflects it for the viewer to see in their own lives.