There is misunderstood belief that artists have to be isolated from society instead of being connected to it. Some artists believe that art should speak on its own and if people don’t connect with their art there should be no need to provide explanations. As artists we speak through art, I agree. People should connect and find meaning in the content of an art piece on their own. However, we can provide insights in our source of inspiration, our creative process, our artistic influences, methods, and techniques. That gives us power to be communicators. Not everyone is educated in the arts. We have the power to be influential and an inspiration to others. If we decide to connect with people and share our knowledge and feelings (funny coming from a man) we can expand the power of communication of our art. Artists gave away this power to agents who turned the art into a market trade product with no substance of life behind it.
In Frames of Mind: Theory of Multiple Intelligences, Howard Gardner mentions interpersonal intelligence as the skill to connect with others. As in any field of practice, you can be successful and have all the skills but by not having interpersonal intelligence you might be closing doors to yourself. It is fine to let art speak by itself. It is a great experience. Nevertheless, it is not a license to be a contemptibly obnoxious person or a self-made social reject. Some artists need an ego-check. There is a very fine line between eccentric and just plain weird. If people can connect with you, they will connect with your art. It is time artists come out of obscurity and mingle with people and be more than a signature at the corner of the paint, to regain an influential social status and use our sensitivity to guide others and inspire future artists, and why not? Future clients as well.