Is Creating Graphical Environments an Artistic Endeavor?

I have worked on my blog for the past two weeks and I have received a few comments about what a desktop is and is not. I guess this is something that the KDE and Gnome people would be very much concerned about. I created a project called "OpenSUSE  Revolution" in a personal effort to make SUSE understand that they really need to stand out and create better design. This is to make OpenSUSE more accepted by people who are migrating to Linux. To me, this is something that involves art and good design.

I compared a couple of ideas on the desktop to a piece of art by Cezanne. In it, I explained that this expressionist painting was able to make people who looked at it, understand that although it is expressionism, you still understand the shapes and forms in it and relate them to elements in real life. Later, I received this comment "A desktop is a tool, not a piece of art." Is this true? I want to put this question to you all.

To me, being an artist is something that extends beyond the scope of pictures and sculptures. Art is a form of expression to beautify things around you. I believe this is definitively something that can reach the Linux desktop as well. But every time people in the Linux community receive a push for artwork of a better quality, along come people who simply think this way, that your desktop is "just a tool."

One could say the same things about cars. A merely utilitarian tool, right? If this is so, then why do these companies have to spend so much time and effort designing new model of car. They hire people who can design something beautiful that is attractive to people so that they buy it. Then, making a car becomes a work of art, where art will become a functional mean to create attention and potential sales.

One could say the same thing about houses, furniture, etc. The list could go on and on. But one thing is clear, although the Linux desktop is a tool for everyday use it is by no means a tool that is devoid of artistic expression. This is the reason why it is so important for people involved with graphical environments to make the Linux desktop better looking. They work hard into making it pretty usable and a masterpiece.

The problem comes when you want to make your desktop prettier than it is. When your ideas are something that involves art. To make the Linux desktop better and prettier requires an artistic endeavor, then it becomes harder to do because there are those who think that involving art and computers is simply not possible and stupid. Certain people just do not understand the artistic world. They think that placing some glossy buttons on the desktop is as far as you go with being "artistic" on your graphical environment.

Art is design, design is artistic. You cannot separate the two. If you are going to design a graphical environment, you will always aim for what is better. That includes art.

Art is expression that speaks to the mind and senses. Art is part of our daily lives. When I use a graphical environment I look for what looks best. That which is simple and pretty. I enjoy an environment that is flexible enough that will allow me to customize it. Change the buttons, wallpapers, style, etc.

If you think differently, post it. But I doubt my opinion will change.

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