I've been listening to a lot of Jordan Peterson lectures while I cut stencils or work on pieces in the computer as of late. He's amazingly insightful and I feel I understand myself and my motivations better the more I hear him speak.
He talks a lot about how life is suffering, and each of us needs to find something to do with our lives that makes that suffering bearable. For me, a person very high in trait openness, I've found I always need to be creating to feel excited about my life. The first series of paintings I created and put out into the world depicted superheroes suffering. At the time it was unknown to me why I needed to make them. I simply felt compelled to and followed a path into the unknown. Now that I've had years to reflect on it, I realize seeing idealized versions of ourselves going through pain is a symbol and a connection point for all of us. Their suffering represents all of our suffering, and it's the foundation of all of our stories.
He has also said that "beauty is a pathway toward God. That a real piece of art opens your eyes to the domain of the transcendent." Those two sentences are really hard for me to get my head around. But, I think he's saying we have a concrete truth of our daily lives that is individual to us, and then there's the meta-truth of all of our lives. We see that meta-truth in our stories, our art, our music. And we all need these windows because we are so finite and limited. Over time some art is deemed sacred because the unknown shines through it in an articulated form. That is the role of an artist... to put a foot out into the unknown and make sense of it.