The popular conception of art in contemporary American culture is that it is primarily decorative and is not supposed to furnish serious ideas or to challenge a viewer on an intellectual level. Any hierarchy of quality in art is strictly dependent on the taste of the viewer, and no particular education or experience is necessary to determine that taste. Artists work to develop a visual language that juxtaposes formal and symbolic elements to create unique expressions. Developing one’s ideas allows an artist to understand and order his or her world, and to reconcile outer and inner experiences. Processes of life readily translate into painting processes, and the most creative artists are those who live to learn, and for whom life and art are translatable into one another. The process of finding strategies to make one’s private self public may yield some uncomfortable critiques before the artist’s visual language has been fully developed.