I recently looked at Philip Yancey's website, where he ruminates about the question of why we make art. He distinguishes between art as a goad to prod us to action (a prophetic act) and art as a nail that becomes embedded in society to remind us of the questions that eternally trouble us (a rare and unpredictable work).
Then he proposes a third metaphor of art -- as a way of marking time, of writing in sand, an activity he sees as more trivial than higher forms of service to God, like the work his wife does as a hospital chaplain. Yet he also lauds the necessity and value of just such trivial acts of rebellion against the prevailing world of "greed and lust, manipulation and exploitation, fearful and painful sensations" (Henri Nouwen's reaction to seeing the 1980 movie "Stuntman").
I have always felt my art to be just that trivial. It has affected almost no one, changed nothing, passed on little. I have longed to be a nail, but mostly I write in the sand. The great thing about being part of a Christian community is being able to add together our many trivial acts and become part of something a little larger, maybe a little more nail- or goad-like.