What Art Means to Me
Most people would probably describe art as a picture, painting, sculpture, or maybe even a form of music that expresses one’s own thoughts or feelings. I suppose that would indeed be a very accurate description. However, I believe that art is much more than that. To me, art is more of a creative way to express my deepest passions, thoughts, and emotions. Art allows me the freedom to use my wildest imagination while giving me the confidence to conquer my worst fears. Many people may not even realize how often they actually see or experience art. Art is all around us every day. For instance, it’s in the clothing we chose to wear, our hair color and style, and even our makeup. Art can also be seen in dancing, singing, drama, photography, and literature. Since I was a young child, art has always played a big role in my life. My father was in a band when he was in high school and he played lead vocals and the drums. After high school he played in churches, bars, and any other place he possibly could to pay his way through college. And today my father sings Gospel music professionally. I suppose I could even consider myself an artist, because I have been a dancer since I was 7 years old and I also sing, and love photography. Dancing has always helped me release stress and just helps me to forget all of my problems I may be experiencing at the time. Singing has always just made me feel confident, strong, and free. And photography makes me feel closer to nature and it helps me express what is really inside of me.
I believe that art is exactly what we make of it. We can choose to see nothing or we can choose to see everything. Art can open our eyes to see life in a different way; it can give us confidence, faith, strength, and hope. And maybe, if we take the time to notice it, it can even help us to recognize the beauty that lies beneath almost anything.
How exactly would you personally define art? Would you agree that art is all about perception? Writer Dorothy Allison stated that “…art is supposed to have the power to provoke, the authority of a heartfelt vision." In my understanding, art is inspiration. The process of being inspired encourages positive emotions which then lead to the process of innovation. In Dorothy Allison’s essay, Allison makes a remark referencing her art being the mind of others as well. She revealed that her work beings to us; we can all relate to her personal opinions and experiences.
Additionally, art is a self-defining process and a creative way for expression. Individually, music is how I cope with different seasons in my life. I often find my perceptions changing during or after certain songs through which I find my own inspiration. Being that I’m such a huge music fanatic, I rely on music to improve my negative thoughts and help sustain the confident ones.
One artist who has changed my life and shifted my consciousness in exclusive situations is J. Cole. Due to the fact that I have faced insecurity issues, I found what J. Cole has to say to be relieving. In Crooked Smile, J. Cole influences the average person to embrace their flaws. Cole's lyrics suggest you accept who are by saying, "You wake up, put makeup on. Stare in the mirror but it’s clear that you can’t face what’s wrong, no to fix what God already put his paint brush on.” When I heard this song, I felt a sense of self-discovery. This song helped me come to realize who I am and what society is.
In the same fashion, I’ve been a victim to poverty for several years, and a song titled “Keep Ya Head Up” by legendary artist 2Pac provided a sense of hope and understanding. In this song 2Pac mentions “they have money for wars but can’t feed the poor” which is accurate according to Uber Facts. Uber Facts exposes that the world collectively spent $1,735 billion on war in 2012 and that It would take about $195 billion to totally eradicate poverty. I also have the tendency to feel inspired by someone who has gone through or is going through something I’m dealing with at the time; this was without doubt one of those moments.
So, I would say Dorothy Allison’s statement is precise. Art should provoke a heartfelt vision. Various art forms can be therapy for the mind, body and soul when taken seriously and can also restore a painful memory. Regardless, art must be felt internally for full understanding.