I posted on my Facebook page this status: "Art is so important, ya'll" - accompanied by an article (here) about the importance of art as a form of therapy. I have referenced that on here before, but it was almost presented in jest. I wanted to be clear just HOW true I believe that to be.
The above article itself was written by a young artist, on Mental Health Awareness Day, about the importance of art in her venture for a healthy mind and life. In short, she suffered from depression and panic attacks and art was her outlet.
I do not think it's a coincidence that my two passions in life are art and how can I phrase the other? Pursuit of mental health. (Note my vocal-ness on social media about mental health and my affiliation - even prior event with, To Write Love on Her Arms ). Because I don't know about you, but I have yet to meet a person who hasn't had some struggles. Life is hard! We need to be intentional in pursuing a healthy life: physically and mentally. Sometimes that means help. To me, it most definitely means art.
I have been diving into my OWN art pieces lately. Which instructing art and trying to work a full time office job is actually pretty difficult. I find that in creating pieces for classes can sometimes be draining. After all, you are creating essentially for other people. Trying to get them involved in a class. Which is vital! Not only for my second job (obviously) but also to do what I truly love in this field which is EXPOSE people to the joy of creating. Because we all have the power to do that. In a crazy world where we have little control over anything, we have control over that. It is the best feeling I know.
However, I had been so bogged down with trying to get people into class and making pretty home decor paintings... I was not feeling inspired. Until this month. Maybe it's Fall. Maybe it's the crazy of the election. Maybe it's my imagination trying to break free. Maybe it's all three. But being that I have been so creative lately, I started to ask myself: "What is art?"
To me, art is freedom. From my racing thoughts, my worldly troubles (bills) and expectations (relationships). Art is how I talk when I can't. Art is how I relate to people. Art is so, so, incredibly important.
Here are a few of those personal pieces I was talking about.
I do not know if you follow any of my social medias or know me personally, but if so you have probably noticed how much of an impact John Steinbeck's novel East of Eden has recently made on me. One evening recently, I was feeling just the opposite of perfect; I decided instead of letting these feelings take hold of me I would silence them with this mixed media piece. A girl looking at what should be her reflection in a mirror and instead seeing the quote: "Now that you don't have to be perfect you can be good." Amen.
When my head was exploding with thoughts, I decided to get them out on paper. It helped.
Check out more of the crazy, wonderful, goodness that was Free Art Friday: Kindness Rocks here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1783935835194943/1796905203898006/?notif_t=like¬if_id=1477350090168946
Remember that loon, H.k., I collabed with recently from Indy Riot Studios in Thomaston, Georgia? Those boys posed that same question and even wanted to do a documentary on the concept. Check out more in the video below.
"Our goal is to travel to troubled sectors of different cities across America to find the hidden talents, talk with the people in the art community, provide tools to grow the arts in the community, and collaborate on projects. We want to keep this tour as low budget as possible, but nevertheless, we will have to raise money. We are still in the works about how this money will best be raised."
So, what is art to you?
And if you're feeling really brave, please consider sending your response to Indy Riot for their documentary.
"Submitted clips will be used in the "Art is Love Tour" promotional video. Follow us on Facebook.com/indyriot for more information. Email clips to firstname.lastname@example.org or just post the video on our Facebook or message us with a link to the video."
Or maybe, it can be as simple as putting it on paper. In words or pictures. Either way. Think about it. Embrace the creative.