I believe that I am truly a happy person.
But, I know that when I do feel unsure, a bit blue, anxious, irritated, frustrated or confused with how to deal with a tough situation that I’ve been unfortunate to encounter, I turn my focus to the medium of art.
I turn my focus to music, to writing, to watching films, to reading books or to just simply looking at photographs.
I turn to art.
Art is my answer, my remedy, my painkiller… my emotional anti-inflammatory, if you like. Taking in art, or expressing myself artistically, numbs the panic and helps me to gradually come up with a way to decipher the problem. It helps my brain to diffuse heightened emotion. It helps me to weigh up the ‘pros’ and ‘cons’. It helps me to figure out the next step. It helps me to create a resolution.
Depending on the severity of a situation, sometimes my brain doesn’t allow me to start this process right away, so I feel like I have to endure raw emotion at it’s most concentrated. Sometimes art can’t just step in and take the bull by the horns.
But at other times, it does. And that is what’s important. If it works 1/7 times, that’s 1/7 times more than none at all.
As children, we constantly had the opportunity to create: colouring-in books, doodle bears, etch a sketch, putting on home concerts for the family, dressing up etc etc. As adults, maybe due to careers, social commitments or all round more responsibility (to name a few), sometimes we don’t think we have as much time to create. Oh, how deluded we can be.
Because, in the process of art being something to lean on or something to look to, we can, and often will, create.
We create things. Things that, quite frankly, may be completely useless. But still, our brains have been given the luxurious chance to create and, majority of the time, we can’t help ourselves.
e.g. I got dumped, a good few years ago now, and I wrote a song about said dumpee. I posted it on MySpace in the heat of the moment and it made me feel better, even if only for a day. Said song is now firmly buried as it was not my finest lyrically and, nowadays, the mere thought of it makes me want to die of embarrassment. It helped at the time though, which is the main thing.
In a world full of being stuck to our iPhones, constantly refreshing facebook timelines and posting the same old selfie once every few days, our beautifully, intricately put together, ingenious and intelligent brains are given the golden ticket to creativity. Now personally, and I don’t know about you, this creativity is like coming up for fresh air when you’ve been swimming under water for too long. You have the opportunity to pour a whole lot of glorious YOU, and YOU alone, into something. Something that shows, YOU of all people, a particular battle, big or small – both equally as important, that you have fought and overcome. Something that shows how brave you are in a world that constantly fights to make you feel that you’re simply not good enough, not fit enough, lean enough, talented enough or beautiful enough (the list is endless).
If you take that extra step and choose to share your art with the world, your art could be just the thing that gives another struggling human a helping hand through a battle of their own. How wonderful is that? You can single-handedly give someone the boost they need to a. identify their issue, b. resolve their issue, c. realise they are absolutely enough and d. create their own art that represents their own personal battle that they have fought and overcome.
This is why we need art. Art is hope. Art is an expression of the soul. Art is who we are, deep down. Art is a reflection of life.
We must open our hearts (and schedules!!) to creating some more. Allow ourselves a small time frame of artistic indulgence, whether it be playing a favourite record, taking photographs or simply doodling on a post-it. We must make time. We must keep creating.
Art. Is. Important.