Here's Why I Think Art is So Important

Let me start off by saying that I have a very special relationship with art. For my entire life, my parents have been artists. That was their job, how they made a living. When I was young, they had a clothing company. My mother and father designed all of the art that they then printed onto the fabric, which they cut, dyed, and sewed themselves. They then traveled all over the place to different art shows to sell the clothes. The clothing business stopped years ago, and now they each do their artwork separately. My dad makes metal sculptures and house ornaments, and my mother makes intricate paper cuttings full of bright colors, with backgrounds that she often paints. Throughout her whole life, though, my mom has painted and sketched, and her pieces are hanging all over our house. It’s safe to say that I have grown up, quite literally, surrounded by art. It’s a large part of who I am, and due to that, I’ve realized the huge values that come with having art in your life.

Creativity opens your mind.

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Constantly being around art, both that was made by my parents and that I’ve seen at art shows or museums, has shown me the hundreds of different kinds of artwork. Yes, there’s painting, sculpting, drawing, and printing, but there’s also beading, woodworking, jewelry, photography, and so much more. Because my mind is opened to the hundreds of different ways to create things, I’ve found that it’s easy for me to come up with new, unique ideas. Often when I’m with friends, I’m impressed by the different ideas that they all had, and they were also surprised by mine. Don’t be afraid to be open and honest about the different ideas or concepts that may be in your mind - share them with the world instead!

It makes you more confident.

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Growing up in my house, an important lesson I learned in the context of art is that there are never any mistakes. When you’re drawing or painting, things happen. Maybe someone will knock into your arm and your line will go across the page, or maybe you’ll splatter drops of paint on the paper. My parents taught me not to view these as mistakes because you can always turn them into something new. Why not make that line an airplane in the sky, or have those dots of paint turn into flowers scattered on the ground? I’ve since used this lesson with my friends and my students - I can’t count how many times I’ve heard a child say that their picture was ruined because they messed up, and I’ve then taken the paper out of their hand and helped them transform it into something new. I’ve also taken this lesson with me in the context of life. Sometimes, things don’t go according to plan. It happens with everyone. Instead of getting upset and viewing it as a mistake, look at it as an opportunity to change something in your life, or a chance to do something differently.

Art is more than just visual.

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Even though I’ve only used visual arts as examples so far, I know that the concept of art is a huge one that reaches tons of medias. Music is an art, and it’s one that has hit me strongly throughout my life, as it has many others. Listening to music is something that I’ve always loved, and something that I still constantly do. More often than not, if I’m doing homework or sitting around, there is music playing. I also played the violin for eight years, and the beauty of creating such a lovely sound that so many people enjoy is a feeling that was never lost on me. Playing an instrument was something that was soothing while being challenging, which are characteristics that surprisingly make an excellent pair. Art can also include film media, architecture, writing, and so much more.

My new perspective as an educator.

Image result for children's artNow that I’m becoming a teacher, I’m seeing the importance of art and creativity in a new way. I know how art influenced me when I was young and how it’s become a part of me now, but until I began studying education, I didn’t know the impact that it can have on a child’s life. When children are young, they love art. They are always drawing and creating things, and they are overflowing with artistic and innovative ideas. Their imaginations are something that cannot be compared to, and art is one of the ways in which they express those ideas that come from their minds. However, once children reach the late-elementary grades, many of them hate art because they “can’t draw” or they “aren’t good artists.” This is amazing to me, because anyone can create something beautiful - some of Picasso’s pieces look like they were drawn by a three-year-old, and we still view them as stunning (nothing against Picasso, that’s just what abstract art looks like sometimes!). The creativity and confidence is often beaten out of children by the adults in their lives, so it’s extremely important for us to make sure that they keep those imaginations active instead of suppressing them.

No matter what your style of art is, be it painting or drawing or singing or dancing or anything else, make sure that you don't let it go. Art doesn't have to be a responsibility; let it be your relaxation tool for when you get stressed or need to relax. The beauty of art is that you have tons of options and can always change it up, so don't let yourself forget to pull out a sketchbook once in a while and try something new. Keep creating beautiful things!

HCXO,

Lola

*All images courtesy of Google Images