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We need more art. I don’t just mean the typical or traditional art that you can see in museums, though some pieces definitely can speak to me and to others. I’m talking about digital art, journal art, multimedia, music, etc. Our culture is so unsure about what defines art anymore that people do not properly interact with it, and this places our society at a great disadvantage. 

I speak as an artist myself, though I am not a traditional one. I would consider myself a photographer. One could argue I specialize in sports photography, but I definitely enjoy nature portraits, and street photography just as much. I would also call myself a curator. Working as a social media content curator for an organization, school, or some sort of activity is an art and a curation of ideas in itself. Even making playlists is a curation of ideas and thought.

If you know me, you know I have tons of playlists (over 50 to be exact). I would consider these curations art, and I think many others would too. Art is not a simplistic idea, and it’s not simply complex either. I think limiting the vast subject of art to one of these adjectives is wrong. Art is art. It’s an expression of yourself, an extension even. 

Even so, our interaction with art is so limited. I will be the first to admit this is partially because of the pandemic but even then, what art do you feel you interact with? How often would you find yourself going to an art museum? Or just actively seeking to view art? 

Social media has made it extremely easy to share information through facilitating a platform for constant discussion of current world events. However, social media is also multidimensional. Its platforms can do a multitude of things, including the sharing of art. Most art is inspired by the world around us, and social media is the perfect place to showcase and inspire art on an international community level. 

It’s important to surround yourself with life and media in all aspects, and the creative aspect is one that is often underlooked. Creation breeds growth. Having any interaction with art can inspire you to create your own, or even just inspire your own processing of emotions and events. That’s why art on social media is so important. Not only do platforms like Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok uplift social movements spread information, but they also provide an outlet for processing and dealing with current and past events. Art benefits all, and we’ve lost that meaning lately. 

It wouldn’t be my style to say this without recommending some of my favorite artists to follow (can you tell I love multimedia?):

  1. Scotch Mist is a graphic designer that makes album art, simple designs that promote positivity and self care, as well as just emotions and reactions. 
  2. Hannah Pahl is a graphic designer and digital artist that creates self-love and positive designs as well as one of my favorite things, their signature #SuperFakeFriday creations of fake designs and posters that are usually a societal call out.
  3. Shannon is a mixed media artist that shares collaged journal pieces with poetry that are representative of emotions and reactions to their life. 
  4. Michael Lipsey is an artist and epigrammist that shares work focused on quick statements that can be satirical or just a statement relating to life. 
  5. Christine Owens is an artist that creates spiritual and emotional pieces.
  6. Mak is an artist that shares journal and multi-media art.
  7. Shirien is a graphic designer and illustrator that uses their platform to uplift and spread information of social movements
  8. Alex Albadree is a graphic designer, illustrator, and curator that focuses on social justice art.
  9. Sue Yun is a graphic designer and illustrator that focuses on social justice art. 
  10. Haley Hendrick is an artist that shares poetry and multimedia art in relation to art therapy and the processing of emotions. 

But again, I say all of this to ask, what truly constitutes art? I’m an artist, and having taken my fair share of art classes that pose this question, I know this answer always varies. 

In high school, an answer to that question was everything, and I agree. Yes, a chair is art! Its functional art and serves a purpose as such. It’s the curation of thought and want, therefore making it art. That being said, any creation of art and any type of art is valid and valued. If this article does anything I hope it inspires you to support and actively seek out art either in your daily life or through your social media because I promise it’s there. Pick up a pencil (maybe the digital kind), a camera, or even scissors to journal. Who knows, once you start you may never stop. 

Art saves people. It has saved me. Creation and inspiration are valued, and you should let yourself express it.


Hannah Banfiel

Oglethorpe '24

Hannah Banfiel is a Junior at Oglethorpe University from Hampton, Virginia. When she's not writing or in class, you can find her taking and editing photos or listening to music!
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