You Are An Artist

People often declare their utter lack of imagination, creativity, or artistic ability of any kind, but I believe that everyone can be an artist. What is an artist but someone who creates, inspires, or expresses themselves in a unique, creative manner? What is creativity, but original thoughts conceived in one’s mind? Drawing a realistic portrait or painting is not the only genre of artistic expression. There are countless other mediums, as well as drama, dance, music, and writing. These are all the typical, immediate responses to what art is.

Photo Courtesy of Miguel Salgado

I see sports as an art, and not just dance. Players work in synchrony, executing specific plays in order to achieve their ultimate goal - the final product -to win, or at least give it their all. It is a performance.

Fashion. The way we dress and adorn ourselves each day. Each decision is so careful, thought-out, intentional (well sometimes - there’s nothing like throwing on the first t-shirt and pair of athletic shorts you see). Our bodies are the surface that we decorate to present to the world. Another performance.

Scientists forming equations and procedures: beautiful. A wall filled with scrawled writing, notes, chemicals, symbols, numbers. It is a work of art in itself. Then there are experiments, often involving ranges of color, smell, temperature, apparatuses. I would frame and hang images of the neurons and bacteria caught beneath a microscope.

Photo Courtesy of Morphogencc

Chefs, making their food into masterpieces, garnishing with visual flourishes to complete the meal.

Innovators, hoping to change the world, if only a tiny bit.

Philosophers conjuring wonderful thoughts, ideas, possibilities about the world.

Engineers making plans and calculations.

Mothers and fathers weaving tales for their children before bed.

Photo by Pengsheng Guo

Making drip castles on the beach.

Reciting poetry.

Writing.

Watching the sun set until the final rays blend into the horizon and pinks and cerulean become blue-gray and navy.

Furnishing and decorating your home.

Gardening.

Photo Courtesy of Chevanon Photography

Eliciting laughter from friends and family, and perhaps even strangers.

Perfectly, intentionally wrapped gifts arranged gently beneath a Christmas tree.

Stopping to notice the numerous hues of snow.

Dreaming, even when night’s adventures vanish with the first blink of the day.

Leaving footprints in the dust of attics, the mud of summer storms.

Mindless doodles in the margins of class notes.

Photo Courtesy of Ciao

Being an artist is largely about mindset. It is about believing you are capable of offering something new to the world. An artist wonders and questions and seeks explanations and rests content with the unknown. An artist tries to see the world in different lights, to understand, to listen and breathe and leave their mark on the timeline of our lives. Time becomes nonlinear because they have left bits and pieces of themselves behind, creating extensions of themselves to leave in the future. They give back to the world that gives them so much. Being an artist is a decision, an intention, but also something inherent in every human, a dormant seed perhaps, if only they’d see it.

Photo Courtesy of Lorenzo Maimone