Here is my Op-Ed article which I wrote about the importance of art – inspired by Danny Raven Tan’s story.
We have all doodled something on paper, sang along to a song that made us happy, and danced to something that made us smile. Art is a big part of everyone’s lives, whether it is noticed, nurtured and appreciated, or not. Art means many things to different people. The stroke of a brush, or the creativity of a person and how they use it. There are also many forms of artists. Singer, songwriter, painter, photographer, filmmaker, dancer, and many more. All of them can be considered artists. Why are they labelled that way? According to Quora.com(Nguyen, Celine. “What Does It Mean to Be an Artist?” Quora, 12 Mar. 2011, http://www.quora.com/What-does-it-mean-to-be-an-artist.), an artist is someone who takes any sort of experiences, any part of life as an inspiration and has the need to reinterpret and communicate it with an audience. Expressing it in some physical way. Whether it is painting on a canvas or choreographing lyrical contemporary dance, it is considered art. Someone who uses dreams, conversations, photographs, and anything that sparks inspiration to create is considered an artist. Quora.com states that being an artist isn’t permanent, but an ongoing process.
There are many reasons why people create art. It could be seen as an escape from reality. Creating things that they can’t see when they look at what is around them. It is an escape because you can create your own world with colours and words. I know that I draw when I am bored, frustrated and confused. I would call it a way of de-stressing when I cannot seem to make sense of things or when I need something to do. I song write when I am upset or when I think of a topic that I think needs to be heard. Most of all, I sing because it makes me happy. An amazing thing about art is that everyone sees it differently. While I may look at a piece of writing and think about how the author is losing a part of themselves, another person may look at it and think that the author is trying to convey that they are growing as a person.
Focusing in on music, a quote that I found on the internet one day showed exactly why I think music is magical. Dave Grohl (“Dave Grohl.” Wikipedia, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dave_Grohl\.) is an American musician who sang, wrote songs, produced music, was a guitarist for the band Nirvana, the founder of Foo Fighters, and even directed a few films and did many more incredible things. To say he is a big part of the music business is an understatement. He said, “That’s one of the great things about music. You can sing a song to 85,000 people and they’ll sing it back for 85,000 different reasons.” This perfectly sums up everyone’s love for music. Whether you make music or you listen to it, music makes you feel emotions and makes you relive good moments and bad moments. Even when reminded of the bad moments, the lyrics comfort you because it lets you know that the things you feel and go through do not just happen to you. People like to know that they are not alone and music is the perfect medium to do that.
When reading through different articles about the influence of art, I came across an article that listed 10 reasons why art is important. Theodysseyonline.com’s article (Swami, Swara. “10 Reasons Why The Arts Are Important In Our Lives.” The Odyssey Online, 28 Aug. 2017, http://www.theodysseyonline.com/10-reasons-why-arts-are-important-in-our-lives.) was written by a lady named Swara Swami in 2016 and she wrote from personal experience. Here are a few of the things she mentioned:
- “Art gives you joy.” She stated that whenever she sang her favourite song, she smiled. She said all forms of art would give you happiness.
- “Art relieves stress.” Swami brings up the point that we seem to lose all focus and all sense of the world around us when we are in the process of creating art; like singing to your favourite song or trying to learn a dance that you saw online. Something I deeply agreed with was when she said that taking a break and doing art in between studies will help you clear your mind of stress, and focus more on your academic task, helping you do better in your academic studies.
- “Art helps you to express your emotions.” When frustrated, one might draw jagged lines and use black or red pens which showcase their emotions. Art is a form of communication and it can “say things that even words cannot say,” according to Swami. Although everyone uses different languages, something that we can all understand is a simple drawing and the possible meaning behind it. A smiley face indicates joy and feeling pleasant emotions. A heart indicates loving something or someone.
Overall, I have only just skimmed the very top of the importance art has in our lives. The truth is that art is so visual and intimate and emotional that it would be impossible to perfectly capture the meaning of art by only using words. If I were to write down what art means to me it would just be a list of emotions, and that’s what it really is. Emotions compiled together to create messages within a visual or audible story, colouring within words, filling in the gaps that people have in them, and making life not so black and white.