Every person is an artist, crafting his or her own space and legacy in the world. The capacity to imagine and dream and create is universal, an exercise of our inherent freedom. Creativity is a natural response to emotion and it can be exercised in an infinite number of forms. It is like the human spirit coming to fruition. The joy, the anger, the sorrow, the regret, the hope that we feel can be channelled into a movement, a melody, or a brush stroke.
My sister and I are very similar and very different people. While I enjoy things like painting, embroidery, and photography, she finds her peace on the basketball court. That’s not to say I don’t love sports too, or that she has no interest in art—rather, we tend to express ourselves in different ways. I write words or blend colours, and she perfects her free throw.
For me, painting exposes a very vulnerable side of myself. Showing others something I’ve created always triggers the same breath-holding moment where I feel completely revealed, and can’t help but hope to be accepted. It is, in a sense, as if they can see a deeper part of me, one that is usually hidden but comes to light through the tones and shapes in my spiral-bound notebook. To think that art is created in some of the most intimate moments in a person’s life casts a different perspective on art as I have seen it before—surely I am not the only creator who feels as though my art is a part of myself entering into the world for the first time. Every sculpture, twirl, and song is a piece of a heart made visible for all to see.
And how does art reflect human dignity? Creating is a reflection of human experience. We have this unique ability to recognize and respond to our own emotions, and it is out of emotion that beauty is created. For something to be beautiful it has to be true, and a reflection of an aspect of our experience on earth is certainly truth through the eyes of the artist. Even if an artistic creation is not aesthetically pleasing, if it is created through truth then there is a deeper beauty that exists.
“The human soul is hungry for beauty; we seek it everywhere – in landscape, music, art, clothes, furniture, gardening, companionship, love, religion, and in ourselves. No one would desire not to be beautiful. When we experience the beautiful, there is a sense of homecoming.”
Written by Taylor Walsh, a current intern at the WYA North America office.