Art is a magical, revealing, and highly personal form of expression. What a person makes of a piece of art tells so much about them, and their experiences, and their mind. A piece of art, whichever form it might take, can never mean the same thing to different people, and no two people can ever make the exact same piece of art. Sure, people with similar experiences, similar feelings, and similar thoughts will appreciate art in a more similar way, but it can never be the same. Every human has a slightly different outlook on the world, pieced together, second by second, by all the experiences they have had over their life. This, in my opinion, is what makes something art – the individuality behind its creation and interpretation – the individual beauty that people find in things, maybe that no one else could ever find.
But art is different for everyone, and we all connect differently to different forms of art, to different ways of expressing ourselves. We find it easier to engage with some, and easier to create some, and easier to identify with others.
Here is me, and art. Art and me, and the ways that I choose to create, and feel inspired by.
Of course, my favourite kind of art to create is that which involves words. It’s what I’m good at. Short stories, poems, profiles, novels. All that kind of thing. Even non-fiction – posts, articles, this, to me, is a kind of art, most of the time at least. Sometimes, though, writing something does not feel like art. Sometimes, writing a certain post, or an article or analysis about a certain thing, is work. It does not come easily, it doesn’t feel creative. And if it doesn’t feel like art when I make it, then even if it turns out excellently, it will never be art to me.
But to other people? Maybe it will be. Maybe the poem I wrote for school one time will feel like art to someone else, when to me it was just work. Maybe the short story I loved, or the brief analysis of an emotion that I poured my soul into falls flat for other people, and they can never see it as art, even if I count it as my one of the most artistic things I’ve ever created. But that’s just the way it is.
Some people will never see words as art, and while that upsets me, there isn’t a whole lot I can do about it. Some people just don’t find that words can do justice to art, to creativity, to self-expression, and while I disagree, it is fair enough.
Ironically, the art form that I struggle with the most is what most people first think of when they hear the word art – paintings, drawings, sketches. It isn’t that I don’t appreciate them, don’t understand their value, the one that goes beyond money, it’s just that my mind does not work in pictures. Photographs are slightly different, they, to me, show a manipulation and understanding of the world, of how to get the best out of the world, of the scenery around, of the objects and set we have, that I understand and can identify with, as art. Capturing the world at its best, wanting it to be its best, is something I feel strongly.
But paintings? Drawings? They just don’t ‘speak to me’. I can look at a painting, and see that it’s about heartbreak, or people in love, or childhood, or compassion, or history, or whatever else a painting might be about, but I find it incredibly difficult to feel things from them. Of course, I can still tell, to a certain degree, at least, if a painting is technically very good, if it was difficult to create, if the artist poured their heart and soul into it. But that kind of art just…isn’t my thing, as much as I can still appreciate when someone has created something of that kind.
One of the art forms that I can lose myself in the most is music, both playing it and listening to it. While I only ever really play classical music, as an okay classically-trained pianist, I find that playing it brings me so much more joy than listening to it. I can lose myself in a piece of music that people don’t know, that I never heard before I started to learn it, and I’m not influenced by anyone elses version of this art, it’s just me, and the piece, and the piano, and I can pour out all my emotions into this piece of art that someone a long time ago wrote, and my interpretation is probably entirely different to theirs when they wrote it, but it’s still art, because it’s beautiful, and I can’t feel the same things, I can’t make others feel the same things as anyone else while they play that piece, and that is beautiful, because a piece of music could be played by 1000 different people, and all those people would play it slightly differently.
Listening to music is an entirely different ball game. Everyone hears the same thing, hears the same lyrics, feels the same beat, and yet everyone is taken to a different place, a slightly different time, by the same song. It’s wonderful, how easy it is, for me at least, to be completely transported by music, to feel things because of a song that I’ve never felt in real life, to miss things, and places, and people, that I’ve never experienced, to understand things I don’t even know about. It’s amazing, and for me, music is the most transformative type of art, and the most diverse. It’s a universal thing, and given the position it has in our culture, it is a wonderfully easy and convenient way to learn about and share things with people.
Another form of art that there is a lot of controversy around, is makeup. If you ask anyone who has ever tried a complex makeup look, and who understand the difficulty of applying it in certain ways, and achieving certain effects, will tell you that it is art. There’s a reason the professionals are called ‘makeup artists’. There are techniques to learn, much like with painting and drawing, you have to know which products will achieve a certain effect, much like choosing words when writing, and you have to be careful not to use too much of one thing so that it doesn’t outshine (sometimes literally, if we’re talking highlighter) another thing, much like instruments in music. The overall effect portrays an image, a mood, an emotion, enhances the rest of a look, of an outfit, of a demographic, which, really, is exactly what art is supposed to do – enhance life.
And art does different things to different people – it makes everyone feel different things, and the exact same piece can make you laugh for joy because of what it makes you think of, or it can make you cry with heartbreak because of who you first experienced it with. It is different to everyone, and everyone connects with its different forms in incredibly different ways.
Those were some of mine. Words, and music, and photography are my chosen art forms. Then there’s dance, which I love, but don’t connect to in the same way as others. Movies, television, short films, are all endlessly different, but video as a whole is an art form I enjoy, and find incredibly inspiring, but could never create, or engage with on a more literal level, I don’t think.
Then there’s fashion, both designing and styling, and makeup, and jewellery, and tattoos. Sculpture, collaging, decorating, journaling, there’s an endless list of art forms – and no two people will ever have the list ordered in the same way.
What about you? What arm forms do you connect to the most? What art forms do you find it easiest to create? Which kind of art can you lose yourself in the easiest? Which art forms do you struggle to connect with?
Let’s chat about it! I’d love to have a conversation about art with you!
And if not, then have a lovely week, and don’t die before you come back.
Lots of arty love,