It’s in us, coursing through our veins and capillaries. It surrounds us in the very air we breathe, the words we say, and through our fingertips as we type. Our eyes suck it in without us even knowing it.
We’re all artists. Whether we choose to be or not. You’re an artist when you prepare a meal. Clean your house. Garden. Do your hair. Pick out an outfit. Type a social media post. Write a love note to a friend or spouse. Or give a simple smile.
You are a piece of art. A masterpiece in fact.
So, why is the world trying to squeeze all art from existence?
I’ve heard it in the news and witnessed it first hand the last several years. Schools cutting art programs. Artists labeled as “non-essential.” It was more prevalent in my previous states (NJ & PA) than my current residence (SC), but it’s no more heart-wrenching when I witness it.
I’ve taught students with massive art talents who’ve opted to pursue opposite fields because it’s more “profitable.” I, myself, have doubted my chosen art career because of the pennies (or non-existent pennies) I make. There’s a reason the term “starving artists” sticks. It’s all too difficult to make a living for too many of us.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. Even though I’ve painted a dystopian world starving from color in my latest novel, it doesn’t mean our world is doomed to follow these footsteps. We’re not sentenced to a life thirsting for artists.
I meant what I typed earlier: we’re all artists. Whether we call ourselves one or not. We’re all responsible to bring the seven elements of art into the world around us.
When I taught art, I’d always start the year with breaking down the seven elements of art with my students. Kids ages 5 to 18 would learn the ins and outs of what makes art. Have you heard of these elements? The list pertains to art, but I believe they are also metaphors, analogies, and symbolism of life. I wonder what would happen if these elements described our lives…
Line: a one-dimensional path made by a point moving through space. It varies in width, direction, and motion.
Lines are nothing without motion. Motion isn’t able to be shown without line. They meld together like a series of curved lines shows someone is shouting in a silent cartoon. Our lives are a series of lines. A series of conversations, marathons, events, and taking one step, one word, at a time. When we cease to talk or walk, our lives become void of movement.
Shape: a closed two-dimensional area. Length and height.
When lines close, they become shapes. They having meaning. When we finish our goals, embrace our dreams, marry that person, have that baby, take the job, call a friend, we’re making our motions matter. Finishing chapters. Resolving issues. Bringing another dimension to our world. Motion in a race is hard without goals and checkpoints. A relationship dissolves without commitment. Shapes give us purpose.
Form: an enclosed three-dimensional area. Length, height, and width.
Width is another word for depth. Strength. Intelligence. Discernment. Why are we running this race? Why does your job matter? Why are you choosing to live this dream over someone else’s? If shapes are your goals, form is what gives them a reason for existing.
Space: the area between and around objects. Positive, negative, or three-dimensional.
Space shows the depth between objects. It shows us if something is up, down, far or near. It shows us how close we really are. Are we six feet apart, or hugging a friend? Without space, we won’t know if we’re alone or together. No one should have to face life alone. And no one is meant to.
Texture: the surface quality of an object. Both how they actually feel or how they appear to feel.
Touch. It sends electric shocks through our fingertips. When we hold hands, we know warmth, love, hate, kindness, and gentleness in a single second. Touch is being lost in our present state. We can only guess how something appears to feel. But without physically touching something we lose a key aspect in understanding the people around us.
Value: the amount of light or darkness.
Light and darkness. Good and evil. When we do good, our light shows through our faces. Joy emits off of us like we are the sun itself. It’s the smile I referenced earlier. The thing we’ve been covering up with masks. We’re forced to give the Tiara Banks “smize,” but with poor results. In art, light is shown through strokes of shade. It’s through darkness we know where the light comes from. Don’t let life’s dark moments bring you into despair, because it’s during these times that we can follow the direction to the source. Jesus.
Color: the hue, value, and intensity of how light reflects off a surface.
Color. It’s the element that brings vibrants to all the other aspects. Without color, there’s no depth. Without color, there’s no obvious light source. Without color, there’s no joy. No love. No emotion. Each color brings it’s own feelings. The primary colors (red, blue, and yellow) invoke the strongest emotions. Red = love or hate. Blue = peace or sadness. Yellow = joy or disgusts.
Our world has been trying to remove the colors. We’re not allowed to discuss a person’s skin color. Our God-given hue. When we put white through a prism, it turns to a rainbow of colors. When we mix every color on the spectrum, it creates a brown almost black creation. Every color is black. Every color is white. Both are mesmerizingly beautiful. But without these variants our lives are stripped of meaning.
Without color, all of what I say becomes empty words. Imagine this post without pictures. Imagine our homes without photos or paintings on the walls. Imagine a world where every person looks exactly the same.
Imagine an existence without motion, goals/dreams, achievements, depth, touch, values, or emotion? Don’t let society dictate what’s essential. You’re essential. Never stop creating art with your life.
Never stop living.
This, in a nutshell, is the mission statement for a new career endeavor I’m creating. My life has always been consumed in creating art – Chef for 11 years with my own catering business, art & theater teacher for 3 years, writer (with no income YET) part-time for 5 years & full time this last year. I love creating. I was born to create. Through food, words, and canvas. As I strive to be a successfully published author, God’s been laying on my heart to create an art business as well. My goal is to bring the joy of color into people’s homes. Your home. I’ve never sold my art pieces before, but that’s soon going to change.
You’ll be getting updates from me soon. In the meantime, never stop creating. Never stop breathing art. Never stop living a color-filled life!