What Art Means To Me
My pencil is a time machine, my pad is a wormhole, and my artwork is a window to my past. When I draw, I experience ice cream sundaes on July 4th, 2007; I experience spraying my siblings with the hose as we cleaned my dad’s old Ford pickup in 2011. I identify with the memories that come to mind while I draw, and that is what makes me identify with art itself. So yes, I am an artist. The definition of "artist" varies from person to person, but I believe an artist is one who illustrates beauty or importance in their own unique way - and that is what I have loved to do since I can last remember. From drawing crappy doodles on the sides of my math notebook to rendering detailed portraits and landscapes, I have always looked to art as a hobby to express myself.
The past year I created a series of female portraits; all based on the central theme of emotion (the article cover photo is one of my art pieces from the series). Life is an emotional rollercoaster: constantly bring us through ups and downs. It is up to one’s own mind of peace to determine how we deal with these fluctuations. I have been fascinated by the ways we handle our problems and thought it would be interesting to illustrate our tactics through visual art.
This past summer, I was granted the opportunity to broaden my horizons regarding visual arts by attending the Governor’s School of North Carolina: an academic program known for allowing students to view the subjects they are gifted in in a more abstract process; which is exactly what I did. There, I spent six weeks of my summer broadening my horizons and learning new, contemporary skills and styles of art that I didn't even see of worth until then. I value my experience at Governor's School simply because it changed my perspective of what I classify as "art". It isn't just the basic landscape painting or perfectly rendered portrait that I find beautiful; it is everything in the world around us. Each shade is a hue on the first rainbow I ever saw, each stroke is a tear gracing my mother's gentle complexion as she reveals to me that she has cancer. Now, every time I pick up a pen and pad, it's not with intent to create perfection - it's with purpose to remember.
To me, art no longer means creating something with the intent of impressing others; it means making something that inspires people – something that will make an impact on their lives. That being said, beauty and importance is not always in the visual aspect of things, but in the meaning of it all. Art has always held the power to influence me. Now, it is time for me to influence others with my art.
My final project completed at Governor’s School dealt with the conflict of beauty and how woman feel the constant pressure of having to look their best. Below are the piece and my artist statement.
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The modern day woman living in this appearance-obsessed culture faces a constant catch 22; those who “don’t wear enough makeup” are seen as plain and those who “wear too much” are seen as fake. Sadly enough, when it comes to communicating, visual appearance dominates importance to the receiver over verbal communication. Therefore, women tend to feel the need to hide their imperfections with cosmetics in order to fit into societal norms of being “beautiful”. If society chose to value the beauty within, we would better capture the splendor of true communication with one another.