For me, art is a well-kept spreadsheet, meticulous and hardworking, beautiful in its size and admirable for the weight of information it carries. Or a clean, organized inbox—a masterpiece! So, when I talk about the value of art in our lives, know it is coming from a methodical, task-orientated and, in most cases, impatient uncreative. But.
I do believe the creative arts to be important, especially for those like myself who often shun it in favor of a straightforward report or a satirical meme. And listen, I’m not trying to dismiss the entirety of art; I know that beauty and soul can be found in those internet sensation one-liners, and an empty to do list can bring a human to tears, but for now, consider art in a more classical form, art with a healthy dose of talent, hard work, possibly a pinch of genius and time invested. I want to discuss the importance of art that isn’t in our every day; a painting in a museum, a ballet or musical, a song.
1. Art keeps us human.
It touches on the emotional, the beautiful, it stirs our imagination. A moving book swirls in my head and keeps me company while doing the dishes, a beautiful melody sends shivers up my spine while I hustle kids to basketball practice. It pulls me out of my world and deposits a bit of beauty. A well-written paragraph serves as a juxtaposition to the buzzing alerts on my phone. Art reminds me I am a dreamer, a creator, an emotional being, that I have depth.
2. Art drives change.
Image courtesy of Shutterstock, Inc., Used By Permission.
I once heard emotion drives change. I recognize change takes dedication, thoughtful planning, leadership and budgeting. But I do agree that change first begins with emotion. It may be a passion for justice, a desire for growth or a need to show pain, or love or something experienced. A heartfelt response to a paradigm shift. Thank goodness there are artists in this world, for they have the ability to communicate that emotion. They create something soulful with the hope it rests with someone and possibly begins change.
3. We are all creators.
What has touched you recently? Have you stumbled upon art or the desire to express it? I was so happy watching my toddler indulge in a chocolate ice cream cone the other day (while I miserably restrained). Goosebumps pricked his arms, dark eyes watery, chocolate all over; I came home and wrote a short poem about it. I will not become the next great author, nor will that poem earn me a dollar in monetary prizes, but creating that tiny bit of art opened a window, a softness, an awareness of that moment in parenthood.
We are surrounded by tiny humans, figuring out this life with new eyes. Write about it. Paint it. Sing about it. Express the black cloud of frustration you may have after the forth dumped cereal bowl.
To single out the mothers, you are in a prime place to create art. Yes, our days are full of the foulest toilet-training accidents and our wish-lists may contain noise-canceling headphones, but we are surrounded by tiny humans, figuring out this life with new eyes. Write about it. Paint it. Sing about it. Express the black cloud of frustration you may have after the forth dumped cereal bowl. Sing a sweet lullaby that expresses a chubby hand, slapping at your chest while he drains a bottle. Write a poem about the care of a loving Nana, the heavy breath of a napping child, the toddler pride of a successful (and well-placed) urination. The material is there, so put aside the daily to-dos every now and then and express the world around you.
What is stirring your soul? Do you have yearning for social justice? A breaking heart for a lonely neighbor? The joy of dessert? I encourage you to seek art, to express your emotion, to engage in that place in your inner-being. We are blessed with art around us, great musicians and access to their songs, art museums and even Instagram. Seek art in your life! Express it yourself! Fill bits of your day with meaningful expression and art that prompts your awareness of the living beauties you are raising.