Art: the conscious use of skill and creative imagination, especially in the production of aesthetic objects.
Art is an integral part of the human experience. Self-expression that comes from art not only benefits the artist, but also the viewers. Whether it be painting, sketching, or any other of the many mediums, there is rooted commonality in the way many interpret a certain image.
Since art is visual, some viewers may be more willing to view an opposing perspective when it is visual and not as combative as a conversation may be. Being able to view another's perspective on an idea or topic may help you question your own biases and opinions. Creating art also gives us space where we can examine our perspective without judgment.
Being able to express one's opinions, attitudes, and beliefs in visual art are essential to one's well-being. In the age of social media, it is easy to be caught up in presenting our 'best-self', making it easier to lose sight of our actual opinions and viewpoints because we want to be seen in a certain light by our peers.
Creating art has also been known to maintain positive psychological health. In a Huffington Post article, it is clear that creating art has many psychological benefits. Research has shown that creating art reduces stress and anxiety and can increase positive emotions, among many other effective outcomes.
Creating visual art can help people tap into their creative sides that are often hidden during a daily 9-5 or classroom setting. In school, along with work, most activities are based on logic or reasoning and starve the creative sides of ourselves. It is important to live a balanced life that both caters to the left and right sides of our brains.
"Guernica" (1937) — Pablo PicassoWikimedia Commons
Visual art also transforms the way we view the world around us, the people we surround ourselves with, and the way we view ourselves. One piece of art that caused major waves in the past was Pablo Picasso's "Guernica" in 1937. Picasso was able to bring to life the brutality and inhumanity of humans throughout the war.
His painting was a reference to Nazi Germany bombing the Basque country of "Guernica" during the Spanish Civil War, which brought tremendous amounts of pain and anguish to many Europeans.
Even though a very violent image, "Guernica" has become an expression of peace, embodying the anti-war sentiment. "Guernica" was and is still seen as the political piece that changed the perspective on war for many people around the world.
Even though we all can't be the next Pablo Picasso, we can all still practice art. I know a lot of people have a strong opinion on whether they are an 'artist' or not, but I beg everyone to at least go out and try.
Even though art can be strenuous mentally, and can become frustrating, it is important to foster our artistic side to get a break from our regular routine. Go create something new!