Expressing Yourself Through Art

Expressing Yourself Through Art

Everyone needs a creative outlet to express themselves
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Nowadays people will say that being an artist should be a temporary dream, something only a select few can do. Some would say there is no money in art until after the artist is dead. That art is hard to make a living off of it. In today's society that may be true, but it is also important to think about what art means. It isn't just a painting or a song, it is an expression of emotion that cannot be felt through just words themselves. Without artistic creations of others how would we get new ideas, or figure out different ways to do the same task?

A craft of imagination can be more important than a craft of knowledge, and it is absolutely possible for the two to be combined or to blend into one another. A piece of work isn't just something created without discipline and/or training. What many people would not understand about a painting that is covered with a dozen different colors and looks like a five year old did it is the emotion as well as the training within the painting. An artist needs to learn how to complete the basics like a master before the student can add in their own emotions and change the painting to be their own.

"Art is theft" was said by Pablo Picasso. This is a great quote for all artists in the sense that each piece of art is different, but inspirations are shared. Students are taught the same thing over and over again. Which is good, however, it is better to expand a child's horizon by teaching students to accept new ways of finding solutions or solving their issues.

There are schools who want to take out the different forms of art found in public schools. Unfortunately, this can hurt a student more than help them. Every person needs an outlet. Something that will allow an individual to release stress in a healthy way, though a way that can be shared with others or kept to themselves. If art, music, or other such electives are taken out of the school systems, then how are students suppose to learn about alternative ways to express themselves?

Students, young adults, or just people in general need different ways to express themselves. How can a person learn about various mediums within the arts if the program is taken out of school? A student will spend seven hours a day, five days a week, ten months of the year, and for at least twelve years of their life in a classroom. If art is taken out of the lives of younger people, then how will creative ideas will be born? Many people think that creative ideas cannot be in crafts of knowledge or discovery. When a person mentions mathematics or science, creativity isn't the first thing that comes to mind. Yet it is creativity, or a person having an unique side, that helps people connect the knowledge and creativity to find a new idea or solution.

Cover Image Credit: percent.com

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An Attendee's Review Of Passion's New "Whole Heart" Album

Digitally-released today, and powerful in the conference or the quiet.
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So, I had the opportunity to attend Passion 2018 earlier this year, and it was pretty incredible, especially the worship music. A lot of it is new, and the friend who invited me told me how on the first day, you're actually kind of learning the new songs. By the end of the conference, however, these become songs you've started to get to know.

I say "started," because, with worship songs, I feel like they're like those Everlasting Gobstoppers you used to eat as a kid. As you go along, more begins to stand out to you the more you listen.

God speaks to you through one part of the song while you're at the conference, but you really let the words marinate, you listen to them again, and God speaks to you in different ways as you pass through different phases of life. You can remember the ways God spoke to you when you worshiped Him at the conference, and sometimes you hear different parts as you worship in the quiet places of your own life.

I also got an opportunity to listen to the album a little early and write a review, and I absolutely love it. Needless to say, some of you may have been counting down since the conference, but the day has arrived-- the "Whole Heart" album is finally available! It was released today, and features the following 11 songs:

1. Whole Heart (feat. Kristian Stanfill) (lyrics + chords)

2. Almighty God (feat. Sean Curran) (lyrics + chords)

3. God, You're So Good (feat. Kristian Stanfill) (lyrics + chords)

4. Reckless Love (feat. Melodie Malone) (lyrics + chords)

5. Heaven (feat. Sean Curran) (lyrics)

6. More Like Jesus (feat. Kristian Stanfill) (lyrics)

7. Hallelujah, Our God Reigns (feat. Brett Younker) (lyrics)

8. Ghost (feat. Crowder)

9. Ever Almighty (feat. Melodie Malone) (lyrics)

10. Great Are You Lord (feat. Matt Redman) (lyrics)

11. All My Hope (feat. Crowder & Tauren Wells) (lyrics)

The theme surrounding the album is, as Kristian Stanfill from Passion put it "a deeper devotion and discipleship to Jesus." It features the Passion Band (also including Brett Younker, Melodie Malone, and Sean Curran) and some of the conference's guest artists (Crowder, Matt Redman, Tauren Wells), and the songs are live - so in the background, there are over 30,000 students worshiping alongside the artists.

I really like looking along at the lyrics of songs, and since I was able to find all of them online except for "Ghost", I sat down and really listened to its words-- and I think it might be my new favorite right now. At the conference, it was "Whole Heart," but the powerfulness of the words in "Ghost" is really resonating with me at present.

A lot of my friends that attended the conference with me loved "God, You're So Good," and really, all of them are great. These are songs I'm going to end up singing throughout the day, and not even minding when they get stuck in my head.

So whether you buy this album to listen to the songs again, or to hear them for the first time, it's a great way to bring the worship from Passion into your house, your car, your friend group, wherever. Passion was amazing, and it's cool to be able to kind of "relive" that experience through the music.

However, our God is far from stagnant; he continues to work and move in our lives even as we disperse from the experience of the conference. Isaiah 43:19 says, "Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?" These songs remind me incredibly great our God is, and how he truly deserves my whole heart in worship.

(P.S. Snatch your own digital copy, available through iTunes, Google Play, Amazon Music and more, here through the Passion Music site!)


Cover Image Credit: Personal Photo

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2018 Black Panther Review

A Movie Far Beyond It's Time
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Author's Note: I saw Black Panther the day the movie came out and I wanted to share my thought on what I thought. There will be spoilers so please read accordingly. Please let me know what you think and enjoy!

My thoughts before I saw the movie:

Now as someone who grew up with three brothers and who's dad sells comic books as a hobby I have certainly read my fair share of comics. The amount of single issue comics and graphic novels I own is quite overwhelming. Despite that I have read very little of the Black Panther comics and went into the movie with a neutral but upbeat attitude. I decided to see the movie on a whim because everyone was talking about how great the film was. And let me tell you they were right!

The Cast and Characters:

Before seeing this movie I had never seen a single one of the cast members in anything else except Martin Freeman and Michael B Jordan. But my golly I will never forget any of them! The energy and emotion each of them put into this film is beyond incredible. Every single one of them is not only unique in design and character but believable! They each have their own struggles and goals but overcome and achieve them together! But by far my favorite character was Shuri. She is T'challa's sister but by no means is she forgettable. A lot of people have discussed the incredible femininity and female representation in this film and while there are many wonderful other female characters in this film she's my favorite. She is young and doesn't like her cultures traditions but is an absolutely genius. She does everything from invent her brothers suit to help stabilize the vibranium in Wakanda's mine. I love her spirit and willingness to fight when necessary.

The Villain:

The saying goes that no good movie is complete without a sympathetic villain and Black Panther is no exception. Michael B Jordan plays Erik Killmonger who happens to be T'challa's unknown cousin. Erik has grown up outside of Wakanda and therefore knows the harsh realities of growing up as a African American. He wants to become king of Wakanda so he can show the world who's really in control. I honestly felt so hard for him as a character. He grew up with nothing while T'challa had everything. Erik's views and life are sad relatable to many people today. What made it even worse is that he is only a villain due to circumstance. His problems are real and his cause is truly one worth fighting for. All he wants is the equality of his people. The only reason he becomes a villain is that he has no other choice. He figures out that he has to do what he has done his entire life, fight for what he wants. Bottom line he is a amazing character and if you don't care for him by the end of the movie I will be shocked.

The Plot:

The main story line of the film is T'challa's struggle on whether or not to share Wakanda's knowledge and power with the rest of the world. His father kept their home secrets for years but because of that the rest of their culture has gone without and has barely survived. What I love about the movie is how they make this so relevant to today. They discuss immigration, culture, and racism. All very hot topics and deep issues of today. Yet while this film dives deep into each of these issues it does so with class and decorum, while not shying away from the truth. I honestly wish we had more films that go beyond just a movie like Black Panther did.

Final Thoughts:

After seeing this I can honestly say this is by far my favorite Marvel Movie. With all of it's incredible talent and raw passion the film hits you just where it needs to. I can never forsee Marvel topping this, not even with Inifity Wars but I can't wait to see them try!

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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