One of my professors recently assigned a creativity project in their class. The purpose of the project was to express our ingenuity in a manner that we have not tried before.
I have always been fascinated by the videos of street artists creating city landscapes and various other images with spray paint. The creative methods in which the artists achieve the desired effects, as well as the time-efficient craft, was, in a word, mesmerizing to me.
So, I decided to use the opportunity to explore this new medium. I quickly came to realize how this art form that seemed so simple wasn't nearly as easy as it appeared from behind a screen.
Before I began, I had to accept the facts. I had a limited supply of spray paint with none of the tools typically seen within the videos to manipulate it on the canvas. Instead, I just had a lot of old newspaper.
Another thing I lacked was a stencil, so I had to rely on my minimal artistic abilities and pieces of printer paper taped together to outline the image I was looking to center the piece around.
This experience led me to a few different conclusions about creativity and the limits we as a society put on our own creative expression.
Going in, I didn't really have a crystal clear idea of how to approach the piece. Sure, I'd seen numerous videos and had a basic idea of how to achieve a more textured look but as for proper execution, I was lost.
After the project was completed, I took a minute to realize how much time and practice the individuals who sell their pieces put into them.
The process in and of itself was not too time-consuming, but in no way was it a quick project that I could throw together and feel confident enough to turn in, let alone sell. The thought alone of creating the art in public stressed me out.
While I felt good looking at my piece, I was also recognizing the fact it was a project and something that was supposed to look a little unhinged. If it didn't have flaws, or if you had done it before, the idea of finding a new way to express yourself would be lost in translation.
After a bit more of a reflective period, I found myself thinking about why I hadn't tried this form of art before.
In present-day society, we don't often give ourselves the opportunity to play or express our artistic abilities. Instead, we force ourselves to trudge on and ignore the very things that make life more manageable.
We shouldn't shy away from the things that interest us, whether it be a particular career path, project, or hobby. It's important to recognize the importance of challenging yourself in ways that seem unconventional.
While I may not have been entirely comfortable spray painting, I was able to discover a newfound appreciation for art through the project.