Self Development

Importance of Art in an Adult’s Development

“We have Art, so that we may not perish by the Truth” said Friedrich Nietzsche. What Nietzsche means by truth is the everyday life, a banal world of work and suffering. According to Nietzche the world of the living is a world filled with horror and fear.  Art, by contrast, is a refuge capable of redeeming life with its beauty. In other words, what makes life with all its suffering tolerable is the ability to interpret it artistically.” Shahram Karimi

Believe it or not, until a year ago, art was for me an inaccessible form of expression that was far beyond my reach. Ever since I was a little girl, I was taught to think that art is reserved only for those with great talent and if I tried to do anything remotely artistic without having this talent, it was considered a waste of time. All my art works at school were done by my mother and father because they “knew” better and the closest that I came to art as a child was coloring. Later on, if I dared to engage myself in creative projects, I was scolded for wasting my time. I immediately got the message that I had no talent in arts and there was no purpose in practicing, therefore I soon stopped any creative activity.

At the age of 19, I came across an art documentary series presented by Sister Wendy Beckett, a British nun and art critic. I borrowed all series from the library and watched them with an intense thirst for knowledge. I soon fell in love with Sister Wendy who is an absolute delight to watch while she describes with so much passion paintings from all periods of time. She makes you fall in love with paintings that say nothing at the first sight and she knows exactly how to bring out the artist and his story in every single work of art. After watching this, I realized how much respect and passion I had for art. But it was still painful to know that only some of us have the gift of expressing ourselves this way…

Finally, a year ago after dealing with a great amount of anxiety, a co-worker of mine gently suggested if I wanted to join her in doing some art therapy. Since I was ready to try pretty much anything, I gladly accepted. Who knew that this would have opened the door to an entire new chapter in my life? Only after a few sessions, I quickly understood the need of art in a child’s and an adult’s life and how incredibly accessible it is. Art is not about beauty, it’s not about esthetics and it’s not about talent. Art is just a form of self-expression. It’s about the expression of your thoughts or feelings through ANY artistic activities, such as painting, writing, sculpting, dancing, photography etc. And how can we judge a form of self-expression? How can we judge someone’s feelings and thoughts that are portrayed in an art piece? How can we tell them that they are lacking talent, that their work of art is not beautiful or appealing to the eye? Maybe they are not meant to be appealing! Maybe they are not meant to be judged. Maybe they are just meant to look at and take as they are. Some art works might touch you, some might not. What is important is how the artist felt during their creation. And this is why, all of us should be able to give ourselves the chance to experience art and the beauty of expressing ourselves artistically.

Of course, this is not to undermine the incredible talent and most importantly the hard work that is put in by professional artists. This is only to say that art doesn’t exist only for professionals and in order to gain recognition for it. Art can be made in the privacy of your own home, only for your own pleasure and self-expression. Just because you think you don’t have talent, it doesn’t mean that art should be inaccessible to you. Art should be a right that everyone can exert at any age and time.

Most importantly, art should be available especially for those that need an extra form of expressing themselves. I am talking about people dealing with anxiety, depression, traumatic past events, communication issues, problems coping with old age, illnesses or morning the loss of someone close. Sometimes, we all need an extra hand to help us cope with certain problems. And art can be that extra hand!

I can say from my own experience that art helped heal my soul in so many ways that I couldn’t do on my own. I am so happy to be able to express my pain and sorrow through art without fearing judgment and misunderstanding. I am the only person who can truly judge and understand my art and that’s comforting. Therefore, I encourage you to buy yourself the most basic art materials and start to draw, sculpt, do collages, or anything that helps express yourself. Don’t hesitate to do this together with your child. I am sure that it must be extremely bonding to do creative activities with your child. Plus, it’s important to let your child know that it’s OK to do art or other things even though he/she is not perfect at it! Because that’s not what matters.

Photo credits: Anamaria Olaru

Art work made byAnamaria Olaru

Adult art Chez Pink ElephantDescription of art work: Whenever I use personal art pieces as feature images for my posts, I am glad to share with you the thoughts and feelings behind these works. The displayed sculptures portray a woman and a man who have been affected by emotional traumas. The male sculpture refers to a man who hasn’t been loved by his parents. His heart and emotions are missing. Due to this, he is a victim of constant grief and sadness. The object on his head are his thoughts which are turning round and round in his head and causing him constant stress and worry. The thoughts are also shown as a constant weight that he needs to carry and bear. The female sculpture refers to a woman who has been sexually abused. Her private area is missing because she cut herself off emotionally from that area. She is left with an emotionless face and without a mouth. The missing mouth shows her inability to tell her close ones what she experienced and to express her true feelings.

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