Art changed my life

August 31, 2021 12:21 PM

a crown icon and the words "rising voices award winner"
Photo of the author's paint supplies. Photo courtesy of the author.

Photo of the author's paint supplies. Photo courtesy of the author.

Seated at my desk, arms out as my right hand firmly gripped my favorite graphite pencil. It gently glided across the page almost as if it was skating across a sheet of ice, graceful yet fierce. As I set the pencil down I began to shiver due to the cool breeze entering my room from the window beside my bed.

I was 14 years old, I had just started my freshman year at Jeremiah E. Burke High and as the weeks went on my stress continued to grow. From unrealistic expectations set upon me to test after test, projects, and presentations it all seemed like it would never end. Would I ever catch a break? At that point, I wasn't sure. So I turned to the only thing that provided me with a sense of comfort — art.

Gradually I rose from my seat, rushing to close the window, but before I did I took a brief moment to enjoy the view. Freshly fallen leaves, the sun beginning to set behind the trees. A sight so recognizable anyone could look and scream “fall is here.” I smiled softly as I shut my blinds, and returned to my seat. Sitting once more, I glanced at the clock... 6:15 p.m. I chuckled, I did it again. Mindlessly I drew for four hours straight, not once did I think about the homework I have yet to complete. Or the essay that was due in a week. And so, once again I rose from my seat to retrieve my work when BAM, the realization finally set it. Shocked. Wondering how I didn't see this before. I took a seat at the edge of my bed as thoughts began to consume me.

Art is as simple as a pencil hitting paper but so complex you are unable to find the meaning of it all. it captivates you, clutches you in its grasp as you steady your gaze wondering what the artist was thinking. If I'm having a bad day drawing whisks me away and lets all my stress flow away from me.

Art, as simple as it may seem it serves as a form of escapism within me. The average teen spends 9-10 hours a day playing video games to distract themselves from their day-to-day lives. Whereas I spend my time buried within the hands of a creator, letting the brush guide me. Almost as if I have lost all free will. Allowing myself to be completely empty as my hands flow across the page. In my eyes, art is more so an idea, something we use to express ourselves when our voices are not enough. Maybe you don’t understand or maybe you do, but for context, you cannot silence what has no sound, but the silence is so loud it grabs your attention anyway.

For my whole life, art has always been the one thing that has stuck with me. I have grown through my art, and my art has grown through me. I am creative, dedicated, focused, self-critical, and most of all I have a desire to grow. My main form of art is painting. I can spend an entire day just picking up a brush and working on a piece even if I have no idea what I want to do. On days when I’m not painting instead, I do it the old fashion way with a simple pencil and paper. To me, traditional art is the most beautiful form of art. The simplicity captivates me like nothing ever before. I don’t think I've ever experienced something quite like it. 

My love for art has managed to become more than just a creative outlet, and as I get older that becomes more apparent in my life. Now, as an upcoming high school graduate I can say experiencing something stressful in your life at one point or another will help you immensely. You will find things that help you better yourself and in turn, you will realize how important it is to allow yourself to grow as a person. 

Now our society has what some may call a love-hate relationship towards art and it’s sad to say we don’t value it as much as we should (not anymore at least). Art was once a focal point for thousands of people around the world. Before humans knew how to talk we communicated through drawings and whether we admit it or not, that is art. Art has single-handedly brought us together yet we shed a blind eye towards it. Almost as if it means nothing to us. Art is a way of life, a therapy even. It's sad to say many don’t see it that way anymore. 

Art has taught me to see things differently, to always keep an open mind. Be willing to change things because change is not as bad as it may seem. Art is a concept that is often overlooked. More or less many see it simply as something you do for fun. When in reality it can help shape you into the person you desire to be. After all, that is what it did for me. I’m 17 years old now, and I’m still learning how to deal with life, but I know my love for art will never die.

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