The Influence art has on society and how we can inspire our own inner artist
October 2020 _ Influence art has on society and how to inspire our own inner artist
Art is so intricately woven into every corner of society, that it’s almost impossible to gauge where its influence begins and ends. The effect its beauty tends to have on us, and every decision we make, is so unbelievably powerful it can literally be the difference between war and peace.
BUT HOW MUCH CREDIT CAN ART REALLY TAKE FOR INFLUENCING SOCIETY AND WHAT IS DOWN TO THE REST? AND WHAT STEPS CAN WE TAKE TO POSITIVELY INSPIRE OUR OWN INNER ARTIST AND THOSE OF THE INDIVIDUALS AROUND US?
We all know the feeling of being deeply moved by a work of art, whether it be from a story or song, painting or play, a movie and so forth and so on.
Artwork is to be held and admired. It’s to be appreciated and to learn from. It's a gateway to starting difficult conversations with loved ones and strangers alike. Art offers us the opportunity to examine what it means to be human, to voice and express, and to bring people and ideas together. It can leave you excited, sad, emotional, inspired to act, and create a burning desire to fight an injustice.
Art is so powerful, in fact, it can influence whole societies, revolutionising their wellbeing, welfare, way of life, value system and change the course of their history over space and time.
Throughout much of history, artwork was made for no other explicit purpose than the production of beauty, however the first glimmer of the creation of art was used for a very different purpose.
The earliest signs of humans making art dates back to between 10,000 - 40,000 years ago, when humans began to communicate and educate, through drawing, painting and carving stories on the walls and ceilings of caves.
Fast forward 10,000 - 40,000 and art has made some huge revelations, experienced some rollercoaster roundabouts, and has transformed into a multitude of completely different an re-invented expressions for artforms. Something beautiful for each and every one of us.
ART INFLUENCING SOCIETIES
With its ability to transcend language, culture and even the delicate subject of war and peace, the influence art has on society is almost impossible to quantify.
It’s simply to huge and complicated to figure out. However as you’ll be able to see by the following studies and statements, Art is a hugely powerful weapon that you, your community, society and the rest of the world can use, for the greater good.
Art influences society by changing opinions, instilling values and translating experiences across space and time. Research has shown art affects the fundamental sense of self. Painting, sculpture, music, literature and the other arts are often considered to be the repository of a society's collective memory.
Struggling communities have also been known to use art and the benefits it provides, in more ways than one. You can find activities, concerts, festivals and art-inspired opportunities right now in your local neighbourhood that have been designed with the aim to inspire, connect, unify, educate and encourage you to have fun.
In this book written by Tom Borrup, The Creative Community Builder's Handbook: How to Transform Communities Using Local Assets, Arts and Culture he makes a compelling case with regard to cultural projects. And how they play a fundamental role in the revival of fortunes, boosting the prospects of poor, minority and other disadvantaged communities.
He found that these art based cultural projects positively influenced the communities:
IN PUBLIC SPACE.
INCREASE CIVIC PARTICIPATION THROUGH CELEBRATIONS.
ENGAGE YOUTH IN THE COMMUNITY.
PROMOTE THE POWER AND PRESERVATION OF PLACE.
BROADEN PARTICIPATION IN THE CIVIC AGENDA.
ART INFLUENCING HEALTH
Time and time again, scientific studies have shown that working your creative muscle leads to an overwhelming amount of health benefits. Mental, spiritual and even physical wellness has shown to improve when someone develops a healthy artistic practice, leading to the question - why on earth don’t we spend more time creating?
Have a look at some key improvements you can benefit from, by making more art:
- Develops emotional intelligence
- Creates a relaxing environment while calming the mind
- Generates a strong mindfulness practice
- Immune system boosting effects
- Reduces and treats issues such as depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder
- Aids in letting go of fears, stresses and emotions
- Can be known to curb consumerism mindset
- Offer physical well being and improvement
- Positive influence on health with ageing
After reading a long list like this, who wouldn’t want to practice more art?
Even just emotionally speaking, putting all the positive health benefits aside, having a creative outlet in which you can express yourself fully, fluidly and without judgement allows you to be less of an asshole. It’s really that simple.
So when you’re next...
...Feeling fierce and angry? DANCE!
...Feeling sluggish and tired? SING!
...Feeling like you’re about to fall down a long windy rabbit hole of stalking your ex boyfriend on instagram - WRITE A POEM MAN!
Because you’re successfully going to express your emotions, feel better and have a beautiful piece of art to show for it.
HOW TO UNLEASH YOUR INNER ARTIST AND INSPIRE CREATIVITY
I think it’s safe to say we all can begin to see some really fundamental and exciting benefits that living a creative lifestyle can bring us. But where do we begin to cultivate this new colourful artistic flare?
You see, there are millions of ways we express ourselves artistically that don’t involve picking up an instrument or getting our hands on a paintbrush. We express ourselves every minute of every day, by the way we walk, talk, stand, eat, what we wear, how we wear it, our body language, even the way we smile.
Life, quite simply, is art.
And you have the ability to manifest, change, and impact every single part of your expression. Don’t love the way you smile? Try something NEW! It may seem a little contrived, but you can be the person you want to be. So the next time you smile, really let it out there, show your teeth and make it yours!
It’s not only fun and freeing to express ourselves to our fullest creative potential, it’s also a moral obligation. Because when you are thriving in life, your friends and family will benefit too.
And, this is why it’s important, more than important, irrefutably necesarry, to inspire your inner artist (and each others) every, single, damn, day.
But HOW??? I hear you ask.
“I’m not creative, I don’t know how to write”
“My parents never took me to ukelele lessons”
“I paint like an elephant in Thailand with a trunk for a mouth”
Unfortunately, none of these are valid excuses... no honestly, look at this Elephant painting in Thailand with his trunk... and then come back to me.
It’s totally normal to feel a little behind the eight ball if you're about to turn 70 and the closest you’ve come to a guitar was when you watched Elvis Presley live on stage.
But how cool is the story of the 70 year old going to beginner guitar lessons at the local civic centre?
It’s ABSOLUTELY AWESOME! That’s what it is.
So, enjoy the journey, love the process, get over yourself and BE CREATIVELY AWESOME.
AND remember - we don’t have to be Picasso to pick up a paintbrush. Art isn’t for being judged, it’s to be enjoyed. It’s to teach us to let go, live in the present, feel good and express our full self. Our full range of emotions.
TIPS ON HOW TO UNLEASH YOUR CREATIVE DEVIL
PRACTICE, PRACTICE & PRACTICE.
Just like anything, when we want to improve we need to dedicate our energy to actually PRACTICE the thing. As you get better at your chosen artform or art forms, you’ll naturally become more interested. Also, practice makes perfect! Silver lining and all that.
WRITE. WRITE. WRITE AND READ A BOOK CALLED THE ARTIST’S WAY.
Writing can be one of the more meditative practices known to man. Besides actually meditating, that is. The feeling of putting pen to paper and the connection between extracting your personal thoughts, bringing them into the world can be powerful. It’s also the non-negotiable daily practice that Julia Cameron swears by in her internationally acclaimed book, The Artist’s Way.
The book was written to help people breakfree from their minds, routines, beliefs and lead them down the path of creative enlightenment. In simpler terms, she teaches you how to make more art, regularly.
With over 3million books sold, it appears Cameron is making a creative difference across the globe. A few key takeaways and advice that Julia gives the struggling artist are:
Morning Pages are said to be the primary tool of a creative recovery. They consist of three longhand (written) pages, to be done first thing in the morning if possible, written with no agenda in mind and completed every single day. Without fail.
Cameron says that “Morning Pages provoke, clarify, comfort, cajole, prioritize and synchronize the day at hand” .
And she also suggests not to overthink it. Just to write the three pages, putting anything on the page... And then do three more tomorrow.
After a steady morning pages practice, the feedback from her devout followers is consistent and transformational. They mention that it has become an essential part of their daily routine and basically gives the brain the opportunity to say BLAH which will allow you to get on with the day with more helpful, reviving energy.
Carve time out of your weekly schedule to take yourself out on a date, and make it arty! Whether you’re an aspiring artist or not, Cameron suggests taking yourself on scheduled weekly dates with the intention of inspiring creativity is paramount. It can be as simple as taking your notebook to a cafe and diving in to your drawing practice, visiting a museum to admire the local talent, discovering a free graffiti tour in town and gain inspiration.
Whatever date you decide on, make sure you dress to impress. You are CREATIVE don’t you know!
TRY NEW THINGS.
We are often attracted to the things we know we are good at. But there is nothing better than trying new activities, signing up for a novel experience (literally) and saying yes to periods of uncomfortableness.
Is there some form of art that you have always wanted to try?
Do you watch someone play the piano, yearn to give it a go, and create elegant sound the way you’ve always dreamed?
Making pottery has always intrigued you and getting your hands on some clay, spinning that wheel and making a sweet little daily coffee cup floats your boat?
Well I am here today, to tell you, that you need to IMMEDIATELY go and try that thing. You are never too old, too tired, too broke or busy to carve the time out in your week to experience that form of art that you’ve always wanted to.
Go into your new arty activity with curiosity and openness and watch how brand new inspiration overflows into your daily life!
It’s time to shake things up!!! Is your wardrobe in need of a good overhaul? Tend to sleep in on a daily basis? Cutting your hair the same way since you were 10 when your mum used the salad bowl to trim the edges?
Changing up some old habits, styles and routines is the perfect way to make space for creativity to expand and flourish. That means having the courage to sit down, take a really good look at your life and see which areas are simply not particularly inspiring you.
BE the work of art.
Art is a way of life, so as you begin to unleash your creativity, you’ll also be privy to seeing how other parts of your life flourish too.
So now the real question is
How are you going to unleash your inner artist today?
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