“A picture says a 1000 words” … or so the saying goes.
I would rather say “a picture speaks a different language,” one which we are naturally born to understand.
Much like body language and facial expressions, art exist as a different language. It speaks to us without using words. It speaks to us through colour and line, stirring up emotions and playing with our senses. Which is why art is so important. The interpretation of images can be very subjective and different depending on the creators and the viewer’s previous knowledge and experiences. However everyone has the ability to read the language of art and everyone deserves the opportunity to experience its message.
Art is a language.
Many of you reading this are already saying in your head…
“I can’t even draw a decent stick figure.”
“Too bad I’m tone deaf, my singing sounds like screeching.”
It doesn’t matter how well you draw or how decent you can sing, you most certainly can learn to read the language. In fact, I believe just as body language comes naturally to most, so does interpreting imagery. We do it subconsciously, and regularly make decisions based on our interpretation of the language of colour and design. When we chose an outfit; when we pick out a new car; when we decorate a room; when we stop and take in a view; when we scroll our newsfeeds and pick the posts we would like to engage; we are constantly listening and responding to these different languages in our day-to-day life. Perhaps making art is one way in which we have learned to talk back, to speak the language ourselves, the language of colour and line, shape and contours, light and shadow.
Art as a culture is becoming less appreciated in today’s society.
We are taught to speak, read and write because they are, as they should be, our most important forms of communications. However, there are plenty of other forms of communicating and from an artists perspective I can’t help but feel like our society and our schools are slowly putting less and less importance on “the arts”. They are slipping away, regarded as indulgences not fundamental aspects of our society.
I challenge that.
I believe that art, as a culture, is as fundamental to nurturing your soul as gym class is to establishing healthy physical habits. Dive back into the culture that is “the arts.” Indulge in it. Make time for it everyday. Instead of absentmindedly soaking up the mass produced imagery that is flashed around on our TV’s and computer screens, make some of your own. It could be by taking a photo, doodling on a piece of paper, cooking a colourful meal, even going for a walk and taking note of all the tiny details in the plants, sky, or cracks in the pavement. Once you start consciously reading the language of art you will realize it’s voice is all around you and it’s actually quite loud on occasion. This voice is the magic that I talk about in There Is This Place. You just need to look for it, and when you do you can’t help but feel inspired.
Learn to read the language and you will improve your work and your life style.
The more you learn to see art as a language in itself, the more you will be able to have a conversation; and being able to have a conversation with art opens your soul a little to the universe. But remember, being able to have a conversation in the language of art does not require you to be some extraordinary painter or draftsman. All it requires of you is an understanding and appreciation of its existence. It takes a bit of personal reflection to do this and many of us have long ago closed our minds to it, but it isn’t hard. It only requires you to be open.
So make the decision to be open. See the magic and let the world inspire you through the language of art!