Art is truly immeasurable. In a conversation with fellow photographer Julie Cousens, I asked about putting art, sports, dance, and other healthy outlets back in schools. A question that came up and resonated with all of us was: what if we equipped our children with cameras to shoot instead of guns? Of course I’m oversimplifying a huge problem, but let’s think about how cathartic exercise and meditation feel and how did we get to the point where people think arts in school are of no importance?
Life happens and everybody needs outlets to help cope with demands and natural stress. There are plenty of free and cheap events for us to come together, be social and create in safe spaces. I spent a majority of my life being so insecure about writing and sharing my photography, I didn’t do more. Yet here I am doing it, AND IT’S FUN! I love it! It’s helping me grow, to connect to new people and communities, to continue challenging myself to learn about cameras, photography, and writing, and to explore the city I’ve spent most of my life in as if it’s my first time.
Do a quick search using Google to see where you can find the arts in your neighborhoods. The Blue Door Art Center is a wonderful example of an arts organization that is heavily involved in their county to provide arts for every single body. Are you a poet? Are you a high school kid with a gift to sculpt? Are you a retiree with a lot of free time? Are you a new business owner with a couple of bland walls in your spot that could use a colorful mural? The possibilities to integrate art into your daily lives are limitless. There’s no end to creativity, there are no rights-or-wrongs, and nobody can tell you it needs to be done differently because there simply is no such thing.
Your vision and expression is solely yours. Embrace it, share it, and I promise you – you will find your strength and confidence a little bit every single day. You’ll find yourself looking at the world differently because you’ll be less focused on all the things that aren’t working in the way you want, but more in tune with acceptance. You’ll spend more time asking what’s next and less time feeling frustration about things we cannot control. You’ll make space for more creative resolutions in all areas. The healing energy of the arts is there, we just have to tap into them again, allow ourselves not to minimize our emotions, and empower each other to express pain, doubt, and ask questions for the sake of inner peace.