Personal questions or internal debates usually serve as the catalysts for some of the best art. These questions could be personal, existential ones, or they could be general, more global questions that peak the interest of the artist. Either way, the artists are using their art as a medium for processing these questions and working toward a deeper understanding. A musician, for example, might go about tackling loneliness through a series of interconnected pieces, or a painter might wrestle with body image issues through a particular painting. A performance artist, perhaps, might challenge society’s neglect of the homeless population through a provocative show calling for legislative action. All of these are examples of ways these individuals harness their talent of expression to arrive at a deeper understanding of a specific reality.
But these methods of expression aren’t limited to professional artists. I want be as cliched to proclaim, “we are all artists!” (even though we are) but all of us have questions rattling in our heads that beg for resolution or exploration. So how are you handling your existential questions? Has the Ferguson issue prompted in you a desire to explore race relations in your own community? If so, how are you processing it? Are you journaling? painting? Are you using fabric or film, music or dance? Has the birth of a child and the feeding of this child instilled in you a desire to learn more about how are food is processed? Where it comes from? If so, has this triggered a love of cooking?
Oftentimes, we go about our lives, engaging in the most mundane of tasks, which somehow seem to connect together to form a “day”. But within that day is lost these magical questions that excite us and intrigue us; those ideas and “wonderings” that pop into our heads while we are driving to work or logging miles on the treadmill.
I invite you to grab hold of one of those ideas and through whatever method you choose, wrestle with it; process it; explore it. You could open up an entirely new dimension to your world. It could lead you to new opportunities or simply to a new level of contentment. Life is short and the questions are many. Go for it!