Essay: Artistic minds

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  • Subject area(s): Photography and arts essays
  • Reading time: 4 minutes
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  • Published on: January 18, 2019
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  • Artistic minds
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“You Can Make Everything Out of Anything”

Friday, November 17, 2017

“Our first project this year has been a very progressive, multi-step, multimedia project that has evolved as we created! Our first project, when we got back from hurricane Harvey, was to release some stress with scribbling to music. Students spread out on the floor and scribbled to the sound of fast and slow music by “The Piano Guys.” They love these songs because they recognize them from the radio but it’s all instrumental. The students were instructed to use large arm motions that cross over the body. Any motion that crosses from the right side of the body to the left or vise versa, uses both hemispheres of the brain since each side controls one side of the body. It is very relaxing and the kids LOVED it! The next class, the kids painted over their scribbles with watercolors, tempera paint, and India ink. They explored the ways different paints resist or do not resist the crayon. They were allowed to use their hands at the end. We tried to use all five senses for our brain experience. We talked about abstract art, kinetic art, and the experience of art. It is a process and not just a product that we create in art. After each experience, we gathered on the floor and talked about how they felt in one word. Students said, “Free, alive, happy, exhilarating, dancing, creative, like a real artist, quiet, excited, open, angry, peaceful, etc.” When the paintings were finished the students tore them up into strips, they were highly upset at first, but when they saw the next step, their minds changed. The students glued the strips on a laid paper for the collage. This took three 50 minute classes. Then, students traced the eyes and nose of the animal they wanted and outlined the eyes, nose, and beaks with India ink. Next, they glued the eyes and nose on the collage.” This story was shared by an elementary school that was later posted on a website called “smART Class.” (Natalie. “SmART Class.” SmART Class, 1 Jan. 1970,

What is art? There is no one universal definition of art, but there is a general agreement that it is a creation of something beautiful or meaningful. According to ThoughtCo., “art” is related to the Latin word “ars” meaning, art, skill, or craft. The first known use of the word art comes from 13th century manuscripts. However, the word art and its many variants (artem, eart, etc) have probably existed since the founding of Rome. (Marder, Lisa. “What Is “Art” Anyway?” ThoughtCo)

What is art to you? Usually you begin to think about paint, pencils, easels, sketching or at least I do; although, there are different forms of art: literature, music, dance, theatre, film, photography, design and so on. Everyone has a perfected art, an artistic side. They just show it in their own way. Today, we’re going to bring out that artistic side by re-creating a modified version of “The smART Class

First, supplies. You will begin with a lengthy piece of paper. Moving on to, an assortment of coloring utensils, a pair of scissors, four bottles of glue, one piece of black paper, 6 pieces of white copy paper, and stencils of your choice (optional). My modified version of this project does not require the following, India ink, watercolors, or tempera paint. Feel free to use them if desirable.

Now that we have established the supplies, lets begin! Start with giant strip of paper. Spread it out amongst yourself. You should spend around 10 minutes letting your “inner Picasso” shine. Your art will later be torn to strips, so don’t spend too much time perfecting every detail. I recently attended the play, Around the World in 80 Days. This brilliant musical was performed by a group from the Idaho Shakespeare Festival. My class had an opportunity to attend a one-on-one workshop with the performers. One of the exercises we did involved music, tempo and the speed we walked. Our instructor played different kinds of music. This music could have been intense, sad, fast, cheery etc. The purpose was to see how the speed of our walking changed. You are going to attempt a similar experiment. As you are working, play different types of music in the background. In the end, evaluate how the music inspired you or changed your ways.

“Just keep cutting, just keep cutting,” a similar line Dory, from Finding Nemo, once said. Take scissors and your artwork, and cut the paper into ½ inch thick strips. Another option is tearing the paper to give it a more rustic look. Once you have finished, randomly mix your strips into a pile. This way, when you’re pasting your pieces, your artwork will appear abstract. Now, take your strips and carefully glue them on your black paper in a circular formation. The black paper should be completely covered by your strips. You should have a finished product that looks somewhat like a pie cut into slices.

“You’re gonna hear me ROAR!” This is a metaphorical expression that the famous, Katy Perry, once expressed in her song, “Roar.” This term isn’t as much as a metaphor but reality to lions, tiger, and bears. These are all ideas for your final step. You can brainstorm suggestions for which character you would like to put on your monument. This should be something that inspired you, much liked your inspiration for your beginning artwork. You’ll need white copy paper, your drawing utensils, and scissors. Start by drawing the eyes, ears, nose, and mouth on your white paper. Then cut them out one-by-one. Once you have cut them out, neatly glue them onto your previous work. Feel free to use stencils, add whisker, fur and more. Again, play music in the background to help with the inventiveness. This step is very important, if you don’t get it right the first time, you could potentially risk ruining your underneath layer.

You have put your artistic minds to the test by going through a variety of steps to get you to where you are now. What’s the story behind it? I have read a lot of stories, and one of the most frequent things the author says is, “It isn’t about anyone or anything.” But, that is far from the truth. If you take the time to create something as beautiful as you did, it came from somewhere; whether it’s from experience or stories you’ve heard, or simply the reminiscence from a picture you saw. Look at what you’ve created. How does it make you feel? What memory did it spark? What was your inspiration behind it? These are all questions to ask yourself.

If you didn’t take anything from this project then take this, you can do anything if you put your mind to it. This is proof that you can make everything out of anything. As you recall, you began with a blank piece of paper and turned it into something very fascinating. It’s not just a work of art, but a statement. If you put your emotions and passions into anything, look what you can do.

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