Art is a Lifestyle, Not a Hobby. ~ Laura Farrell

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My notebook was filled with drawings and doodles as I jotted down my notes during my high school classes.

“She has her mind elsewhere,” indicated my high school teachers. “She ought to be putting more focus on academics,” they would affirm. Some teachers even cringed as I handed forward homework that usually accompanied a series of small drawings that filled the negative space along the columns.

You see, I was born an artist, and there was nothing I could ever do to change or prevent that.

It didn’t take much time before I was walking down the hallway of the art department, which was recommended by my mentors. Filling elective courses in these classrooms would be to my benefit, they would propose, and so I did for the remainder of my high school career.

Of course I loved art, it was the only medium I had ever found that let me express myself freely, and shadowing my socially awkward nature. It was in these classrooms that I had realized the biggest misconception of art.

The biggest misunderstand an artist has to deal with is that the outside world believes artists are bound to a life that solely revolves around creating images.

It was here that I realized that my passion for creativity and thinking outside the box was perceived as a passion for drawing, and only drawing.

I was young, and I found it a little hard to understand myself, therefore I passively agreed with my mentors. I couldn’t explain why I was so strange, nor could I explain why I insisted on following a path that no one else was following.

They said I am an artist, so I must be destined to a life of pictures, I thought.

I had thought wrong.

It took some time, but I realized that there is nothing more damaging to an artist’s soul than being confined to something that is not our passion.

Art is a lifestyle, not a hobby.

An artist breaths art all around us, they let it fill their soul, and then they let it fill the spaces they occupy. It is applied to each aspect of our life. Therefore, in terms of my academic high school papers, I was simply applying my lifestyle to the paper I was given.

I wanted it to stand out in a way people have never seen before, and I didn’t want it to look like any other paper people had seen. Whether they liked it or not, I continued to do it, because this is how I expressed myself during that time.

This didn’t mean I was destined for a life of that solely revolved around creating images.

Traditionally, artists are thought to work with canvas, paints, and brushes, or possibly images, a computer, and PhotoShop in the 21st century. Over time I learned that my life was not destined to create images, but I was still an artist. I could never escape being an artist.

The more I drew, the more I hated it.

Art was no longer fun, and to be truthful, it was never my passion. So I chose paper, pen, and words. Just like that, my life began to make sense again. My life began to have meaning.

Of course we are aware we are artists—the world never had a problem pointing that out—but finding our place outside of art is another task. It’s a challenge actually, but a rewarding one. If an artist takes the time to peer into their heart and listen to its deepest desires they will find the one thing that fulfills them, the one thing they can see changing the world with. It will speak to us slightly, but those words can become muffled by the chaotic world moving around us.

Sometimes as artists we must set ourselves free.

As artists’ we are built to beak the chains of society. At first it emerges it with our outward expression of style and even our thoughts. As we cultivate our thoughts over time, we are aware of what we can provide to the world. A new way of thinking, a new way of seeing, and a world people have yet to be exposed to.

That live a life of art is to apply art to the tools we’ve been provided. It is to live a live of creativity, an open mind, and diving into the unknown.

We share our perceptions with the world around us, whether they agree or not.

We evoke emotions in our creations and we make the world feel things they’ve never felt. Or maybe it’s a simple reminder of the emotions that we shadowed during everyday life.

We create, and we create something meaningful out of the tools we’ve been given.

To live the artisan lifestyle is to be consumed with madness, a madness we can’t ignore. Our madness is constructed with buzzing thoughts, clusters of ideas, and a vivid imagination. We cultivate them with our dreams, our hopes, and our aspirations, for ourselves, and the world. We are far from ordinary, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.

Without madness, the power of our genius would wither.

I was born an artist, and now I can accept that. I no longer stop the voice in my head that drives me forward. I no longer feel alone or misunderstood. I am an artist who doesn’t make traditional art, but I am still an artist none-the-less.

I am artist who understands that art is a lifestyle, and not a hobby.

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Photo: Spano Liana/Pixoto

The Elephant Ecosystem

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Laura Farrell

Laura Farrell was born in Westchester, NY, but currently resides in Queens. She graduated from the City University of New York, majoring in Journalism. When she is not chasing her aspiring writing career, she is indulging in all forms of the arts.

 

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