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March 10, 2021

A Manifesto for Art: How Creativity enables us to Connect with Ourselves & Others.

Art makes the world a better place.

I strongly believe a better world can be created through art. Art is self-expression. Art can be rational or emotional, but it’s one thing for sure: universal.

Its language goes beyond history and backgrounds—it speaks directly to our heart.

To see how important it is, let’s just take a look at history: within every nation suffering from dictatorship, art is fought with all measures. Self-expression is often forbidden for the greater good, which for sure is not the greater good of the individuals.

Art is unstoppable, but if we stop making art, some parts of us stop existing.

In my case, the voice is my way of self-expression and art. I slowly discovered this along my personal journey and allowed it to come out one year and a half ago.

I always had a thing for colors, and I used to admire paintings and sculptures from far away through museums or books. But then something changed; life brought me to discover my true nature.

I am an artist, and I am also a painter.

It has been a disruptive and unifying path, experience, and process, and now I’m asking myself how I was living before, without painting. It seems impossible, or, better said, it seems like I was not myself.

I was so stuck in being the people pleaser, the silent helper, the one who makes herself invisible for the sake of others, and I even thought I liked it, until my life took over and the risk of remaining stuck was more painful than the risk of embracing change.

I started to unlearn myself, to let go of some patterns.

Well, easier said than done: I am a person who absorbs all kinds of energy. I don’t always have the appropriate answer at the right time; it stays with me, and it can come out one week later. And if I get hurt, my pain simply stays with me forever.

Many people tell me to express it, to mourn it—and I do, believe me. It simply cannot go away. It takes ages to heal a wound.

And that’s when art comes back in. Through my art, I am able to make something beautiful out of it and process my pain at the same time.

When I paint, the colors are my emotions, the layers are my wounds.

I’m a physical person; I need to move. Therefore, I mostly paint on the floor. I need to feel the materials in my hands and use the energy of my body to create the background. Sometimes, I have to go through it slowly, feel the canvas, scratch it, and caress it.

Then it’s time to observe, to get inside the colors, to get the outcomes. This phase can last some days, depending on how deep the pain was that I needed to process. Sometimes it becomes such a mess that I feel like tearing everything apart.

But it’s good to observe these emotions, to stay within the feeling, to allow it to come out—to simply feel it.

And it’s not just pain that I have to process—sometimes it’s joy or happiness.

Basically, through painting, I learned how to become an observer of my own internal process.

When the painting dries, that’s normally when the real shift begins.

It’s time to define it, to take some gold or silver, or one of the colors that are precious to me, and just give value to the scratches, to the wounds, or to dance on top of it with some bright paint.

It’s like the Japanese art of using golden glue to stitch a vase—it has such a powerful effect, and it makes the object just beautiful.

The painting is over, and it feels like making love: making love with the canvas and the colors. We are one entity that communicates through the deepest of all languages: our authentic emotions.

I believe each one of us has a way of self-expression—let’s cultivate it as the world needs it so much.

By sharing our own process, people can recognise each other’s feelings and emotions, and even more important, feel less lonely with their own baggage.

So, I feel the urge to encourage people to explore their creativity; each one of us has it inside, each one of us is unique and has something to offer to the world that is special.

Whether it’s a painting, planting flowers, or singing a song—let it come out, and we will all benefit from it.

~

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Valentina Contato  |  Contribution: 425

author: Valentina Contato

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