How Art Saves Our Lives

I believe that the earth and everything on it and in it, is one living being. I believe that we are like cells in a body, each of us has a purpose to fulfill to contribute to the health and well-being of the whole.

I’m an artist. I’ve tried other things as a career. I’ve been a dog trainer, a waitress, a teacher and I went to school to be a therapist. However, art has been the one thing that has been consistent. I’ve always returned to it.

I love everything about painting. I love the greasy smell of linseed oil, the way a brush feels in my hand and seeing a project through to completion. I even love the meditative repetitiveness of cleaning my brushes. Art calls to my spirit. When I paint it feels like God is moving through me.

I adore the process, but there’s also a much larger reason I love my career. The creation of art turns the artist inside out, exposing the inner world, the subconscious mind of the creator. Each artist is creating a world.

In their own way, every human creates worlds because they create their own world. That world is private, just for them to experience. However, artists put their inner world out there for all to see. Each piece an artist creates speaks to a deep part of each viewer, from a deep part of the creator.

It’s unfortunate that so many people don’t appreciate the miracles that art has created on our planet. There’s a certain stigma that has followed artists for years. I’ve heard “artists smell bad”, “artists don’t make money” and “artists are depressed and crazy”. Artists are often seen as non-essential and their work is seen as unimportant. I believe that creating my art is actually one of the most important contributions I can make to the planet.

Art is one of the most important things in our culture. It may not be needed for our survival, but it is absolutely needed for our self-actualization and evolution. When a culture is thriving, their art thrives. When a culture is suffering, the art of that culture suffers.

What if we reversed this, and decided to intentionally create art that suggests a culture is thriving, even when it isn’t? When struggling cultures create beautiful art, they create new feelings in their own bodies and in the people of their communities. They call in new energies by putting it out there to the universe that they’re thriving. The feelings, thoughts and actions of the artists and the viewer will change, and they will create new results.

What is a culture at all if there’s no art in it? How would the people of that culture define themselves? What would our culture be like if no one ever expressed themselves artistically?

Imagine a day without art. It would be very practical and you may even get a lot done, but there would be no soul in it. Everything would be functional and we would survive, but a life without beauty is not a life at all, it’s an existence. Imagine if there were no music, no dance performances, no photography, no greeting cards and no paintings for us to admire and wonder at the genius of the creator. Even logos, book covers, sexy cars, tattoos, clothing, jewelry, website design, haircuts, make-up and furniture would be for practical purposes only.

Art gives us something amazing to admire, allows us to explore new ways of thinking, speaks to us wordlessly and sparks something within us is beyond words. In all of its many forms, art moves us emotionally and has united entire cultures throughout history. Art saves our lives because without it we would be just surviving and not really living.

Rhiannon is a full time artist and a teacher. She paints “free spirited and wild haired women” and teaches workshops in acrylic and oil painting to children and adults.

She paints and blogs daily and you can find her here:

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