By: Aryanne Ferguson
If you’re reading this post, you’re probably interested in reading or writing, and are an active participant of both. I’ve been writing a long time, but it took years before I thought of writing as “art.” When I heard the word “art,” I thought of paintings. To clarify, of traditional paintings like Rembrandt or Cezanne or Botticelli. Famous paintings, basically. At some point, I was taught that art is visual, and school field trips to the museum reinforced that impression. When a mentor gifted me with Art and Fear in my early 20s, I was flattered that my writing was considered to be “art” by veteran sculptors and painters and dancers.
After all, the practical use of writing overshadows its art forms in every day life. We read to be informed: street signs, directions, newspaper articles, and magazines. No one paints a picture of a man to tell you what he looks like. No one sculpts a lion on the prowl to show you the size of his teeth. Not that painting and sculpture can’t be practical – what would I do without everyday items that come from molds, or those courtroom artist renderings? Okay, with that last item I jest. But I can make a strong argument for writing as something we do in a non-art form every day. For example, I can’t tell you how many emails I’ve sent for work. Thousands. I don’t paint every day. I don’t sculpt. I don’t draw or take pictures or whittle or build beautiful bookshelves.
I’m writing this post, Reader, to say maybe I should. Maybe part of becoming a writer is exercising my creativity in other ways, so that I can finally think of myself as an artist. I’ve been feeling the urge to cover the walls of my apartment in J.M.W. Turner pieces, and to buy a print of van Gogh’s Wheat Field with Cypresses. I bought a water color set and some paint brushes yesterday. I made 4 paintings, 2 of which I love more than I expected. Already, I’m looking at the world a little differently, and I figure that means good things for my writing. Good things for my art.