Look all around you. With an open mind and some creativity, you can find art (or at least the inspiration to create your own) in almost anything…a spider’s web, a snowflake, a scrap of paper. It’s all in the eye of the beholder. My grandfather was the best roofing contractor Birmingham had ever known, not only because of his impeccable roofing skills, but also because of his attention to detail and ability to create visually captivating roof structures that people still admire to this day. He never considered the roofs he built to be “works of art”, but many people in his hometown have pointed out the beautiful shingle patterns and architecture of the roofs he created.
Another great example of art in everyday life was also shared with me by my grandfather when I was a young child. I didn’t really connect the dots until I got older, but he would find a place for us to sit and we would spend hours looking up at the sky, admiring the numerous clouds against the brilliant blue backdrop. We would point out shapes and make up stories about the different clouds. We never discussed the scientific reasons behind why clouds existed and the differences between the types of clouds that formed, just their beauty. To this day, I still can’t look up at the sky without picking out shapes and faces and thinking that my grandfather is smiling down at me.
I think I could find a way to recognize art in almost everything I come across. The tune that the birds are singing in the morning outside my window…that’s art. The way the reds, browns, oranges, yellows and greens of the leaves on the trees blend together during autumn…that’s art too. The ceramic coffee mug I drink out of on a daily basis…that was created by someone in an artistic fashion. The wonderful movie I watched on Netflix late last night, with all the twists and turns in the plot and the very convincing acting…very artistic as well. The lines of cars on the interstate during rush hour traffic, with brake lights shining in random patterns and horns honking in unison…maybe it didn’t seem like art in the moment, but looking back at it later in the day, I can see it from a different perspective.
I think the point I’m trying to make is that if we all stop and observe a little more, everyone would be able to see the beauty and inspiration in otherwise ordinary things. Art gives me a sense of peace, but it also excites me and makes me want to create something of my own. I notice myself being more appreciative of things and making an effort to see the good in everything I come across. A broken mirror? Don’t dwell on that myth of having bad luck…make something out of it and tell a story.
My challenge to all the readers out there today is to spend some time observing things and see what kind of art you come across in everyday objects and occurrences.