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Why it’s important to express yourself

Art is a form of expression. It can be used as a way to connect to the world around us, to show who we really are and what we can do as individuals and as a team.
When you first think of the word “art,” you may default and start picturing paintings and portraits, but it is so much more than that. Any performer will argue with you that dancing, singing or acting is an art, and they’re absolutely right. The same goes for writers, designers, chefs, animators and countless others.
Art is anything that can be used to express oneself.
Sure, art is full of pretty colors, catchy tunes and vivid imagery, but the true art lies behind the paint colors, lyrics and words. It’s in the story of the artist, and every artist has a story.
I started to get into writing when I was in fourth grade and the dreaded FCAT Writing test was being forced upon us here in Florida. Unlike most of my classmates, I fell in love with the narrative style of writing, and I was that student that begged the teacher for more prompts to practice with.

I carried on writing through middle school, and for inspiration, I constantly read novels. I loved how authors’ different writing styles could steal me away from my world and thrust me into the center of theirs. I felt like I was living the story and not just reading it, and it was then that I realized that this was what I wanted to do with my writing.
Upon entering high school, I stumbled over some obstacles placed in my path, and I began to lose myself, causing my writing to be forgotten for a time.
I remained this way until my dad came home one evening carrying a book that he thought I might like it. By the third chapter, I was a resident of the mythical world of Tortall that Tamora Pierce had created, training alongside the main character to become a knight.

For the first time in weeks, I picked up a notebook, and I wrote. I created an account on a website and published chapter after chapter, gaining a steady following over the years. It wasn’t — and still isn’t — the largest fanbase, but it’s a reminder that I can do this and that I’m good at what I love doing — writing.
Art inspired me, and this can happen to anyone, no matter who you are.

One day, you may see a painting or hear a song, and something will just click. Nothing else will seem to matter in the world. You’ll find a way to integrate that artwork or song into every conversation you have. People may call you crazy or obsessed, but you know the truth.
You were inspired.
But, why are we so inspired?
When I write, I pour all of myself into my work, letting my feelings turn into words. Each chapter is a representation of who I am and who I hope to be as a person. Characters are based on people I’ve met or observed during my life, and some of the dialogue is even pulled from real-life conversations.

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I’m not the only artist who integrates herself into her work though.
When singer Demi Lovato wrote her hit “Skyscraper,” she was in a dark place, but she poured her heart and soul into the song, allowing the lyrics to speak for her when she couldn’t.
Nyle DiMarco is a deaf model who recently won season 22 of the show Dancing with the Stars. During one of the weekly dances, there was a part of the routine where he and a few professional dancers danced with no music, allowing the audience and viewers at home to witness firsthand how life is for him as both a person and a dancer.
By doing this, artists share themselves with the world. Sometimes, all you have to do is look at an artist’s finished product to learn more about them, and this unspoken communication, this ability to understand and connect with others to the point where we feel inspired ourselves, is beautiful to me.
College is a wonderful place to discover yourself, and at FGCU especially, the entire faculty and student body seem to be supportive and accepting of each other’s art and different forms of expression.

Without art, without someone choosing that he wanted to share himself with the world, we wouldn’t have half the inspiration we have today, and we wouldn’t be able to band together across the world.
During the past week, an attack on the French city of Nice left 84 dead and 202 injured. Artists of different genres came together over social media to promote love and peace, and cartoonists all over the world used their talents to compose drawings. These cartoons all have a universal language that convey the same messages of grief and disbelief for the victims of the attack.
Helping the world may seem like an impossible task, but artists prove to be a powerful force day after day. All they have to do is be themselves.
There are so many artists in the world, and each one has the power to do something bigger than himself. It just takes one word, one song or one painting to change someone’s life. Better yet, it just takes a novel, an album or a portfolio to change the world.

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  • T

    Tamora PierceJul 25, 2016 at 1:29 pm

    Thank you so much, Sydney. You probably didn’t know this, but I endured a five-year case of writer’s block that began in high school. To know that my work got you out of a dark patch at the same time in your life means more than I can ever, ever say. May your writing bring you the success–and the very cool fans–that mine has brought me!–Tammy