Impactful Art

4184077716_4217a29a08_oI listened to a radio conversation the other day called The Art of Noticing and Then Creating by Seth Godin. At first I didn’t want to, I didn’t want to waste my time listening to something that could possibly make me think on a deeper level. But when listening I realized that this was the exact thing I needed to hear.

Godin specifically talks about this when mentioning how he doesn’t allow himself to go on Facebook or Twitter to hide. That he wants to surround himself with things that make him uncomfortable so he can dig deeper and do work he is proud of. I feel like this is one of my strengths since I try and do that with all of my work. From the blog posts I have written to the essays I have created I am proud of every single one of them. I don’t just do things half-heartedly that I end up wishing didn’t exist. It all blossomed when my 8th grade history teacher said, “Take pride in your work and do work that is worthy of pride.” Now just because I am proud doesn’t mean I think that they can’t be improved. In fact I think just the opposite, every single work of mine can be better and that is why I love peer revisions because it gives me a chance to get my work to the highest caliber it can be.

This explains why I try and have my essay consume you. In the conversation, Godin mentions, “art is where you make something where you forget the name of what you are seeing”. This is exactly what my English class is having us do with our essays, my teacher wants us to make him forget he is reading an essay. In a descriptive essay we wrote, this was the exact task at hand I was working on.

Opening the door to the confining, quaint side yard, I prepare myself for a giant bundle of fur. I always wait all day to see and embrace him. His feet scurry over to greet me, his collar tags clanging against each other as if they were little bells. His vivacious tail and animated eyes never cease to welcome me. He compels a smile to form over my face and I run to embrace him.

Photo By: Jason (CC)
Photo By: Jason (CC)

I would like to, however work on not hiding in my writing and taking more risks. I wrote a blog post on vulnerability and how it is hard to open yourself up as a writer or artist since we never know how much to share and are always afraid of thinking, “Uh-Uh you have gone too far better not show this to anyone” (Godin). This is why in class I don’t like to speak up, for fear of judgment. It has been a slow struggle but I am just starting to try and put myself out there more with my writing since I know I could impact few people greatly. I have also found a similarity with One Tree Hill, my favorite TV show, in which a character says “I want to draw something that means something to someone.” This is what Godin wants to do and this is what I want to do. I just want to impact the fewest amount of people that let me still be able to do what I love.

Speaking of love, art. I love art and I loved that he talked about this because he depicts what art has become today.  Contemporary art is something all can do, everyone can create it. Art is working with a compass to solve the problem in an interesting way rather than using a map or manual. “It is finding the faith to say, ‘Here, I made this’” (Godin).

He made really good points on art and life in general but I do disagree with the statement saying that 15 year olds don’t watch TV. I am a sixteen year old who not only watch’s TV but know many who do. Even if they don’t watch it on the actual television they are still watching TV. I also don’t think it is a good idea to free range kids to a certain extent. Yes, it is good to give kids freedoms but too much freedom could lead to an unstable life that just ends up leading their kids down the wrong path. If you are exposed to an environment long enough, soon enough you will become that environment. This is why towards the end I didn’t feel it connected with the rest of the interview and could have been more developed since it started to talk about how kids have a choice on how they want to affect the world.

However, Godin’s statement on younger kids versus college students I agree completely from first hand experience. He, along with essays I have read, talks about the idea that younger kids have an easier time raising their hands and brain storming than college students. College students have been told their entire life to not collaborate and to find the right answer. Therefore they are afraid of being wrong and think they must always work alone. I can attest to this. Over the years I have discovered that I always think I have to work alone on everything or it is cheating and that I must always find the one right answer. Since I have realized this I have tried to change this mindset but it is hard when we, as students, are still taking tests alone and with only one right answer. This overtime shapes our mind to think and act a certain way.

Godin’s point of we become who were are when we are in a tough space is completely true. A quote by a One Tree Hill character says, “It’s only when you are tested that you truly discover who you are. And its only when you are tested that you discover who you can be”. All of the things that we experience, especially the bad all shape us into the person we are today whether we like it or not.3095099782_a0da0ded18_o He also talked about failure and how that allows us to know what will work next time. This is exactly like writing an essay. This is why they call them drafts. The essays get looked at and in a sense “fail” the first time around but that gives the reader a chance to change it and make it better.

Overall I think that Godin has a lot of interesting stuff to say and if you want you should check out this interview because he has a lot of insightful things to say about life, art, and humans.


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