There is nothing morally wrong with creating art for the sake of art. The creation of something visually captivating and aesthetically appealing is never a bad thing. That being said, art is an extremely powerful tool for communication.
Art has the ability to fill in where words fall short, and can make a huge impact. Art can be used to communicate concerns, ideas and opinions, on subjects that are important and relevant to society, or even just to convey one’s own personal feelings. Artwork can serve as compelling commentary on the state of the world at large.
Many of us wonder how to add more depth and meaning to our work. One dimension that could potentially be expanded to enhance our artistic output, is that of purpose. There is so much more that you can communicate via your art, by fueling and directing it, with a relevant cause or message that you wish to put out. This gives you, and your work, purpose.
In this post, we will elaborate a bit on one possible route you might take during such an artistic, purpose driven process.
There are many causes worth taking up and fighting for in our world today. Some of the more commonly known, include fighting against animal cruelty, racism, and sexism; as well as advocating for women’s rights, children’s rights and environmental conservation.
Think about what is important to you. Find your cause, understand what it’s about, and then allow it inform your artistic process.
You need to figure out how you wish to communicate that which you feel is relevant and important. Get a sense of what medium or mediums you want to work with. Will it be a public display or something more intimate? What kind of impact are you looking to make with your work and how will you go about achieving it?
These questions are important to ask while you are deciding both your medium and your style, and before you begin the actual work.
Last but not least, while actually working on your painting, sculpture or other work of art, let the cause you care about, inform your creative process. Let it influence your choice of color, stroke and composition; allow it to reveal itself in the shapes on your page or canvas, or in the folds of your clay. And while creating work that is overtly about the subject matter in a very obvious way is definitely a clear way to go about it, remember that sometimes it is not a blatant message, but simply the essence of the matter, that is enough to make the impact you’re looking for. Symbolism, abstraction, and allegory are fabulous tools in that case.
Like we said, there is no evil in creating art for the sake of creating art — so many artists have done it, and will continue to do so. However, creating art with purpose, is what the world needs more of! If you’d like to see some inspiring artwork for sale in NY, lovingly created with purpose, then check out artist Adesina’s commentaries on ecology (Bleak Future), mortality (original skull art), and equality (I Have A Dream 2013), or give us a shout on social media (@ArtByAdesina on most platforms) or our contact form, for more gorgeous, heartfelt material!
– The Adesina.com Team
Art has been used to instigate, support and bring about social and political change for a very long time. Today, artists the world over, use their skills and expertise to spread awareness as well as to comment on a host of global issues.
Since some of my readers might be confused or unclear about how art has the power to bring about and encourage change, I’m going to elaborate on that a little over the course of this blog.
There are so many smaller elements that make up the whole; and if you go through each of the headings below, by the end you will see how collectively each contributes to the overarching effects that art has on society.
By providing us a safe space to explore, art helps teach us to try new things, understand different perspectives and challenge norms and rules that we might have grown up with.
By providing inspiration, art can push people to do better, be better, and evolve, as well as face and conquer various problems they are faced with.
Being a form of expression, art encourages people to come out with what they are holding onto within. Often times this brings likeminded folk together. When together, like minded folk, with ideas on how to improve the world around them, get things done.
Art can be used to discuss and dialogue on matters which could otherwise offend people to the point of violence, in a lighter, more psychologically acceptable way. In other words, it can be used to challenge wrongful acts and injustices, without offending.
Whether you’re appreciating art together or creating it, a sense of community is formed. Art brings people together and encourages personal involvement. This paves the way for timid yet highly intelligent individuals, who want to take part in meaningful causes, to do so. The interaction helps breed confidence and further productive action!
Another amazing trait of a good piece of artwork, is that those interested will endeavor to understand the deeper meaning in the work. It doesn’t matter if you’re following the life of an artist or analyzing their use of color and style of stroke. The skills you’re honing, are those of critical thinking and analysis. Both are crucial when it comes to sociopolitical involvement and action!
We don’t all speak the same language, but a sculpture, a painting, or other thought/emotion provoking piece of art work can be understood by most. Even if it does not look appealing by conventional standards, the ability of a piece of art to evoke a feeling, is what communicates its meaning.
Art is a language understood by people the world over, regardless of background, educational history or age.
Though on their own these elements might not seem consequential, together they set the stage for the ways in which art can create and inspire critically thinking, socially active, as well as socially empathic, human beings. It is individuals like these, who both on their own, and collectively, push and rally for change the world over! And this, is why I as an artist, am driven to create.
If you would like to purchase affordable art prints, sculptures, paintings or ceramics, while supporting meaningful causes, then please feel free check out my site, Adesina.com, or give me a shout on social media: @ArtByAdesina on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, DeviantArt, YouTube, and various other platforms.
What is the importance of Art in our lives?
Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time. It changes the way we see the world and everything around us.
Keep on reading to find out how great art can help us define our very lives, and share this infographic with anyone who would like to see the many wonderful ways that art has shaped and reflected society <3.
50 years ago yesterday, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated at 6:01pm on the balcony of his room at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee. That day, we lost one of the greatest leaders in history.
And with all that has happened in the interim: from wars to peace protests, from globalization to technological advancements; Dr. King’s messages of equality and civil rights and non-violence remain relevant. Yet, no leader of the same caliber and reach has emerged in his absence. Where are today’s leaders, who can push society forward in greater increments, the way Dr. King did?
Two weeks ago, in Washington DC, a little girl from Alexandria stood in front of the nation at the March For Our Lives rally, and spoke her mind:
Her name is Naomi Wadler, and she’s eleven years old. Please watch her speech below:
Regardless of where you stand on gun violence (and at the very least, I’d like to think we are all united in wanting to curtail needless deaths, even if the methodology is often a point of contention), it is undeniable that this young lady is incredibly well-spoken, and brave, for being so young and articulating her thoughts on a national stage, and for organizing a walkout at her elementary school.
And while I would never compare a child to any of our great leaders of the past, every leader was once a child too, and seeing our young people stand up for what they believe in this way, gives me great hope for the future, and for a better world. We need more children (and adults) like Naomi! I hope she continues to speak out and make a difference; she has tremendous potential.
I hope you like my drawing of this incredible little girl; please feel free to share it! At this time it is not for sale.
Hello my loves,
As Women’s History Month comes to a close, I wanted to share one of my recent sculptures, focused on the female form, which is currently drying in my studio & awaiting a coat of varnish and a patina: “Objectification (I).”
If you have a moment, here is her story:
In the aftermath of the #MeToo movement earlier this year, I’ve been thinking a lot about what it means to be a woman, in a culture where sexual predation still occurs, yet somehow has been ignored in certain sectors, for so very long. Especially since I have been working in the entertainment industry as a television host for the past 13 years, and even having been introduced to the “casting couch” myself (to which I said “No thank you, I’ll pass” lol), the entire movement hit very close to home.
This sculpture, a nude woman, her face neatly removed as if through a futuristic, bloodless surgery, and placed by her feet, is not so much about sexual assault in and of itself, as much as it’s about the erasure of women’s identities, in the midst of all these accusations and public outcry. It’s about how it feels to be exposed to the world, with one’s story of sexual abuse or harassment, and being made into just one of a huge number of interchangeable women – angry women, mistreated women, scared women, women who were in the wrong place at the wrong time, or women labeled as just plain stupid, or manipulative even, for having been in these situations in the first place, and for either disclosing, or not disclosing, after the fact (and in many cases – you are wrong no matter which you choose).
It’s the objectification not of the body, but of the mind & of the soul, which leaves one naked and alone, even as we stand strong, and our voices rise together; so that we remain faceless, in the aftermath of a movement that we put so much hope into, and of which we have yet to see what the far-reaching outcomes will be.
Once the sculpture is completely dried and a patina applied, I will post more about her, with some video of the process, which if you have ever casted a clay sculpture in plaster, you know is quite an ordeal hehe!
Thank you so much for reading, and if you’d like to place a bid on this piece before it’s done (thus securing her for yourself in advance) please contact me here.
Happy Tuesday! I hope everyone is having a great day so far — I definitely am! I recently got to visit the house of one of my collectors, and LOOK — two of my “Rebirth” wine bottles from back in 2011!
It felt so good to see them displayed in a loving home setting, and to pick them up and remember all the time it took to paint them (30 hours just to paint the one with the eye – “New Sight Blooms”), not to mention how proud I felt to do all that work knowing 100% of the proceeds would benefit charity.
When I was first approached by Rawhouse Wine to paint these bottles, I was really excited, but honestly I was also overwhelmed, because I have a very detailed painting style, and I knew that painting six bottles, to the high standards I hold myself to, would be over 100 hours of work, and for free, since they were auctioned off for a children’s art & music charity.
But then I thought about when I was a child, and how badly I wanted to be an artist, but the NYC public school system was always cutting arts education, making it nearly impossible for me to get access to the training I needed. And I realized that I have to the power to help other little kids just like who I was all those years ago. So, I buckled down, joined team #nosleep lol, and I did it! And if I remember correctly, it was down to the wire and I was delivering the finished bottles something like the day before the auction, and up to the last minute, I still didn’t know if I’d be able to finish.
After the auction, I took two of the beautiful professional photos that Rod Savant took of the bottles, and sold them at an art show to benefit Artistic Dreams International, another children’s charity that I actually used to volunteer for, teaching drawing to underprivileged kids up in Harlem.
So you can imagine all the emotions I felt when I saw these two pieces again, still holding a place of honor in a home, so many years later. This is the legacy I wish to leave behind: Beautiful art & loving philanthropy, always.
What is the legacy you wish to leave behind? Perhaps there is something we can collaborate on, to help the community, and bring more beauty into the world? Feel free to leave a comment below, or message me here. I’d love to hear from you!
Life has been extremely busy lately (Just see how few updates I’ve made this year!). But yesterday on the train I decided that if that’s all the time I have to draw — sandwiched between irate commuters in a noisy NYC subway car — then so be it.
I made the below sketch on a little pad I keep in my bag, and then my stop came and I forgot about it…
Until today, when in the midst of working on a big retouching project for a client, fielding calls regarding a couple of upcoming business trips, and setting up interview shoots for my gaming & tech site (yup, told ya’ I had a lot happening lol), I came across this quote from Martha Graham:
“You are unique, and if that is not fulfilled, then something has been lost.”
It moved me, because here I was, doing so much for everyone else, working on projects that I felt other people would value (and pay me for lol), that it had been weeks since I’d done anything just for myself.
Well I dug out the cat girl I had drawn yesterday, and decided I could take 15 minutes for ME, and I inked her up and colored her in:
It’s not much; a doodle like this certainly doesn’t live up to my own impossible perfectionist standards for “real art,” but at least I had the guts to do it: Take time out for myself, do something I wanted to do, and then post it up here, for all the world to see and judge.
When I was a little girl, I used to draw cat people all the time. It was my very favorite thing & it made me unique. And now, as a grown-up, I think we could use a little more of our favorite things, and of honoring our uniqueness.
“I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.” – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Sending you all love on #MLKDAY
“Don’t let the fear of the time it will take to accomplish something stand in the way of your doing it.”– Earl Nightingale.
Just doodling and thinking about the road ahead. We all have goals we want to reach & we’re all at different points in our journeys. What would you want to hear from your future self about the things you dream about today?
Just a little over a week ago, I wrapped my yearly children’s art classes at Artistic Dreams International, and I can’t say enough how rewarded and blessed I feel, to see the changes that occur in these kids when their minds are brought into focus, and their eyes are opened up to their true potential.
Last year I taught an all-inclusive, basics-building drawing class that ranged from perspective to observation, from contour-drawing to self-portraiture, and it was fantastic! We packed so much within 3 short hours a day, that I knew each child found at least one lesson that they could really hold onto, and bring into their future art projects.
This year, however, I was informed that may of the children had shown an interest in learning more technically advanced drawing skills. Thus, I was inspired to take things up a notch, incorporate some mixed media, and truly challenge them.
Drawing Exercise: Photos-to-Drawings Picture Grids.
The results, from kids no older than 8 or 9, and some as young as 4 and 5 (not pictured here), speak for themselves:
Now, normally I’d recommend this exercise for kids ages 10 and up, but with help (especially with the grid construction), even much younger children can get something out of it. I took the liberty of making a video of how I created my own Picture Grid: this one I call the “Surrealist Half-Picture,” because much like in Surrealist art, most of the drawing is recognizable and fairly realistic, but I added a few unusual details (which the kids really enjoyed), to make it all my own.
I showed this video to the children at the start of class, and immediately I could see how it motivated them to get started!
As always, teaching was super fun, but two elements of the class stood apart as my favorites of the day:
1) That golden period where all the kids are eagerly bent over their work, hushed and focused on their pieces, happy & in their own little worlds.
And 2) That magic moment when a child is nearing the completion of their work, and they lean back from it, only to realize that – WOW! It actually looks like the picture! I remember this moment vividly for myself when I was a kid doing a grid exercise; it was one of the first times I realized I could really draw if I put my mind to it, and it was a tremendous self-esteem booster. It is deeply gratifying to see a new generation experience that same revelatory and positive feeling.
So what’s the takeaway? It’s this: Art Matters. Artistic Dreams educates young people with little or no access to the arts. Without ADI, many of these kids would never have the opportunity to learn from professional artists and uncover their hidden talents. Some of these children have learning disabilities, are monitored by case workers, or have trouble in school. In an academic setting, they may be labeled as different; or perhaps just as bad, they might be educated in a classroom so crowded, they receive no individual attention at all.
Not at ADI. The ratio of teachers to students can be as low as 1 to 3 (I had 3 teaching assistants myself!); every child receives individual attention; and every child is treated as though they are as competent and capable as all the others. For example, we had one student who was diagnosed with ADHD, and yet, they were able to sit quietly for over an hour, creating a beautiful, highly detailed drawing that any child would be proud to show a parent. Imagine if they could apply that same focus to a math problem or a reading passage? (Read my recent post: Art Education Matters»)
And I don’t take the credit for this. I may have designed the drawing lesson, but ADI has created a program that is truly unique: incorporating yoga, meditation, leadership skills, and accountability into the art curricula that art teachers like myself, bring to the classroom. I have never experienced anything like it — I was just as happy to learn yoga as the children were — and it is a model that I hope can be utilized in academic and extracurricular settings across the country, because it works!
I donate my time and art materials to ADI because they utilize art and music to transform the lives of students all over the world. It doesn’t matter if we reach 10 students or 10,000 – to me, it’s worth every penny and every effort. But of course, the more kids we can reach, the more lives that can be changed. If you want to learn more, please visit ArtisticDreams.org, or make a donation here», and help ADI expand its amazing outreach.
Thanks so much for reading, and until next time,