By George Fang
Expression is a very primal instinct for humans. We all possess it in some form or other. All of us feel something every day, be it an emotion or some form of inspiration. It engulfs us whole at the moment and can stay with us for minutes, hours, days, months, or even years. This feeling, which is hard to describe, but very much stirring in our souls and hearts, is the foundation of expression. We may not notice it at the moment, but it is the human being’s way of saying: it’s time to create.
Art by Ebony Iman Dallas, our Artist of the Month.
Expression is the foundation of art. For anything to be created, there must be a reason. Expression is the fuel that stokes the fire. When we feel anger, we have the desire to let it out. What I’ve discovered, is there are two meaningful ways to express your feelings. One is to be explicit. Another is implicit.
It is very simple to express a feeling, such as anger, explicitly. Something negative happens, and you react instantly. You can scream, break things, yell obscenities, and push all your negative energy out into the world. The same thing happens with happiness. You can laugh, smile, and embrace all the good that is happening to you now. But the key to explicit reaction is purely, the moment.
Implicit reactions are different. Implicit reactions are where art is created. While explicit reactions can be thought of as a strong, rapid boil, implicit reactions are a slow simmer. The same negative or positive energy is felt, but the time between feeling and reacting is lengthened. With implicit reactions, the feeling part is amplified greatly, while the reaction part is reduced to a minimum. Let us return to the previous example of anger. You feel the emotion. Anger. You notice the tightening of your forehead as your mind replays the event that caused you to get angry. You feel the temperature rise in your body as the emotion grows stronger and stronger. Unlike an explicit reaction, you don’t immediately blow up, but you let the emotion simmer. The more it simmers, the better you understand it. And the better you understand it, the clearer you can express it.
This is where art is formed. It is formed after the simmering process of feeling. The purest, most beautiful forms of art are created through this cycle of implicit reaction. Art is the ideal way of showing expression. It captures vulnerability, intensity, passion, inspiration, and emotion all in one package. It is a more beautiful, touching way of expressing yourself, rather than reacting instantaneously. And it can be preserved through the end of time, so this moment of feeling can be reflected on repeatedly.
There are many ways you can express yourself through art. You can paint, write, take photographs, dance, and make music, just to provide some ideas. Everyone is different and uniquely different. Next time you experience an emotion, rather than reacting immediately, take some time to let it simmer. Feel the emotion, and think about a way to express it through a medium. Then, try to turn that creative idea into reality. There are no rules or limits. Anything and everything you think of doing is fair game.
Regardless of the form of art, the more important aspect is the doing. I believe it is important for humans to create, and express, regardless of what form they choose to do so. Because deep down, we are all inherently the same— vulnerable souls that are constantly being challenged throughout our lives. It is important for all of us to find a way to connect such vulnerability because we all feel it in some form every day. I am confident, if you express your feelings in an implicit rather than an explicit way, you will feel a deeper sense of peace and satisfaction once that fleeting feeling of emotion disappears. And to put the cherry on top, you will have an authentic, beautiful piece of work that is inherently unique to you.