The magic of a Scrapbook..

It was during Christmas when my parents gave me my first ever journal for writing in. Starting from my childhood days until college, I have continued writing in my journals. I have accumulated an outstanding amount of 25 separate books. These days, I have been obsessed with scrapbooking. I find it to be more flexible in terms of recording my thoughts and experiences. It also allows me to use my creativity. I started to join Dina Wakley’s class last year. It’s called Visual Journals. I have always told my friends that I never learned anything from scrapbooking classes I’ve attended in the past. However, Visual Journals is different. I believe that it’s more of an experimentation class. Admittedly, I have learned a lot from her. She inspired me to expand my scrapbooking skills to a whole new level. Her classes have allowed me to explore my artistic side. I have her to thank for my love of creating art and visual journals. For any of you who are interested in the arts, I highly recommend that you give scrapbooking a try. It is guaranteed to unlock your creative prowess.

Cool texture

My view on Traditional vs Modern Art

Ever since I’ve become involved in the subject of art a few years ago, I’ve had my fair share of reading about various articles regarding the difference between traditional and contemporary art. Most people who talk about this topic haven’t done any research beforehand. Indeed, the difference between these two divisions of art lies in the eyes of the beholder. In California, people are obsessed with contemporary art. I personally think it’s quite overrated. I am not trying to say that contemporary art is not beautiful. Just to clarify, we are not talking about graphic design here. However, in my humble opinion, Americans have a bland taste of appreciating the craft and skill of artists. I do not wish to talk about specific artists or art dealers who create or buy this art. Please keep in mind that you should be taking all of what I’m about to discuss here with a grain of salt. Also, I believe that liking contemporary art doesn’t necessarily make a person look cool. In fact, contemporary is a simple word which people have created a certain notion of facade enveloping it and made it seem more important than what it really is. I think that it’s best to judge art by how it was made and the factors that were involved in creating it. The most essential aspect of art is what it conveys and communicates. Think of it this way, while the physical appearance of art could possibly start a relationship, it would only last if there is much more than its superficial appearance.
Library, Grazie, Libreria Piccolo Mini, Dom, Siena
Some writers have traced the roots of art back to the 12th century. Some believe that traditional art originated from the Renaissance era. A few others believe that traditional art talks about the traditional forms of art such as pottery, painting and drawing. In my point of view, all of those definitions are only based on people’s desire to promote their own opinion. Professional European writers believe that it all originated from their roots. Craftsmen always try to take hostage of the word traditional for their own benefit. These days, nobody ever talks about the real definition of traditional art anymore. When we look back in history, the Greeks and Romans have both created some traditional art. However, according to the little research I have made regarding this subject, it appears that traditional art could’ve possibly originated from Muslims.

Their efforts brought about the primary definition of traditional art. There could probably be a major Christian or Jewish influence as well but I have very restricted knowledge regarding that. So I decided to focus on Islamic examples instead. Back in the day, traditional art has always been related to sacredness. Its ultimate goal was to create harmony and beauty which is offered to God using human’s own labor. Ultimately, this means that the origins of traditional art shows that it was created for a different purpose. It wasn’t made to promote the artist or his ego. In contrast, the artist needs to set aside his ego and build something extraordinary and beautiful. It was never aimed to focus on just one specific person. Traditional art focuses on the depiction of a certain subject and was offered to God. This is why portraits would never be considered traditional art. In Persian and Indian paintings, you would always see a depiction of a scene in great depth and detail. It is never focused on just a single person.

Contemporary Art has a different purpose. It is mainly focused on how the person feels, his thoughts and what he wants to portray. In contrast to traditional art, contemporary art is focused on the artist himself. Its most common examples are portraits of people the artist admires and abstract paintings. I didn’t want to make it seem that there should be a clear distinction between the two. There are plenty of artists who use both traditional and contemporary art in their work and the results are outstanding. Art is interpreted differently by different people. Although the real difference between them would always be open for discussion, for now this is how I see it.

Rabbit, Springhares, Artwork, Pink

Living and enjoying a Good Life

1. Take the time to examine your life. Always be on the lookout for new activities and experiences which will enrich your mind. This concept has been used since hundreds of years ago. Plato, a Greek philosopher, created verses regarding this which was heard through the voice of Socrates. Making the best out of your life involves examining it using reason. In all life phases beginning from infancy through adulthood, the importance of examining and sensing life is always present. Infants continuously explore different surroundings. Grandparents read and assess the headlines in the newspaper on a daily basis. The main purpose of reason is to let humans participate in life. Being human means having the capability to think, explore and appraise the world. People discover spiritual pleasure and discover new sources of material.
Hiking, Trekking, Mountains, Backpack, Backpacking
2. It’s important not to worry about things you can’t control. Only focus on things that you can influence or change. Prevent yourself from constantly obsessing about things beyond your control. This concept is clearly discussed in the ancient Stoic wisdom. It is about the belief that there is an ultimately rational order of how things operate in the universe. This reflects a divine providence who ensures the proper outcome of everything that happens in a person’s life. Epictetus didn’t simply prescribe faith to be considered as an abstract philosophical principle. He believed in the use of a concrete strategy which is specifically based on spiritual and intellectual discipline. They key to preventing negative things from happening in your life is to cultivate a positive attitude towards it. This includes the idea of focusing only on things you can control. For example, a misguided investor may not have any way of recovering his fortune. However, he can still be in control of his emotions by choosing not to engage in self-torment. Even people who have been victims of natural disasters could still recover as long as they choose to have hope. Although we cannot control circumstances which happen in our lives, we can definitely be in control of its outcome.
Picnic, Outdoors, Family, Friends, Social, City Scape
3. Treasure Friendship is the reciprocal attachment which fills a person’s need for affiliation. Friends cannot be bought. It must begin with a nurturing environment which leads to trust and amity. Humans differ from all other forms of existence because of our deeply ingrained social instincts. We all need association, affiliation and good relationships. The philosophers Plato, Socrates and Aristotle believed that the formation of society is the reflection of people’s need for human affiliation. It doesn’t involve a contractual agreement found in otherwise detached individuals. Animals do not have this need. Human beings are the only living creatures who require friendships to make their lives meaningful. Genuine friendship is only acquired through the commitment and dedication of both parties involved.

The Genius of Leonardo Da Vinci

My personal decision to include Leonardo Da Vinci wasn’t based on the emotional impact he had on my life. Instead, if I’m honest with you he is far from being my favorite artist. My real reason is that I am in awe of all that he’s accomplished. He did so much amidst having his energy focused on other things too. After talking about Michelangelo, I thought it was only right to include Da Vinci. During the Renaissance era, the two of them were the most recognized artists in the world. Shortly after, the young Raphael joined them. They have always been great rivals who pushed each other’s capabilities to its extent. Michelangelo didn’t listen to anyone else’s opinion, he was very focused on his schemes. He is popularly known for using stone and chisel. On the other hand, Da Vinci mocked Michelangelo for allowing himself to be covered in marble dust. He believed that art was in the invention and the rest of it was just craft.
The Annunciation, Leonardo Da Vinci, Virgin Mary
Da Vinci really wanted to invent something the world has never seen before. He always kept his mind busy by working on various forms of art and technology. I am very amazed by how much influence he had in what we know today as the world’s greatest mechanical inventions. He was really good with airplanes and helicopters but his best invention was in the field of art. We can see the invention of a clear pyramidal composition of figures in the Madonna and Child with Saint Anne. This was later elaborated and perfected by Raphael during the High Renaissance. It is extremely magnificent how he was able to work using his sketch to create the final version. He essentially completed the invention. After this, he decided to work on something else. The idea was fully realized and he decided to repeat it.

The Mona Lisa which he is most well known for is a very different invention in terms of its atmosphere. The smokiness which is called Sfumato envelops the Mona Lisa. It was something completely new in the world of art. This went against the clarity connected to the Renaissance period. Leonardo anticipates Rembrandt by using subordinating colors and forms. I consider it remarkable how he has achieved so much in his career while devoting a lot of his energy to exploring more of the world’s endless possibilities. I think that the world hasn’t seen a man as equal as his intellect until Einstein came along.

Leonardo Da Vinci, The Last Supper, The Last Meal

Hey, you got Style!

When the word style is mentioned, what is the first thing that comes to your mind? Most people will answer that style refers to a person’s sense of fashion and outer appearance. However, today I wanted to discuss about how style is much more than that. It isn’t only seen in a person’s perfect hairstyle, collection of designer bags or the most luxurious jewelry he or she owns. Style is a form of expression. It is a combination of a how a person moves his or her body, how he speaks and dresses up plus everything else. Basically, it’s a person’s way of expressing what they feel inside externally. It includes all of your personal emotions, thoughts, values and interests. Everything that you can see in a person’s exterior is a mere reflection of what he or she truly feels inside. Most people aren’t even aware about the message they’re conveying to other people through their style choices. It is impossible to keep track of everything involving your words and actions.

When a loved one confronts you about how he really sees you, it isn’t always what you expect. Your vision for yourself is usually far off from how other people perceive you. Because of this, style coaches have begun sharing their expertise. They help their clients understand all contributing factors which affects their external appearance. They help individuals improve their words and actions to become in sync with how they want others to perceive them. Let me give you an example. Lucas Scott may look like a nice guy who has a way with everyone. However, when it comes to dating women he finds it very challenging. Beautiful girls just don’t seem to be interested in him. What could possibly be causing this? The answer is various factors which he isn’t even aware of. When he talks to these women, his voice seems like it’s seeking some sort of validation. His outfits are too formal and girls easily get intimated. He also reveals his insecurities which turns the girls off.

We can all agree that most people have a thing they want to change about themselves. After identifying your flaws and weaknesses, you can begin to change for the better. Some of my colleagues think that because I’m a consultant I should always look professional and be charming and enthusiastic at all times. However, I seldom find myself at home unshaven and I prefer wearing comfortable clothes over following fashion trends. I have to admit, I am slightly obsessed with talking about style. It is related to how people can improve their lives which makes interpersonal relationships more effective. I love analyzing and learning about style. While I am obsessing over it, I also wanted to impart my knowledge to you so you could also learn what it really entails. I firmly believe that each one of us is capable of being charismatic. We can all be the type of girl or guy who everyone loves and adores.

Hands, Tattoos, Rings, Accessories, Drawing, Design

Thoughts around the definition of Art

Take a minute to look at the table or desk you’re using at this very moment. A person has specifically created it in that specific way which is considered a form of art. Your favorite shoes that you’re currently wearing is also art. Even your most used coffee mug is art. Art is everything that has been made using a functional design. Some people believe that art is functional while also being aesthetically pleasing. Some people think that it constantly changes which is why it’s difficult to pinpoint a specific definition for it. It’s true that art is constantly changing and evolving. However, not knowing its exact definition may get you a bad grade in school. You may even hear people say that you’re being ridiculous not to know its meaning. Don’t let their comments affect you.

Art
Art. Yes or No?

The truth is that art is subjective. It holds a different meaning for different people. It’s all highly dependent on how a person interprets a piece of art. However, don’t go around imposing this definition on people because they may require you to provide a million references to prove what you’re saying. Although everything that I’ve mentioned has some truth to them, art is highly based on people’s opinion. My personal opinion regarding the matter would be useless if you’re going to use it for schoolwork. It’s important for you to have your own opinion. After all, that’s the main reason why you’re receiving education. Always make sure to include your opinion in your answer together with factual information.

Let me tell you about the true meaning of art. Art is composed of form and content. This means that all forms of art contain both of these two factors. The meaning of form relates to the principles of design and the physical materials used by the artist. In this context, form is easily described and specific no matter what type of art is being examined. If you have written that “Form is present in one half of all art. This is where The Shootings of May Third by Goya in 1808 comes in.” It’s important for you to discuss about the specific details on how he used different elements of art. This includes line, value, space and color. Additionally, you would also need to include the principles of design which consists of emphasis, contrast and proportion. The physical materials should also be explained. In this case, he used oil paints and brushes. You can say that he was able to make the art on canvas by incorporating these factors. The example I’ve provided is a form of Western art which was written in English. It’s not difficult to understand the concept of form with regards to its connection with art. It could be created anywhere around the world at any given time and by using any language. That is the complete definition of how form is used in art.

On the other hand, content is trickier to explain. It comes from the artist’s idea which means it involves his emotions, vision and what he wants to portray to his audience. It explains the difference and connection between what the artist is trying to say and how the audience sees it. It also includes factors which influenced the artist such as politics, religion and society. The artist’s use of hallucinogenic substances during the time it was created is also included. The combination of all these factors is the definition of content. Going back to the example regarding Goya, you can write about the shootings which happened as an actual event. Social and political influences should be discussed as well. You can discuss about how Spain was invaded by Napoleon during that time. He was the reason why the country was subjected to war and revolution which lasted for six years. The historical context is also essential. You should include the story about how the citizens of Madrid revolted which resulted to their execution. Goya didn’t feel good about this so he decided to record the horrors he has experienced. It was his intention to convey that message so that other people will become aware of the situation.

People react to paintings in different ways. Some emotions which are commonly felt are sorrow, revulsion and anger. We are only using one picture as an example to discuss the meaning of content. However, the same parameters are also present in all kinds of art. This is my best reply. The definitions I have mentioned can all be incorporated in your own definition. Art comes with endless possibilities for artists and interpretations from people. One may even consider makeup application as a form of art, while others may disagree. Remember, art is composed of both content and form. You can surely think about a few amazing examples of art which you have personally seen or experienced. Now, you’re finally ready to start writing your paper with confidence.