The Power of Art

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September 12, 2012 by raconteurmagazine

by Peter M. George

So today, I was reminded the sheer awesome power that art can have in effect to somebody’s life. To explain what I mean, I shall have to detail the events of the last couple of months of my life and the effect that art has had on them – bearing in mind that I talk of art as whole, not just the one medium.

As a little background, I became engaged late in February, had the venue booked, a new job was started with good prospects and it was looking like I’d have the spare time to act on the side again. Well, in June, that started to crumble apart – my fiancée split up with me, which forced me to try to find my own house to live in. My job began to lose its prospects. My free time for acting became tied up in trying to find a permanent place to live and a potentially better job.

This paints quite a bleak picture (pun not originally intended). But this is where things start to get bad. On the day of writing this article, I found that the guy I was supposed to be moving in with no longer could (he’d found himself a local job doing what he loved) and I found myself unemployed.

But it is in our darkest hour that, like the twin suns of Tatooine at high noon, we find our way to the brightest light. What I mean is, I found myself getting depressed and lonely – I lost my path from the way of art: I was no longer appreciating music, theatre, paintings, acting and the like. On this night, I went out driving, got myself lost around Leeds and eventually found myself on the path home: that’s when it happened. I drove straight past the wedding venue and, although I hadn’t been bothered by it (despite since having been in it, whilst there was a wedding on, no less!), I hit rock bottom. I found somewhere to pull over because I was getting into a state.

I eventually found out how to turn the radio on whilst I was trying to pull myself together and I cycled through some stations. A few songs and some classical and contemporary music later, I found myself saying – screw you! There is too much beauty and too much talent to see to allow the pains to define me. I am defined by what I view and what I do. My course is not determined by what has tried to tear me down, but by what I have allowed myself to build – even in the ruins and ashes of that destructive form. That music, that simple set of air vibrations, from the mind of another creative – that set me right. I pulled out pen and paper and, like a mad man (as all geniuses are), I scribbled furiously. I made note of tasks to do, what to get done to get myself sorted. Things I’d planned to do and suddenly knew I would. Things I’d needed to perform and things I randomly decided upon. I’d not have decided for this topic of article if it hadn’t have been for those crazy synaptic sparks of ingenuity that had caused those artists to design. I’d not have got myself 3 auditions in one night and figured out what had to be done.

Thanks to art, my life is going clickety-clack like a freight train. It may not be at that safest station, known as success, but it’s certainly put me on the tracks, racing towards it. Who knows, I may need to stop at another platform and change route, but I’m on my way and I’ll get there.

So the next time you witness art, in whatever form it may be – architecture, dance, graffiti, the written word, nature’s own art: the human, personality, animals, trees – no matter its source, there is one thing to remember. If you allow it to influence you, regardless of it being to your taste and style, good things will happen. You may learn what you do or don’t like in that medium (maybe the whole medium itself), you may feel it deeper and come to a life-changing epiphany, it could spark your own creativity.

It doesn’t matter – viewing art, enriches our lives.

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