Photo by Birmingham Museums Trust on Unsplash

Art isn’t simply combining strokes and brushes to create a harmonious and beautiful image. It’s constructing a story, reflecting the artist’s opinion on a specific matter, a creative commentary.

Inside, everyone lies a little critic waiting to break free.

When given an opportunity and a safe space to speak, people will step up and convey their opinions. This is precisely why social media has become a hotbed for assertive and dogmatic individuals. It has provided clearance for people to speak whatever is in their minds without the risk of physical altercations and damage. It’s the most accessible and unrestricted space for people to be expressive, let their critics run free, and communicate their innermost thoughts.

People want their voices to be heard, and their minds understood and validated. But aside from social media, how else can they express and verbalize their perspectives?

Art to Express and Communicate

Art has been an ever-present element in society.

It has existed since eons ago, used by humans primarily as a means of communication. Before language existed, art supplied people’s need for interaction and connection. It has been used to influence another’s opinion and express and instill values in others. Among its earliest sightings, art was commonly used to translate and share experiences, reflecting what society and humanity had been.

Art has lived through time alongside people, creating a repository of society’s memory.

When people haven’t developed the means to verbalize what’s in their minds, they tap into art. Hence, art is a form of communication, bridging one’s mind to another. Today, art may be modernized, but its function remains the same. Art is still as reflective of people’s views and opinions. They still use it to convey emotions and messages they might find challenging to express verbally.

And as society is ever-dynamic, people have also utilized art to express their appreciation or dissatisfaction with these changes. People communicate their beliefs through strokes, highlighting what society lacks and needs through their brushes and imagery.

Speaking Up Through Creative Commentary

Author Ronald Lee Harden is among the population actively speaking their minds and dissenting whenever necessary. Art and literature are two channels he’s currently maximizing to reflect his opinions. Harden speaks up through creative commentary. While he also offers his voice to vocalize his thoughts, he commonly sticks to more visionary and creative means. Ronald Lee Harden has written books and painted or created materials reflecting his feelings about society and humanity.

Such is one of the ever-present and valuable functions of art for humans.

Creative commentary is the usage of art to comment on aspects of society. It’s poets nitpicking the government’s shortcomings through rhythmic proses or authors creating fictional worlds centering on revolution or standing up against abusive power.

But most importantly, creative commentary occurs when artists pour their emotions and thoughts into their canvases, allowing color and figures to convey their messages.

Creative commentary is one of art’s social functions. It’s a means for artists to challenge people’s understanding of the world, persuading them to widen their perspectives and see situations from other people’s lenses. Art is birthed from emotion. No artist creates their pieces on impulse. Instead, everything is from a piece of themselves directed to paper. Driven by artists’ convictions, art serves as a window allowing people to peer through another’s perspectives. This will enable them to create unique interpretations, strengthening and increasing their wisdom on complex subjects.

Crafting Effective Creative Commentary

Every artist creates distinct and moving pieces straight from their emotions. Artworks are touching and effective in their unique ways. But art as creative commentary must cultivate stronger feelings acting as a more vital call for people to care. The process of arriving at this final product is filled with doubts and second-guessing. Throughout the coloring and painting, artists may question their worth and the reason behind their artworks.

This is why they must start by defining their whys before picking up their pencils or brushes. If artists don’t have any underlying meaning in their art, it won’t appeal to any audience. People won’t feel anything or be moved by something done on a whim. They may be clueless about the process, but they will feel if any emotion or reason is missing from an art piece.

Nobody will care if artists don’t care. It’s that simple.

They must create something because they have a message to convey and not simply because they should be making something. Creative commentary isn’t about deadlines, quantities, or qualities. Instead, it should be crafted because artists want something to say. They must have a motif of why they’re filling their canvases. This motivation might start as a personal inspiration. But the audience will feel the sincerity and understand this inspiration as their own.

Artists must first love their craft before expecting others to love it.

Creative commentary isn’t about seeking external validation. When artists speak about something dear to them, they can’t expect everyone to agree. For every idea, there will always be people disagreeing or expressing a contrasting point. Artists must acknowledge the vulnerability in sharing their artwork but must learn to stand their ground and listen to their opinion.

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