What is Art?

This week my Sunday school class was discussing how art was defined, and I had planned on doing a blog post on it anyway, so I figured, why not give it a go?

The definition of art from dictionary.com is,

  1. The quality, production, expression, or realm, according to aesthetic principles, of what is beautiful, appealing, or of more than ordinary significance.

My definition was,

Something expressed with passion and creativity.

There was a LOT of discussion that Sunday, and a lot of different perspectives that I found quite interesting. Something I said during the discussion was that I almost wanted to get rid of the word “Art”, because art is so subjective that it can mean lots of different things to lots of different people. I personally walk by a bush and see colors, shapes, and the way the light shines on it. Whereas someone else might see how it’s constructed. Or notice the sounds that it makes.

For me, art is almost a feeling. It’s an expression of my own thoughts and emotions. Other people’s art also makes me feel things. Nearly everything has significance to me, but maybe that’s just what makes me unique, and not what makes me an artist. I think what makes someone an artist is the passion to do something with what’s inside their heads. It has nothing to do with learning to paint, or write, or play an instrument; because anyone can learn how to do those things. But what’s significant is having a story to tell, and being able to tell it. It doesn’t matter what medium you use.

To bring it back around, I think art is just a way of using a medium to express how you feel about something. A mother does work for her family because she loves them. That is an art. Picking up trash that you see on the ground and helping take care of our planet. That is an art. Painting a picture of a child sitting with their dog because you want to show the love the child feels for the dog. That is an art.

I mean, what use would a painter be if the only reason they painted was for money? They wouldn’t have anything to paint, because they wouldn’t have anything they cared about, or were passionate about.

This is all just my opinion of what makes art, “art”. I really don’t think there will ever come a point when someone can pin down exactly what art is, because it’s such a subjective thing. However, I think it’s pretty fun to think about. It’s also fun to see what art means to other people.

I Quit!

Well, actually, I’m not quitting. I’m just taking a break. Last summer I was so busy with everything that I didn’t have time to blog in general, so this summer I decided to just take some time off and focus on some other things. I’ll probably start blogging again sometime in September.

However! Here are some of the things I’m going to be working on:

  • I have a long list of art projects I want to do
  • I have my church’s vacation Bible school (I’ll probably be in puppets, drama, and I’ll help out with decorations, which means I’ll probably be at church two or three times a week in the next month or so)
  • I applied for a five week art program this summer
  • If I don’t get accepted into the program, then I’ll be going on my youth group’s Wilderness trip again
  • I’m considering starting a YouTube channel for both music and art, and I’m hoping to do some collaborations with a friend of mine
  • I need to finish school, so that’s actually going to be a main focus
  • I’m hoping to speak at another conference in August
  • I have a conference in town I’m always a part of, and like to volunteer for
  • I want to enjoy my last summer as a kid!!

I have so many hobbies, and so many things that I like to do, that I never have enough time to do everything. I’m learning how to plan, and schedule things, but I’m hoping it’ll also help to narrow down what I’m trying to do.

So, this is the last post of the summer. I might post some stuff here and there, but nothing regular like usual. I hope you all enjoy this beautiful summer we have coming!!!

Winnie the Pooh

In the very beginning of my artistic journey, I was just trying new things and seeing what I was capable of. One style I’d always loved was the style of the older Winnie the Pooh illustrations. They seemed so simple, but also beautiful, so I thought I’d give it a try. So far, that’s still my favorite art style, and one I use often.

I never watched Winnie the Pooh when I was growing up, but the older I got the more I got into it, so I decided to check out some of the 90’s movies. I watched Pooh’s Grand Adventure, and it was pretty good. Being older, I wasn’t “in love” with it, but there were definitely some things I took away from it.

The art style was obviously not the same as the original illustrations, but it still seemed to hold a lot of the charm that the originals did. Based off observation, it looked like some of the originals were watercolor, and then outlined in ink (depending on the generation you look at). In the movie, it seemed like they held a similar concept. Art style was one of my primary focuses as I watched the movie, because I was curious to see if it would be similar to the illustrations; but it wasn’t the only thing I noticed.

Generally, in a regular old animated cartoon with animals, they’re just animals. However, the point of Winnie the Pooh is about a boy who would take his toys to the hundred acre wood, and just play. In the animations, the animals move like toys. It’s fascinating. Not only do they move like toys, they’re also drawn like toys. They have stitch marks here and there, some of them have buttons, etc.

Some people may think it’s simple to make something like this, and like it’s not a big deal, but I love their attention to detail when they created the movie. My guess is, that if they hadn’t put in all those details in the beginning and just made them animals, no one would’ve really noticed. I mean, maybe a big Pooh Bear fan would’ve, but I certainly wouldn’t.

I love Winnie the Pooh. I always thought it was just a kid’s thing, but the more I looked at it, the more I saw that it’s not. It’s a lot of what I want to create, actually. It’s stories of friendships, and adventures, and growing up, and dealing with the hard things; all from a whimsical, kid’s point of view. It takes all these hard “adventures”, and gives them a lighthearted look.

When Winnie the Pooh was created, it gave people hope. I would love to do that for people some day.

The Way I Write

When I first started writing, my grammar was as close to perfect as I could get it (which wasn’t that great, because I was eleven, but you get the idea). The more I wrote, the less I liked it, because it was just boring. It felt like reading a school book. Sure, it was technically correct, but it just felt stiff. I decided to try and write the way I talk, and see if it made a difference.

I don’t know about you, but I like reading the way people talk a lot more than reading something that’s “correct”. One of my favorite things in a book is when an author writes a character with a specific accent, because that means they put thought into their characters. It’s easy to write something “correct”, because that’s what we’re taught in school. It’s not so easy to take a step outside the box and write an accent like Hagrid’s, from Harry Potter. It also brings so much more life to what you’re reading. When you use your own creativity in writing, it brings the words to life. It’s like how sheet music turns into something that inspires people when it’s played. Words, and writing, can do the same.

My parents always taught me that when you learn something, that’s when you can step out, and try new things, and choose if you’re going to keep doing it. My writing is just another form of artistic expression, so of course I would find some way to do things differently. However, there is a time and place for everything.

I write personally when it’s time to be personal, and serious when it’s time to be serious. I wouldn’t necessarily write personally on a job application, because that’s when it’s time to use this handy little thing called grammar. Each thing has it’s place, and as long as you use it in the correct place, you can’t go wrong.


I watched a really interesting movie the other day. It was called, Saving Mr. Banks. It’s about the author of Mary Poppins, Pamela Travers, and the story of how she worked with Disney to make a movie about her books.

Initially, she turned down Disney for years. She knew they would take her books and turn them into some ridiculous cartoon. However, what we see throughout the entire movie is, why she thought they would ruin it.

As the story unfolds we see different people take the characters Pamela wrote, and design them in their own way. At one point in the movie she runs off when she sees their depiction of Mr. Banks. Some would say she’s just being stubborn, because she’s not getting her way. But, if you look closer, you realize there’s more to it.

I called this post “Artists” because it’s about how much artists put into their work. Pamela Travers was so upset when she saw them depict Mr. Banks as a terrible father because she created him based off of her father. According to the movie (Saving Mr. Banks), nearly everything in Mary Poppins (the book) was based off her childhood. The good, and the bad. She poured everything she had learned as a child into that book. This movie (Saving Mr. Banks) wasn’t about how Mary Poppins was made. It was about the story of a woman who held onto her past, and eventually learns to let it go, and not let it control her. It’s not about the art, it’s about the story.

My best friend probably likes my art more than anyone, and I could never figure out why. To me, it’s just art. It’s no different than anything else. I asked her once why she liked it so much, and she said it was because there was a piece of me in each piece I created. And, she was right. Each piece I make is influenced by what’s going on in my life, or something that’s happened before. My art is about me, and the stories I have to tell.

Artists are really more like visual authors. That’s why the best art is the art that tells a story, or has some sort of meaning. Once you have something you’re trying to convey, it just sort of pours out of you. Everyone has their own way of telling their stories. For Pamela Travers, it was writing. For me, it’s art.

What I’ve Been Up To

Before I said I didn’t want to post my art on social media so it wasn’t influenced by other people. However, I want to try and do more commissions, and who’s gonna want a commission if they don’t know what I’m capable of, right? (If you want a commission, hit me up. Also, I’ll be doing a post about it soon with more information.)

Something else I’ve been working on is just not caring about what other people say. Being an artist, and writer, I’ve gotta put my art somewhere. Instead of just avoiding comments I might not like, I want to learn how to just ignore them, and not let them get to me.

So, here’s some art I’ve been working on. (By the way, the two people in the dark are just blank figures. There is no nudity.)


It was a delightful afternoon. I was sitting there, doing my math, and thinking, “Why couldn’t I have a useful skill?” I mean, not that I don’t like the skills that I do have, but why couldn’t I be good at math, or history, or science, or something that’d actually be useful in life?

My mom likes to joke about how my sister and I are both really good at all the things that are notorious for making people go broke. We’re good at art, music, photography, writing. Basically, if it’s impractical, we got it.

While I was doing my math, I wasn’t exactly annoyed; but I was sitting there wondering what the heck God was thinking when he made me. After the initial, “What the heck?!”, moment I had, I started to think about all things I can do that no one else can.

Through my art, I’ve really been able to reach people, and be raw with them, in a way I’ve never been able to before. I’ve been able to inspire people, and make them laugh, and show them beauty in so many different ways. I’ve been able to tell my story, and multiple others. I see the world differently, and through my art I can show people what I see. I can bring little joys into their lives.

I did a painting once that didn’t exactly turn out how I hoped, but I think it really became what it was supposed to.

It shows me swimming in a tranquil pool of my own thoughts, and creativity (that’s what the colors are). And, for all the sometimes my creativity is the exact opposite of what I need, it’s who I am, and it’s what I’m good at, and it’s what I’ve got to bring to the party. Everyone has their own stuff that they’re good at, and without everyone’s uniqueness, the world would be boring. It would become an unseasoned meal. So much potential to be tasty, but it’s just not there.

So, I decided to embrace my creativity and talents (not that I hadn’t already). I’m really good at what I do, and I’m really thankful for all the things I can do with it.

My Way

I read something interesting about Jim Hensen on Facebook this morning. The post said that Jim had no training when he started doing the Muppets on TV, and he that had barely any experience with puppets in general. It said he basically made it up as he went, and learned from each trial that came his way.

The post was from a home school mom I follow. She shared it to point out that, when you’re home schooling, you can make things up as you go. You aren’t exactly following any else’s example, like the public school system generally does, so you have freedom to do things your way. You learn how you work, and sometimes you learn a new, better way to do things. Jim Hensen made it up as he went, and look at where the Muppets are today.

I really want to enter ArtPrize in 2020. I’ve only been drawing and painting for a year and a half, so I really doubted my abilities. I wasn’t sure I had enough skill to enter (keeping in mind that I will have two more years of experience when I enter). However, my art, and pretty much everything else I’ve done, has always been my style. It’s been different, and when I try to paint what other people want, or what’s “popular”, I usually bomb. It just doesn’t look how it “should”, and I get discouraged. That’s because it’s not mine. I learned that painting, or “arting”, as I like to call it, isn’t about what people want. It’s about sharing what you see, and how you see it. I wanted my art to have all my imperfections, be from my heart, and my mind, and be as unique as me. Nothing I ever do will look like what’s “popular” because I wasn’t the one who made it popular. I can’t replicate what someone else has done (yet 😉 ).

So, I’m going to enter ArtPrize, despite what my art may or may not look like. I have a story I want to tell, and a dream to fulfill. I’m going to enter what I’m happy with, and what I’ve put my whole heart into.


I made myself my very own inspirational poster. (See below.)

It’s based off a verse from the song, “Towards the Sun,” by Rihanna. The verse is, “Turn your face towards the sun. Let the shadows fall behind you.”

I’ve been trying to let go of whatever anxiety, or fear, that I’ve been having because usually I don’t know why I’m feeling what I do. So, I try to just block it out, and let it go. The verse from the song, and the painting, remind me to just let it all go. All my fears, all my struggles, are the shadows that fall behind me. And that’s all they are. Just shadows.