Art, in all its shapes and sizes, has an immense power to move people, to even affect them in certain ways.
In this dark, dark world, art has become more relevant than ever. Art is paintings, sculptures, poetry, writing, music, dancing,… art is an escape. As Nietzsche put it, “we have art in order not to die of reality”. And if even Nietzsche, with his nihilistic worldviews, finds value in art, then it must be of some importance to even the most pessimistic of us.
While I have written about how I like to express myself through art, I have never elaborated further on specific examples of art that have impacted me in my life.
As I we are smack in the middle of April, my month of collaborations, I am delighted to bring back an “old” collab partner of mine – Arshia from Words From Adaria. She is one of my favourite bloggers out there, as she not only is a tremendously good writer but also a pure ray of sunshine (I am not making this up or exaggerating in any way, I swear).
*You can find the link to her own summary of art that has affected her at the end of this post.
**I would like to note that this list of mine doesn’t have any particular order or ranking, the numbering is to simply make it more structured.
1. “Time” by Pink Floyd
What.a.song. I was 16 when I first stumbled upon it and right off the bat I was blown away. Everything made so much sense. And that guitar solo – WOW. Now, nearly 4 years later, I feel like it makes more sense with each year.
Me, at 16:
“Waiting for someone or something to show you the way”
Me, at 17:
“No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun”
Me, at 18:
“And you run and you run to catch up with the sun, but it’s sinking”
Me, at 19:
“Every year is getting shorter, never seem to find the time”
Pink Floyd’s Time is about growing up and getting older. It’s about life. It’s about wasting valuable time in your youth only to one day wake up and find that there isn’t so much time left afterall. Time passes so quickly, more so the older you get.
I remember listening to this song for the first time and strangely feeling so overwhelmed by what was said. It felt like someone had laid my whole life out in front of me; what had already been, what was yet to come. By the time the guitar solo came, I was in tears.
Time got me good (hah) and still does to this day. It is my favourite Pink Floyd song and one of my favourite songs in general. I urge anyone who doesn’t know this song to take five minutes out of their day and listen to this song. Really listen.
2. Daniel Arnold
Daniel Arnold is the photographer who first sparked my interest for street photography. I love that street photography captures real moments, real people and real feelings. It gives you an authentic look into people and their lives. Seeing and following his work has definitely been the biggest source of inspiration when it comes to advancing my own photography skills.
3. “Creature Fear”
This brings me back to 2017, where my anxious self was preparing for A-levels. It was a lot of pressure I was under and seeing as maths is something I always struggled with, I was pretty worried about that side of A-levels. It was my 18th birthday, I had had my German A-Levels the day before, my English A-levels were the day after. I hadn’t been worried or stressed by the two, so most of my time (including my birthday) was spent studying for maths.
I was frustrated, stressed and overall just… really, really worried. It was probably the worst birthday I ever had, which is a shame as hitting 18 is a milestone in life. I broke down after what felt like an eternity of studying and was lying on a couch, silently crying. I was having a full-on panic attack, it was hard to breathe, the room was spinning and I didn’t really feel like I was me. The pressure had gotten to me for the first time in my life – I was always so laid-back and relaxed but this…..this was something else.
In order to calm down, I decided to listen to some music for a while and clicked on “Creature Fear” by Bon Iver. That song did the job, I remember just lying there, thinking about everything and nothing, my tears slowly ceasing, my body stopping to shake uncontrollably. The song served as the calm in the midst of chaos and fear and whenever I am feeling slightly overwhelmed, I come back to this song. It helped me on one of the hardest days of my life and made me feel a little hopeful again.
4. Mr. Nobody
*If you want to read a review I wrote for my old blog, click here. That sums up all of my feelings towards this film pretty nicely.*
All I can say is… WHAT AN UNDERRATED FILM. Whenever someone asks me what my favourite film is I always say Mr. Nobody. Because never, ever, has a film made me question my life and my choices this much. Never has one impacted me in such a way this one does. It is, simply put, a masterpiece in my eyes.
5. Tap dancing
The funny thing about this next art form is that I would have probably never thought of this if it weren’t for my collab partner in crime, Arshia. We were brainstorming ideas and landed on this one. I asked what Arshia defined as art and she brought up different things, amongst them being dance. What popped into my brain instantly was…. tap dancing.
Now I know what you’re thinking – why the hell would tap dancing impact anyone for life? Well buckle up kids, because this is the story of how my social anxiety first became visible, though at the time, everyone thought it was merely stage fright.
I had tap-danced for a while and our first big performance was coming around the corner. Being around 4 years of age, I have very little memory of the actual classes, though the performance is an experience I am unlikely to ever forget. On the day of, I was feeling very anxious. My grandparents were visiting and were in the front row, my parents right beside them. All of a sudden, I felt a horrific sense of shock, fear and panic. Many years later, I realised this must have been one of my first panic attacks. I broke down into tears, wouldn’t let anyone touch me, my mum trying to calm me down, not exactly knowing what was wrong all of a sudden. It all seemingly came from nowhere.
My mum eventually managed to calm me down and get me a little motivated again. Still, when I walked onto that stage, I was shaking. I vividly remember noticing how much I was trembling, so much so it was an effort to stand. The rest of the performance is a blur in my mind but I can still recall both my parents and grandparents cheering me on, an ovmerwhelming sense of relief washing over me. Facing up to my fear and pushing through, even though my whole body was telling me not to, made me feel extremely proud of myself. And to make the whole (pretty eventful) day even better, I actually was rewarded with a trophy. I have kept that trophy to this day.
So now you know – tap dancing helped me take on my fears one step at a time. And even more, though maybe not as positive, it was the first sign of my anxiety creeping in. But it is that push outside of my comfort zone, that defiance of my anxiety and that rewarding feeling afterwards that have truly shaped me to this day.
6. “blond” by Frank Ocean
I could write for hours and hours about how amazing blond by Frank Ocean is and it would still never do it justice. Never before has a whole album moved me as much as this one. What Frank Ocean created is so raw and beautiful, it’s hard not to be moved by it. I could listen to this again and again and never get bored by it.
7. “Bluebird” by Charles Bukowski
Bukowski, or “the hardboiled egg” as I like to refer to him, left me gaping when I first read his poem titled Bluebird. It is one of his most well-known poems and not without reason. For one, it shows a different side to the *ahem, excuse my language* hardass he usually is, the version of him so many enjoy for precisely that reason.
To me, Bluebird rings true in many ways. I have never been one to wear my heart on my sleeve (as long-time readers will be aware of by now). I oftentimes swallow my feelings and I if I’m being honest, I do it to protect myself. To the outsider, I can come across as very closed off, arrogant or even cold at times. But don’t fret, I too have a Bluebird in my heart. I believe everyone does. I, like surely many others, just carefully choose whom to show it to.
If Bukowski interests you, I recommend you read my post I love Charles Bukowski (yes, I am a fangirl).
8. “The Kiss” by Gustav Klimt
Gustav Klimt is an Austrian artist, who painted his most celebrated painting “The Kiss” (or “Der Kuss” in German) in the peak of what is described as his ‘golden period’.
Being half Austrian, I was exposed to the works of Klimt from a very young age. The Kiss in particular has importance to me, besides being my favourite art piece that stems from Austria.
I remember seeing it when I was still very young and my dad telling me that he wanted me to ‘find someone who loved me as much as the man in the painting loved the woman’. Of course back then, the only thing that statement produced was giggling and blushes. But it stayed with me up until this day.
9. Harry Potter
If you don’t know who or what Harry Potter is, then first of all, hello, welcome, you have been living under a rock. Please get on it. Right now. That is an order.
*thinks to self: are there even people left who don’t know Harry Potter?*
Harry Potter, particularly the first book, is something that ties very closely to my childhood. I have this vivid memory of my father reading the first book to me when I myself was still too young to read a book like that. My dad has always been a great storyteller, something I think a lot of scottish people are, at least in my family. When I was old enough to continue the series by myself, I did so – but sometimes I would still ask my dad to read to me for a while. Him reading to me is something I will cherrish forever.
Harry Potter is also what first sparked my passion for books and writing in general and for that, it will always be top of the list.
10. The Giant Mechanical Man
For this one, I decided to include an exerpt of my journal of 2016.
“Why this film? Why this unknown Indie film? It’s probably the most relatable movie I have ever seen, so much so that I cried after watching it. Not because it’s sad or tragic but because it was the first film that actually hit me like a blow to the stomach. This film has gotten me like few people ever will. Whoever thought of it is a genius in my eyes. Truly. They didn’t have much but made it into something great.”
And then I quoted the film a bunch of times in that journal because I couldn’t stop thinking about it.
‘Like I was just born into this life and am supposed to know what I’m doing…. like I’m supposed to have it all figured out…but I don’t have it all figured out.’
‘I guess feel like modern life can be alienating and it can be that you’re mindlessly walking through it…like a robot and…you can feel lost. I guess I just want people to know that they’re not crazy – I mean, life is crazy. Maybe if you see a giant mechanical man, you know, wandering down the street towards you, maybe that could put it into perspective, everything….you know?’
And then I wrote this under the quotes:
“DO YOU NOW SEE WHY I FOUND THIS TO BE SO RELATABLE???? WHY I STILL DO???? FUCK YES.”
What are some examples of art that have had a lasting impact on you?
✮ A huge shout out goes to my girl Arshia, you can check out her post on this topic here. ✮
(YES, RIGHT HERE)