Why Writers and I, Write?

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A few weeks ago, I was sitting in a car with a friend and his 9 year-old sister and she started asking me about the things I like to do. I told her I love to write and occasionally, paint. She gives me a wry but innocently sweet look of puzzlement and goes, “Everybody can write! I do that in school and its not that fun! Why do you like writing?”

I have been wanting to write about writing for a long time but I never thought about it again because whenever I felt like writing something else in my mind, the idea dived headfirst into publishing before I could remember I wanted to write about the true core of why I do the thing I do, that is writing.

Since man realized that they could communicate with one another, one could say that in a way, the seed for writing was planted. Later man would learn to etch and paint leaving stories for future generations to read.

The paintings left in caves many years ago may represent fact or fiction often a bit of both; what will remain in part a mystery is why they “wrote”. I wonder what compelled them to tell the stories, was it to remember? To communicate what they had done? Was it to plan an attack or teach their children how to hunt? I also wondered why their modern day counterparts write.

Creative expression

By expression, I meant the intention to express an emotion, idea, feeling, concept and thought. Writing is a great outlet for creative expression. I would wake up in the wee hours of the morning with story ideas derived from dreams that I just had to get out. My subconscious makes it impossible for me not to write about things. It keeps nagging me until I get them written down. That’s one of the first reason that leads me to start writing poetry in 2011 before I expanded myself to journalistic accounts till this day. Poetry is such a sweet release that I could no longer see myself without.

Imagination

I’ve been living inside my head since I was a child. I am an only child, I don’t have a long attention span, and when I was bored I would entertain myself with my imagination. I play pretend and I spend time with reading books and making art—that’s before the Internet too, of course.

My mind would drift to some world from my imagination – rich with characters and conflict. In general, I love to exercise my imagination when I’m writing. These are worlds that are escapism from the grit of reality.

To Help Others

It all started with pen and poetry, me inkling down my thoughts and feelings. As innocent of an occurrence like a little girl with her pink heart-shaped- lock diary, I realise people find themselves in similar situations as me and found hope through my writing. I started to see what a big impact I could provide with such small letters.

I enjoy interlinking my own experiences with others to help others overcome the long journey of life, love and loss and advocate for themselves by sharing my stories and words to help them with the cards life deals. I may not always have comments or letters telling me how much my words could have helped somebody, but I feel appreciated even if someone wanders by and found something that resonates with them and felt just slightly less alone.

Loving Books

I am influenced by the magic of other authors and could not help but to be part of them. I’ve always been a fan of books. I grew up in a home where pretty much everyone encourages each other to read a lot. There were always tons of books around and as I got older, it seemed natural to start telling stories of my own. The reading prepped me for how stories work, what their guts look like, and how to make them memorable.

In a way, writing is also a tribute to all the authors and works that have fed my imagination — it’s a “giving back” to the creative world for all it’s given me.

I write because I love their books. I have so often felt alone and misunderstood and an author reaches in and grabs my hand through a book. She describes a feeling and then I’m relieved to know that I’m not the only one that has ever felt that way. I want to do that for someone. George Orwell wrote because he wanted to make the world a better place, and writing was his chosen way of trying to do so. That is my reason for writing, too.

Therapeutic and Healing

Our minds are designed to make sense of our experiences and when we undergo a traumatic event, our minds have to work overtime to process what happened to us. These thoughts may keep us awake at night, distracted at work, or we may feel less connected to our friends, family, or significant other. Writing about a difficult experience force us to translate our wounds into words, making it easier for our mind to grasp that experience.

“Writing is utter solitude, the descent into the cold abyss of oneself.” —Franz Kafka

All in all, writing to me is the same as eating, sleeping and breathing. It’s what keeps me alive. I write because there is so much joy in sharing my own unique voice and point of view. It’s my greatest desire to help inspire others. When I write anything – poems, articles, blog entries, short stories etc., I know am making a positive difference in this world and there’s a sense of fulfillment that comes with that.

I find there is a flow of thought inside my head that I can simply tap into. I have practiced enough to have learned ways to allow this flow from my head to the page. Those thoughts, given the channel of writing, tend to take me further than I would’ve gone had I left them in my head. In other words, I write because I believe that the process of giving physical form to a thought takes that thought to a new level, where it can be built upon and help improve myself, my loved ones, and society in general.

 

De Stijl: The Philosophy In Art

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I came across this statement in one of my graphic design modules which we were studying about the history of art and design. It is quite interesting and I do feel that this applies to contemporary art in varying degrees.

“Piet Mondrian’s art consists of painting in horizontal and vertical lines with basic colours filled up in the spaces created by the intersection of the lines. Surely such a simplistic style does not deserve the artistic merit it has attained in the history of art. Anyone could have created such a piece of art.”

I do not agree with this statement. I personally feel that an art movement does not develop or form without a reason. There has to be some aspects of society that affects people’s way of thinking and their urge to be honest and open with themselves through expressionism through art.

Why do people create art in this way? Instead of using curvy lines, swirls and strong vibrant colours to illuminate their artwork and draw people’s attention towards it, why do these artists insist on using only three colours and only straight solid lines?

Just like the Art Nouveau movement, the philosophy behind it is that people want to express their rejection for machinery. When artists believe in something, they follow it and acts upon their beliefs as guidance to create the art and message they want to tell. And when this philosophy reached many artists across the region, it continues to reach many areas across the world, hence births the development of an art movement.

Therefore, the development of this unique De Stijl movement must have its reasons. I believe art can come in any shape and size and is limitless, whether it is simple or composed of sophisticated lines and colours.

Sometimes, it is not just the aesthetics of art that makes it valuable. It is the thinking behind it and the discovery of why artists want to create art in this specific style that makes it very interesting and meaningful.

The historical circumstances of the early twentieth century Europe caused many artists to retreat from their society in reaction to its turmoil. This is the philosophy behind the Art Deco movement.

However, for the De Stijl movement, the philosophy is that artists sought to find solutions instead of retreating from turmoil. They pursued a vision whereby art has the ability to improve mankind. They realise these ideals by shifting the focus of art towards the rejection of materialism.

Abstraction was a collective goal with emphasis placed upon the spiritual properties of colour and eradication of figurative forms. Art for the ones driving the De Stijl movement, has a new mission. It was to pave the way to realisation of universal harmony. I believe WWI was viewed as the catalyst for a new society. The “old” must make way for the “new”. The De Stijl movement consists of simple straight lines and only the limit of using three primary colours. It is a great breakthrough to modern art, which in other words, a “new” art for this “new” society and a rejection of superficial decoration.

Primary colours harmonise each other, just like how these artists idealise the new world, where people live together and strive for a harmonious society. I find that the twentieth century saw a society in chaos transform artists into idealists.

Artists sought a solution to the materialism and corruption of the world through art and wishes to express their ideals for harmony and unity. “We speak of concrete and not abstract painting because nothing is more concrete, more real than a line, a color, a surface.” as mentioned by Theo van Doesburg, a De Stijl artist known as the founding father of De Stijl.

His words suggest how he feels about the realistic world we are living in and with this, he has expressed his feelings about the realistic society through the De Stijl movement. With this vision in mind, I believe De Stijl artist, Piet Mondrian turned to abstract and simplistic images to deny the influences of external references and to promote a universal language. Mondrian sought equilibrium between the opposing forces of lines and colours, setting forth a journey towards a new society of universal harmony.

In conclusion, as simple as the De Stijl art movement looks to the common eye, it has a very expressive and revolutionary meaning behind it. Such a strong philosophy through simple artworks makes me find Mondrian and artists of the De Stijl movement very inspiring and definitely deserve a high artistic merit.

I believe it will be a very eye opening, enriching experience for the public to view art as an idea, a cultural reference and not merely for aesthetic purposes.