Painting with Emotion


When asked to define art, Armaan Muchhala ‘21, Cassandra Scott ‘21, and Brandon Martin ‘21—members of the National Arts Honors Society—all stated similar answers. The general definition for the term “art” is a form of expression with creative intent that can be improved over time. 

If quarantine has taught anything, it is that knowing how to deal with one’s mental health is an indispensable skill. It seems like a fairly easy task, but some people simply don’t have the ability to seek an outlet for releasing their emotions. 

“It’s important not to hold on to anything for too long,” Muchhala stated. It’s much harder to let a problem go when an individual has no one to express their feelings to. You can’t, in other words, empty a water bottle if the cap is still on—some people just need help opening their cap.”

For the people who struggle to find someone who can be their outlet, or for the people who feel like no one can understand them, there’s, fortunately, a way for them to express themselves without needing anyone’s help. Art. Through creative expression, art allows people to completely drain themselves from all of their conflicting emotions. 

Through creative expression, art allows people to completely drain themselves from all of their conflicting emotions.

One example of creative expression, shown by Martin, is the method of reflection. He expressed his own as well as other’s experiences through portraits. Similar to Martin’s ability to reflect through his portraits, Scott sees different versions of herself in her portraits. She said she uses her portraits as a place where she can show not just who she is but also who she wants to be. It’s important to mention that while Scott and Martin have distinct art styles, they both achieve the same goal of expressing themselves. 

Portraits and paintings are only some examples of the many different types of art. Understanding what art is and what it can be can become an important tool in becoming the best version of yourself. 

People can also express themselves through other artistic endeavors like singing, dancing, playing music, sports, journaling, and much more. After finding the method that best suits you, the next step is to set one’s ego aside and let your emotions flow. This step prevents people from thinking about insignificant criticism that will come their way. When people let criticism control their creative expression, their creations will be subconsciously influenced by outsiders. Not everyone is going to be the next Picasso or Michael Jackson, but when an individual learns to put their ego aside and open themselves up to art, they will see an improvement in their mental health. 

While art can be deceptive and elusive, it can also be used as a personal expression of emotions and creativity. 

Cover image: “Layers” by Brandon Martin ‘21