Using art as a form of self-expression

Artists share their creative ideas on how to express emotions

Art is a gateway into a world of vast colors and shapes that can be altered with something as simple as a pencil and imagination. 

Whether it is a gift or a self-taught talent, artists find inspiration from the shapes and colors the naked eye skims over, shaping and painting an image which continuously grows like vines of a tree. 

Digital artist and member of NAHS, junior Audrey Magpantay said she uses art as a way to escape stress because it allows her imagination to run wild.

“Sketching is a concept of trial and error, especially with digital art,” Magpantay said. “It is easy to undo and redo the piece you are working on, whereas in line art, you’re trying to make it as clean as possible. But for sketches, it’s writing out what your mind thinks.”

Art to me is freedom of expression, a way of being heard when you are in your feels or had a bad day. (Photo by Gabriela Salazar)

Magpantay said the smallest details all contribute to one big picture. Because fictional characters can have such bizarre and creative designs, aspects of their personality can be shown through their design. 

Like Magpantay, traditional artist, senior Ava Maghsoodlou said she uses art as a means of self expression. Art alone is one of the purest forms of expression a person can get their hands on, Maghsoodlou said. 

“I find that my artwork is a direct reflection of myself,” Maghsoodlou said. “It represents how I’m doing mentally at the time, what topics I’m interested in and what my influences are, artistically and otherwise.”

Art varies on the artist themselves: their mental, emotional and physical health and most importantly the muse of their inspiration, Maghsoodlou said. She said the muse could be anything from a topic being learned in class, to news outside of school.

“My favorite thing about art is finding alternative means of expressing or explaining something,” Maghsoodlou said. “I’m more interested in using art to explore topics I’ve been researching, like gender social issues and the concept of stage persona.”

Traditional artist, senior Nicole Nuñez said art is a form of expression which allows the artist to express themselves and their emotions.

“When I’ve been going through a really rough time, I pick up pens, pencils and I start going,” Nuñez said. 

She said artists show anger as messy: a burst of emotion into the piece the artist is creating. 

 “I grew up watching my sister draw really realistic portraits and I have always wanted to be like her,” Nuñez said. “That’s where I got my love of art, and why I haven’t stopped.”

Freedom of expression through art takes many different forms, and inspiration can come from the unexpected, Nuñez said. 

 “[Art has] been a way to show myself and breathe,” Nuñez said. “[It has] helped me process emotions in the past and work through my own life problems.”