When is the last time you made an art project? Think long and hard about this; when is the last time you opened up that craft drawer and just let your mind wander?
I cannot speak for everyone, but I'm fairly sure that it has been a while for most of you.
In an era where entertainment can be accessed through the push of a button, today's youth, in particular, have become lazy in terms of creativity. Why pick up a paintbrush when there's an app for that?
Technology is a profound factor in the lack of artistic livelihood that plagues today's youth. Tumblr, Instagram, Pintrest, and dozens of iPhone apps have made it ridiculously easy to create something aesthetic without actually having to do much of anything, really. I'm sorry to break it to you, but newsflash: changing the photo you took to the sepia setting and adding a deep caption does not qualify as art (at least in my book).
As you're reading this some of you may be thinking back to that one art class you took, or that one time you wrote a poem for English class, feeling assured that this doesn't apply to you. Unfortunately, I believe that there is a certain element to doing something simply because it's required of you that takes away from the overall quality of the work. I've found that when someone is truly passionate about something and does it just because they love doing it, it shows.
If you're unsure of what methods of art you might like the best, you've simply got to explore, explore, explore. Take a ceramics class that isn't a high school/college requirement, go on a road trip and find scenic places to draw watercolor pictures of, write about the meaning of life; try whatever you'd like, just make it personal to you.
Sharing other people's artistic endeavors via Facebook or Tumblr is great for inspiration, but not for much else. Discover what makes your artsy side flourish and go with it; dive into the depths of your own creativity.
I may be speaking directly to my generation, however, this definitely applies to people of all ages. I've seen a quote, something along the lines of "don't spend so much time making a living that you forget to make a life" frequently in souvenir shops and such. Whenever I see it I think about how people work too hard nowadays and don't leave enough time for other important things--like art.
The Internet and social media have made it even easier for already busy people to simply write off creativity.
I won't explain why art is such an essential element to life, because if you don't already know that I encourage you to find out.
I urge you all to put the phone down once in a while and just pick up that paintbrush.
Previous generations fostered some of the best and brightest in almost every field imaginable. I can only hope that the artists of my age can follow in the footsteps such superb levels of artistry.