iphone video

Being an artist is easy

“Let me take a picture of this food for Instagram.” “Did you hear so and so’s new mixtape? It’s fire.”

I began seeing this trend among my peers at Walnut High School. I’m not talking about just the AP art students, band members or drama kids. I’m talking about almost everyone that I know. We live in a special time when people can easily express their various forms of creativity. Whether it’s through taking photos, writing blogs, making videos, or anything in between, this attitude of becoming makeshift “artists” is as very positive thing.

For a long time, I believed that this trend was attributed to my community — hip, young and creative high school students. I realized, however, that these trends were not limited to this school alone. In fact, these trends aren’t even limited to this age group. This artistic takeover has changed the way that people live.

Art is simply any work that is used for beauty or emotional power. A quick look at our social media feed cements the fact that everyday people can certainly be artists. It doesn’t take an established writer or photographer to publish stellar quality content anymore; take an aesthetic photo with an iPhone, and it can be considered art. With some more practice and a great caption to go along with it, it becomes a modern masterpiece.

There are many outlets for social media, allowing ordinary people to quickly become artists. Vines take only six seconds to make, while over four billion YouTube videos are viewed every day. SoundCloud rakes in 175 million monthly listeners. Instagram users publish 70 million photos per day. Clearly, we indulge in our fair share of social media “art,” and for the most part, the content is much more entertaining when it’s from someone we know. Since art is anything that conveys emotional power, something funny, for example, that our friends publishes on social media, should be considered art.

Many of us students have very little substantial artistic skill, but that doesn’t stop us from publishing our own material. This is actually justifiable; because our friends are closer to us than they are to A-list celebrities, they may actually consider our content more artistic than that of professional entertainers. Our witty Facebook statuses still get over 100 likes, while our artsy pictures on Twitter still get 50 retweets. Oh yeah, don’t forget to record a video of your friend doing something funny in class and put that on your Snapchat story — it’ll be funny.

Not only does it boost people’s self esteem from being well-liked on social media, these forms of art can be used to explore new professions. Now, shooting and directing high quality videos is pretty far off from making full-blown movies, and taking a picture of the sunset with our phones doesn’t necessarily correlate to being a professional photographer. But if we don’t get ahead of ourselves, the potential that these forms of art have is monumental.

If going professional doesn’t sound appealing, the idea of social media “art” may be a fun hobby to get into. In the simplest terms, this new form of art is taking our imaginative standpoints and documenting them. Never before have we been able to do this so easily and share it with the world; we should be taking advantage of this modern-day renaissance of creativity.

By Brian Chen, Opinion editor
Photo courtesy of publicdomainpictures.net

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