Lately, I have been taken aback by a lot of things happening in society. I would describe myself as the epitome of an introvert by definition. With this comes a deep love for observing and understanding people rather than interacting with them, although the later can't be avoided. As so many things have unfolded in the world within the past few months, what has struck me is how passionate people are about their beliefs. I began to wonder...what is a belief, other than how one perceives their reality? And if belief stems from a perception, who or what influences that perception, which becomes the foundation of how people view their environment?
As artists we facilitate the imagination of society. In essence, we are molding people's perception of the world. This is powerful.
For someone who has never been to Italy all they have to go off of are the stories they have read, the movies they have watched, photos and drawings they have seen. For someone who has never met an Italian those are the only ingredients they have to form their perception of people from that background. This to me strikes a heavy chord. The most claustrophobic prison is that of a stereotype. Being stripped of your identity and ability to express yourself because a character developed with a similar appearance, sound or demeanor to you, is all people can see. As much as it may be a fantastical depiction from our minds, society takes what we create and uses it as a reference point to comprehend their reality. We know nothing of the ancients Greeks, Romans or Egyptians, other than what their writers, artist and craftsman have left for us to discover. What more is a writer but a scribe who articulates the thoughts of his community. What is a painter but one who visualizes the emotions of her audience. What is a photographer but one who documents a visual history of his society.
This brings me back to our present society, and the many events that have unfolded in recent months, events which deal a lot with how we, as humans, perceive each other. As creatives we have an unparalleled power to influence the populace. As a designer dictates how we experience our environment by the objects he creates, writers and artists sway our thoughts with the work she or he crafts for us to consume. As creatives we are the catalyst to motivate change. What we create does not only impact the communities we exist in now, but will also define our society to generations far off into the future, and will impact the new crop of creatives who will hold the same power of influence on their society that we hold today.