The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance.
I found my way back to making art as a means for self-expression and introspection. I started sketching again, trying out different mediums until I discovered which ones worked best with my developing style. Hello fountain pens and inks!
To fuel my creativity, I began to pay more attention to the external world around me. Natural sounds, textures, and scenes became elements added to a growing library of experiences. Strong emotions and strange ideas were archived within my inner world as seeds for future works. Others’ artistry influenced me, helping refine my individual style. Music nurtured my emotions and literature sparked my imagination. Each moment of focused awareness became an opportunity to feel, to react, and be inspired.
As I continued to draw, and eventually write poetry again, I became more appreciative of other seemingly mundane activities that were creative acts in themselves. For example, cooking a dish became more significant since it entailed a certain mindfulness and sensitivity to the harmony of ingredients. Something as peripheral as wrapping a gift became another way of harnessing creativity.
This is what living artfully means to me. It goes beyond creating art in the traditional sense. It is finding meaning and purpose in what we do and the decisions we make, from deliberately choosing our garments to reflect our personality to filling our homes with objects that we find particularly eloquent. Our lives become the canvasses upon which we express our inner world through outward means. We create and appreciate art to evoke change and growth, even if only for ourselves.
Meaning in Music
Music is at once the most wonderful, the most alive of all the arts… and the most sensual.
⁓ Susan Sontag
Of all the art forms, music is the most enchanting. This is because our bodies are hardwired to be affected by it both physically and emotionally. Sound waves travel from the eardrums to the auditory cortex of the brain, initiating neurochemical signals that form patterns. These then flow into the anterior insular cortex, which directly influences and receives feedback from the heart, lungs, gut, vagus nerve, and sexual organs. Music becomes embodied, visceral.
From there, musical feeling travels to the hippocampus. There it acquires emotional meaning as the brain layers it with memories — from present to the past, from actuality to possibility. Finally, it arrives in the prefrontal cortex. The initial auditory pattern is transformed into personal and cultural significance through language. Music moves us so, for it elicits a sense of connection grounded in our bodily rhythms and shared with others through a common symbolism. It is no wonder that artists play music to enhance their creative process, and why a song makes us weep or rejoice.
Mutuality of Writing
Our one great Promethean labor is to reconcile humanity to itself and to reconnect, through language, humankind to the universe.
⁓ Melissa Pritchard
Words woven into poetry or prose build a bridge between our inner worlds and outer realities. Through storytelling, the writer creates a lens through which we can view the world through different eyes or a mirror to reflect back to us our own experiences with another’s voice.
Like music, writing forms a connection between the artist and the audience. Great writing resonates deeply, touching us with the creator’s perceptions as well as clarifying our own. It enables us to both transcend and gain deeper insight into our realities. At its purest, a well-written piece is a gift. It reaches out with intent to communicate apart from ego. It can transform a few who deeply resonate with its message or move multitudes to effect social change.
Celebrating Musical Artistry
The GRAMMY Awards — historically the Gramophone Awards — was first hosted by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences on May 4, 1959 to honor the artists who have shown mastery with their music. Now known as the Recording Academy, this institution has since then developed this event to include various award categories, live performances, and artist tributes — all to celebrate musical excellence.
Honorees are chosen each year from screened recordings by voting members of the Recording Academy. The 20 genres they can vote for are determined by their field of expertise. These 20 include Best New Artist and Record, Album, and Song of the Year, for which every member votes for.
Pen-and-Ink GRAMMY Nominees
This February, EndlessPens celebrates the symbolic connection between writing instruments and lyrical inspiration. With this selection, may you find the impetus to speak in your own voice and let your own artistry flow —
⁓ The special elegance of the LAMY Studio demonstrates just how close design and art can be. The propeller-shaped clip accents the pen’s innovative form. The shiny black lacquered body and gold nib lends timeless sophistication to this artful fountain pen.
⁓ Opus 88's Opera features one of the highest qualities of design and craftsmanship for a luxury writing instrument. Its diamond-cut cap and barrel are repeatedly lacquered and polished for over 60 times to attain its mirror-like, multi-dimensional deluxe look.
⁓ This flagship model addresses the major concern of all fountain pens — dryness over time. The product has been innovated over the years and can be used again despite leaving it in the back of your drawer for years due to its new slip-and-seal lid. The smooth ink flow and the 14K gold music nib create the perfect touch, and its form is specifically designed to be comfortably used by all writers.
⁓ The Opus 88 Jazz fountain pen offers a classic style with an eyedropper filling system. It is crafted using durable resin, with a transparent body and silver or gunmetal trim.
⁓ Wearingeul and EndlessPens are happy to present to you this new ink sold exclusively on EndlessPens. The ink evokes the harsh Yorkshire moors of Northern England, as well as the darkly lyrical and turbulent romance between Catherine and Heathcliff.
⁓ Red opera evokes the vibrancy of passion, that ardent love that flows from the songs of an opera. The design of the fan represents Spanish flamenco, another art form known for its emotional fervor.
⁓ These inks are dedicated to everyday pleasures, Earth within a vast universe, and an ordinary day in many daily lives. Finding joy in your daily life can become inspiration for artful living.
⁓ The Color of Literature is a series expressing the stories and impressions of literature works with colors. These inks illustrate specific scenes or the atmosphere of novels and poems. Some likewise represent the main elements of the original stories, letting us share the characters’ experiences.
⁓ Part of Diamine's Gibson Les Paul Guitar series, these inks’ colors are inspired by classic guitar finishes. Diamine has a long and rich history dating back to 1864. Diamine ink is produced in the UK and made with a gentle formula safe for all fountain pens.
These are just a few of my choices. Apart from these, I hope you will explore more options that will help spark your creativity. Remember, you can be inspired by anything if you open your heart and mind to the possibilities all around and within you.
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Written by @lekzumali
Check out her musings on Instagram!