The Importance of Self Expression


Avery Crouse

To the masses, art is a gift, a blessing of new perspectives and ideas outside of one’s own personal experience. But what does art offer the artist, the creative? Self expression as it pertains to the one actively participating in the manifestation of art- may it be music, poetry, illustration, etc.- lies in the dynamic, liberating experience of knowing oneself better. After all, art is about diving deep enough within yourself to discover what has been begging to be recognized for so long. The most emotional form of art, what sparks the observer to relate to a piece, is the courage to give a voice to the most intimate, inner parts of a person. 

Expression plays a vital role in our ability to shape identity, worth, and self confidence. Where words fall short, art gives us the ability to discover what is within us. Art serves as an outlet, a type of therapy, allowing humans the space to show others who they are and reflect themselves outwardly. May it be singing or drawing, art grants us the ability to come to terms with ourselves and reconnect with our purpose and voice. 

No matter what form it takes, artists, in my eyes, exist to speak their truth. And through the fearlessness and vulnerability of such acts, a voice is given to the voiceless. Oftentimes, artists are willing to go where the average person might shy away from (mentally, emotionally, politically, etc.). Through this they offer new perspectives and ideas, bringing awareness and shedding light upon the underbellies of society and culture. What makes this so powerful is the ability for audiences to relate to their work. People draw emotional resonance and inspiration from all sorts of expressions.

Senior author Mikayla Word said, “These forms of artistic expression speak to us and bring awareness about issues or topics that otherwise may have been avoided and could inspire us in our own lives to continue on and live a life we are proud of.” 

Where we live, what we see and listen to, is all a melting pot of perspectives and feelings strategically placed together in both painful and gorgeous ways. Senior illustrator Emma Shepard makes the point that art influences everyone, especially subconsciously. Art and self expression shapes our culture on every level. 

Senior vocalist Emma Stewart furthers this idea, “Art is powerful, and if used in the correct way, it has long lasting effects on people and their mindsets.” In this, I must mention the capability of art to reveal the beauty of the mundane. Art offers the perspectives of the expressor to the observer. 

For senior musician and graphic artist Olivia Findley, “artistic expression has a way of restoring hope and beauty to the world where we’ve missed it before.” For some, art is a journey leading to a truer version of themselves, giving them practice at being outward with their real self, vulnerable and on display for all to see. For almost all, art allows us to dive within ourselves and see what we typically wouldn’t, to face our inner demons and learn the shadowy corners of our hearts. Word beautifully said, “Art captures something that otherwise would be hidden, your soul.” 

For many, including myself, art is about understanding myself on new, deeper levels. Shepard confirms that for her, art is about seeing deeper emotions in her work and in herself that she never knew existed before. For others, art is about being understood by others. It is the intentional, inventive act of taking one’s personal