The Importance of Art, In Everything We Do

As humans we are all capable of creating art. In fact, we create art every day without even knowing it. Countless masterpieces are created daily and we are oblivious to them. But what is art really? Well, I like to think of art as being made up of three aspects: Creativity, Expression and Passion.

We often think of art solely as something we can touch, see, hear or feel. Like a painting, song, dance or film. But art doesn’t have to be anything physical and doesn’t even have to be measurable. You see, art is merely the bi-product of a creative expression and artistic action.

Creativity flows through us all – sometimes unknowingly – and is not just found in the painters, writers, actors or musicians of the world. Everyone on Earth is ‘a creative’ and that creativity wants to be let out. I’m sure you’ve experienced holding in a particularly strong feeling and having it eat you up inside. That feeling wants to be expressed!

When we allow ourselves to be Expressive with these feelings, we feel better – like a weight has been lifted from within us. It’s no secret that expressing ourselves feels good, and that some of the most influential and successful artists in the world are also the most emotionally expressive. The best music can be inspired from a painful or joyous past. Breathtaking theatrical performances can come as a result of turmoil or deep love. And often the most obscure and awe-inspiring paintings comes from the mind of a misunderstood painter. Art is linked, deeply, to strong emotions and created through a channel of passionate expression.

Passion is an open flood-gate of emotion, cascading through a creative path. Deep down, we are all chasing our passion and looking for an outlet to express it through.

Inventors alike, chefs or web-creators, all express themselves with passion and creativity in their field of work. Do you think the inventor of the smartphone kept all their feelings inside? No, they expressed them creatively to create maybe the most widely used and vastly influential piece of art of Earth today.

Art in everyday life.

Art is part of everyone and everything we do. It is important to embrace this, whether your art is parenting a child that always says ‘thank you’ or the way you make sure to make one person smile at your work every day. Your art doesn’t have to be something physical, visually measurable or even measurable at all. Just make sure you are expressing your true intent using your natural giving creativity and passion. Even though art is inside all of us it doesn’t belong there. It belongs out in the world, around us and we are created to create it. This is why art is not only important, but essential in everything we do.

For examples of my own personal artwork that I have created over the past ten years, check out the ‘Art Gallery’ section and make sure to follow this blog.

Inside the World of Arts Councils: Artistic Excellence in the Peer-Review Process…

Excited about this newly published research article! Paper is now online!

Inside the World of Arts

Abstract: The research objective of this paper is to explore the concept of artistic excellence and how it is applied during the peer-review process for arts funding among the Canadian art councils. The peer-review process has become the standard process to ensure equitable and effective distribution of funding. However, there are tensions between which applications get funded versus which applications ought to get funded since the discourses of excellence are neither clear not consistent. I studied three arts councils: The Canada Council for the Arts (CCA), the Ontario Arts Council (OAC), and the Toronto Arts Council (TAC). This study is based on 26 face-to-face interviews and observation notes. I apply discourse analysis to understand the tensions of the discourses of excellence, and evoke Michèle Lamont’s research on the peer-review process as a lens through which I examine the term excellence. I conclude by proposing a more clear definition of excellence in order to improve confidence in the peer-review system employed by arts councils.



Convocation here I come!


Original work, U of T, acrylic and resin on wood, 24 in x 12 in, December 2014


It’s convocation season! I came across this image of a painting I donated to the Office of the President – University of Toronto’s Silent Auction in 2014 to support MoveU–a tri-campus initiative that promotes physical activity as a wellness strategy for post-secondary. I understand this painting is located at the Office of Space Management.

Happy to share that I will walk towards Convocation Hall this June to receive my diploma!


Ten Lessons the Arts Teach

children10Recapitulating Elliot Eisner (2002)’s description of how the arts contribute to the growth of mind, meaning and experience.

Ten lessons the arts teach:

  1. The arts teach children to make good judgments about qualitative relationships.
  2. Unlike much of the curriculum in which correct answers and rules prevail, in the arts, it is judgment rather than rules that prevail.
  3. The arts teach children that problems can have more than one solution and that questions can have more than one answer.
  4. The arts celebrate multiple perspectives. One of their large lessons is that there are many ways to see and interpret the world.
  5. The arts teach children that in complex forms of problem solving purposes are seldom fixed, but change with circumstance and opportunity. Learning in the arts requires the ability and a willingness to surrender to the unanticipated possibilities of the work as it unfolds.
  6. The arts make vivid the fact that neither words in their literal form nor number exhaust what we can know. The limits of our language do not define the limits of our cognition.
  7. The arts teach students that small differences can have large effects. The arts traffic in subtleties.
  8. The arts teach students to think through and within a material. All art forms employ some means through which images become real.
  9. The arts help children learn to say what cannot be said. When children are invited to disclose what a work of art helps them feel, they must reach into their poetic capacities to find the words that will do the job.
  10. The arts enable us to have experience we can have from no other source and through such experience to discover the range and variety of what we are capable of feeling. The arts’ position in the school curriculum symbolizes to the young what adults believe is important. (Eisner, 2002, pp. 70-98)


Eisner, E. (2002). The Arts and the Creation of Mind. New Haven & London:  Yale University Press.