Accessing self expression is an art in itself.

By Caoimne Clements: Arts Columnist

Simply put, a majority of people struggle to let themselves be creative. According to the Oxford Dictionary: Creativity is the ‘use of imagination or original ideas to create something’.

Everyone has the ability to create, the mindset to achieve creative thinking and the skills to provoke creativity to sustain a greater impact on themselves and the world around them. Known these facts and benefits creativity has, why do you still struggle to let yourself be creative?

Does creativity have high importance?

Creativity can be hard, as it requires self-expression the act of showing oneself true character whether that is though choice of clothing, hairstyle or art forms including painting, photography or writing. To create is rewarding in its own right. It unleashes the factor of healing, which is a survival element when oneself experiences lost, pain and hurt. During that period creativity is no longer a luxury, but it is needed. To help the healing process.

The reason why people struggle to let themselves be creative freely has severally answers, some individuals chose to be numb when going through a painful experience, this includes the use of drugs and alcohol, or some people may say ‘I don’t have a creative bone in my body’ – which is scientific proven to be completely false. Why is this? Psychology today explains how our brains are ‘equipped with sensitive threat-alert systems’, which becomes a challenge for people to carve out their creativity is a ‘safe space’.

Choosing to feel numb may be easier, but it will leave a negative unhealthy impact on you. Alcohol for example is anti-depressant, and also has the ability to increase anxiety and depression. When an individual is in a lot of pain why do something that will increase your chances of experiences anxiety and depression? Why would you want experience that if your emotions are already high?

Choose art, choose creativity and choose to set your emotions free. Simply put, art is therapy. You can be creative with any medium, writing, photography or painting. Art will allow you to heal without causing you to feel any further stress than being numb will cost you. Art is healing as it will force you to build a connection between your mind and your body. You will begin to really understand how you feel, why you feel it while reminding kind to yourself.

Will you allow yourself to heal in a healthy approach the next time you experience a wave of pain or hurt?


The beginning of the 20th Century witnessed the establishment of the Expressionism movement. The movement has the creative drive to present the world from a subjective perspective. Artists create work solely based on emotional responses from their surroundings, how their environments impact their emotions. Further responses from events, how their memories are triggered and what emotions are provoked solely from an experience.

The Expressionism Movement witnessed the artistic response from Pablo Picasso, Van Gogh and Edvard Munch.

You may be familiar with ‘The Scream’ which was painted by Norwegian artist Edvard Munch in 1893. While the painting portrays the image of a figure screaming, with the sunset in the background. Some people express how the painting makes them feel uncomfortable, they would not wrong as ‘The Scream’ was an artistic response to Munch himself experiencing a Panic Attack in Oslo, Norway. The experience in itself would have been uncomfortable for Munch.

Being familiar with the painting you as the viewer may notice how he chose to use an unrealistic style to pain his emotions, rather focusing on realism and perfectionism in his art. It was moment where he truly stepped back to focus solely on how he felt because he builds the bridge between his mind and body.

Munch himself once explained that the painting was a moment of ‘existential crisis.’ He explores how walking down a road with friends while the sunset was setting triggered him to experience what we would now be consider as a panic attack; he felt tired, anxious, claustrophobic, and the weight of nature and of the world hit him all at once.

On the other hand, the world-famous ‘Starry Night’ which is located in The Museum of Modern Art (MOMA), in New York. Painted by Dutch Artist Vincent Van Gogh in 1889.

Van Gogh, famously spent time in the south of France and produced some of his most beloved works, including the Starry Night. The town located in the centre of the painting is Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, a view in which Van Gogh himself witnessed from his bedroom window.

The emotions provoked in this painting are feeling of hope and desire, which if you are familiar with the life of Van Gogh you will know he battle Depression and later committed suicide, sadly in 1890. Painting an image with the emotions of hope and desire, shows he desired and hoped that things would get better.

The viewers of these works can relate and reflect with how they solely feel themselves.