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It's a matter of art


I remember this conversation from the documentary “As Dreamers Do”, a biography of Walt Disney released in 2014. Young Walt rushes home to tell his aunt that he sold his first painting. But he confesses that he feels he should grow up in order to be a “real” artist. 

Aunt: Is that what you want to be when you grow up? An artist?

Walt: Well, yeah. But I want to be something more.

Aunt: Like what? The President of the United States?

Walt: Well, not like President. I want to have the power to change people’s lives somehow.

Aunt: Well, art can change people as well.

Walt: How?

Aunt: Well, art has power to make us happy or sad. It has a power to help us see things differently, or we see something and we feel it too, and that helps us know we are not alone. Art can challenge people. It can change people. 

This little conversation made me think of how all of us need to have that spark of an artist within us. It’s a form of expressing yourself and being of help to others at the same time. However, I don’t mean you should abandon everything you’re doing and stock up a pile of paint brushes and canvasses. 
You can be an artist when you type your heart out in an elegant piece of writing (even if it’s the acknowledgement page of your next report). You can be an artist in the way you speak, or in the way you dress. 

Why art? Well, why not? At least for that brief time when you’re immersed in a world where the cares and worries of the “real” life cease to exist, for that brief moment when you feel that a magical being inside you is guiding the pencil strokes in harmony with the rhythm of your soul… Ah! For that moment at least, I will surrender myself to the wonder of art.

-Rochelle Silva-
Department of Chemical and Process Engineering
Faculty of Engineering