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Michelangelo, perhaps the most renowned painter of the Renaissance, once said: “A man paints with his brains and not with his hands.” I interpret this quote to mean that art is created with the intention to convey ideas and express emotions as well as opinions. All three of those concepts are very important to me, I suppose because I am an artist by nature. The values embodied in Artes are reflected in my life in my pursuit of filmmaking, a passion I embrace and pursue every day.
As an American teenager, my life consists mainly of attending high school. I see that as an ideal opportunity to observe the human condition. My school is a fertile landscape of ideas for films, and so I approach each school day as an intellectual pursuit — not only in my classes, but everywhere. For instance, as I sit in the cafeteria during lunch, I am keenly observing my peers as they interact with each other, react to their surroundings, etc. That observation invariably provokes questions that lead to ideas for my films, my venue for seeking answers.
In addition to its utility in answering questions, filmmaking is also an outlet for me to express my emotions. Art is a healthy and positive way for humans to embrace the wide range of emotions that we experience daily. Filmmaking allows me to explore and sometimes even resolve emotional issues. In turn, I hope that my films will, in the way of great films throughout history, serve to alleviate others’ pain or bring them to increased self-awareness and understanding. I believe that art can serve humanity in that way.
Artes is also a vehicle for asserting one’s opinions. Essentially, opinions translate into universal messages in films and literature. My belief is that films can depict characters that reflect us in particular situations. By watching characters’ choices and the consequences of their actions, we become more aware of the consequences of our own actions. I have faith that such depictions lead the audience to a higher morality, meaning that art ultimately has the potential to assist in the betterment of humankind.
All in all, the values of Artes are manifested in my everyday life in very profound and palpable ways. Filmmaking is a manifestation of my musings and my intellectual curiosity. I am deeply grateful that I have the talent to express my emotions and a suitable venue to explore them. I am also eager to develop my skills, to increase my knowledge, and to improve upon my natural abilities in order to communicate my views and my perspective on life as effectively as possible. I know that it may seem presumptuous to some for a college applicant to reference Michelangelo in a personal essay about being an artist. However, I feel that people should look for inspiration from the greatest and most accomplished individuals in their chosen vocations. Michelangelo proved himself to be more than just a visual artist; he was a thinker who dedicated his life to intellectual pursuits. Thus far, I have tried to do the same. I believe that is the highest possible manifestation of the values of Artes.
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