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Visual art in digital age, psychic automatism, and coming together of arts and commerce stream

Art is not produced by nature but manmade. In mathematics or the laws of physics, there is merely discovering what is already there. But a piece of artwork has application of human imagination and perceived differently by individuals. Art is thus subjective when it comes to liking by an audience.

Elements of visual art are building blocks artists use to design their work. Formal elements are space, point, line, shape, color, value (light and dark), and texture. Using these as bricks, an artist creates a whole new world of visual experience.

While designing artwork, an artist selects his or her theme of dominance called ‘emphasis.’ To make artwork pleasant, visual combinations are used called building ‘harmony.’ ‘Unity of purpose’ is maintained while depicting elements so that all parts appear related. ‘Contrast’ such as using colors black and white in sequence makes artwork more dramatic or expressive.

Artistic mind refers to the natural ability of an individual to learn skills such as painting orphotography. For some, it is easier to acquire artistic skills than others or are artistically talented. Painting of Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci, sculptor of Pieta by Michelangelo, architectures such as The Hanging Gardens of Babylon and The Statue of Zeus at Olympia, printmaking such as Pablo Picasso’s ‘Minotauromachy‘ are examples of popular visual art.

Although beauty is one of the major objectives, bringing into notice harshness of life is also frequently part of an artist’s work.

Performing art (note difference with Performance art) such as dancing has been there for centuries exploring emotions with body movements of a dancer. Magic is yet another performance art. In conceptual art, the idea takes preponderance over physical identity.

Today, there is a flux of visual images around us, be it print or audio-video sources. Interpreting ideas conveyed by visible actions or images is called visual literacy. A picture, after all, is worth more than a thousand words. One of the challenges today in the world of marketing is to woo customers by images in brochures and advertising materials.

The human way of thinking rotates around rationality and imagination. While rationality relies on systematic learning by effort of the brain and senses and applying reasoning, imagination relies on intuition. The human body itself function in two ways, some are automatic, such as beating of the heart, and some are accomplished by active human endeavor such as walking. Similarly, our way of inner conception and outside communication is also guided by a combination of both.

While traditional classroom teaching relies more on rational means, still many times it has been found that people not having them have been able to succeed more in their fields by applying intuition and following automatic hunches from their subconscious mind which is popularly called as “psychic automatism.”

Throughout history, artistic works of excellence are always said to be achieved when its creator got in a trance state where he/she surrendered to inner god or subconscious mind. World’s best painters such as Picasso and Michelangelo, poets like Stevenson, and many more who do not disclose them publicly, have been able to achieve their masterpieces relying more on inner impulses of the soul free from reasoning than anything else.

In the modern digital age, such “psychic automatism” is increasingly being expressed in newer ways such as using computers where artist selects buttons in trance state and the output gets recorded on monitor. Some call it like scribbling on paper in a half dream state. In visual art, it has been practiced in religious imagery throughout human civilization. During the last few decades, there has been renewed interest in understanding the power of subconscious mind and artistic works under psychic automatism form find their place in commercial advertisements which is perhaps a good thing as the same brings pupils of commerce and arts streams together.

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