What does ToBeReal mean to you?
ToBeReal means being able to reach outside my boundaries for the sake of personal growth and expression. Art has always been a way for me to portray my feelings when words would escape me. I have a lot of anxiety issues, so being able to fully express myself in words is more often than not very confusing for not only those around me but myself. It's scary when even you do not understand what is happening. When I think of an idea, I strive to be real with myself and include all of the details that represent how I am feeling.
ART BY NICOLE LINSMEIER
In Take Back The Night, though I was more aiming this piece for a friend of mine than myself, I still put my own experiences of anxiety and depression into it to give her something that represents hope. So many men and woman are sexually assaulted throughout the world, my friend included. She didn't handle it very well at first, and I understand all too well what its like to feel overwhelmed. I do also understand that art for me is a way to express myself so I wanted to give her something to inspire her to find her own inner peace. Take back the night stands for not only my friend but all of those people who suffer victim to sexual assault. That situation will never define you, but make you stronger.
I chose this piece as an abstract self portrait. There is a bold rush of colors that swim across the page in an overwhelming yet beautiful way. The broken glasses show an anxious eye behind them, while on the other side of the glasses you see a landscape. I have suffered from severe anxiety for many years, and art is the only thing that has kept me going through the pain. Sometimes, it would be difficult for me to even leave the house. I dreamt of being able to sit outside and gaze at a landscape without worrying about a single thing. This picture shows how those with anxiety would like to see the world, but underneath the glasses there is a lot of suffering.
People fear art because they think there are certain criteria that make art worth looking at. The truth is, it's about the story and what you are trying to say. My art is not perfect, but it is me. It represents how I feel and my stance on ToBeReal. I am attending Seton Hill University to get my masters degree in Art therapy, so I can show people that art is nothing to fear, but the very thing that can save so many lives.