The Artistic Ones

A few months ago, I was hanging out with a close friend of mine who was leaving for Paris the next day. I asked my friend if she was going to check out some of the museums over there, with all the notorious art work. She glared at me as if she was going to slap my face off and gave me an answer I somehow expected. “Are you kidding me, I’m going to the fashion capital of the world, and you’re asking me if I’m going to visit any museums? No way.” Her answer got me thinking, why aren’t we interested in art anymore? Has life become that hectic that we forgot how to stop and smell the roses? All these questions led me to a whole other direction, I thought about the artists themselves, where are they? I know for a fact that there are so many talented people in this country, but where are they? Why aren’t they getting the attention they deserve? From traditional art to digital art, from literature to photography and even music, art has been around us for so long that I guess we almost forget it’s there. For thousands of years people have been creating, looking at, criticizing, and enjoying art. Why? Because one can lose his/herself almost in a trance like state, it’s an addiction, however, a safe one, a good one. When you buy a new paperback novel and start flipping through the pages, you begin to lose your sense of time and place, you dive into this fictional world head first and you forget all about the real world. You relate with the characters, you interact with them; you feel what they feel and see what they see. When you plug in your IPod and play your favorite tune, how does that make you feel? It doesn’t even matter what genre you prefer because art is a creative power that manifests in the human mind, it stimulates the senses, and it varies with each person and each culture. I have met many artists along the years, I saw that twinkle in their eyes when they talk about their work, but I knew they worked really hard for this. Because art is not easy, any art form is not easy to master, for an artiste never stops learning. I believe that it takes a lot of guts to be a full time artist, writer, photographer or musician, especially in Egypt. Why? Because the public does not encourage those of us who are creative, from a father who thought you were kidding when you told him you wanted to be a contemporary dancer, to a mother who did not answer you when you told her you loved painting and that you were thinking about turning that hobby of yours into a career. You deserve to do something you love; I’d rather be poor and happy than to have a 9-5 job, with a stable income and be miserable. If you want to paint, paint. If you want to write, write. If you want to dance, guess what? Dance! Because this is your passion, this is what makes you who you are. It’s never too late to do the thing you love the most in life, if you can’t shake your family off your back, that’s okay, because one day you’ll be free. You can choose your own path even if you don’t have the support of your family and friends, go out there and do your thing. You want to know why? Because if you do not do that, you are going to regret it for the rest of your life. Pick up a paint brush and draw, open up your word processing software and write a story, an essay. Put on you ballerina shoes and dance, because that makes up who you are.


About Ahmed Gretly

Ahmed Nader Gretly. Construction/Site Engineer, fiction writer, poet, psychopath, researcher, a book addict, and a daydreamer from Cairo, Egypt. Currently doing Construction Project Management, MSc, at Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh.
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