As an artist, we’re constantly looking for new ways to craft better art that pushes the boundaries of what we’ve produced in previous projects. Complacency has no room to flourish in the artistic mind. To think outside of the box isn’t quite as simple as flicking on a light switch (oh how I wish it was!). Creativity has a lot to do with your perspective. What you decide to paint, record and sculpt has obvious ties to who you are as a person.

We want to challenge you in the Engage Art Contest to push your perspective and engage with cultures you hadn’t considered could be fruitful, or perhaps had negative connotations against. We want to be artists who open their eyes and breathe in all this world has to offer, while creating some of the best pieces of art this world has ever seen.

Seen Like Never Before

A reputation is easy to earn and hard to shake off. Engaging with different cultures can loosen the reigns of reputation and allow you to experience different countries, tastes and opinions that were brushed off previously. These days, when you attend a college university, you’ll be required to take a few courses that survey the world that isn’t within five miles. You can’t use Yelp to find the nearest restaurant and Wikipedia certainly doesn’t do the area justice. These courses require a deep dive into different cultures that will make you a more well-rounded individual who has knowledge of people who are maybe the exact opposite of you.

So, let’s consider this for a moment: why do most people stop learning about others after college? Why does the art of learning seem to cease after graduation? The simple answer is that It’s easier to stay in our boxes, but artistry requires you to venture. You can’t make art for the world, without knowing anything of it. Yet, this isn’t a call to quit your job and tour the world (though most people probably would if it could be viable). We can engage with culture right from our homes, offices and cities. It’s simply going to take some commitment.

Right in your Backyard

Most large cities have a staggering amount of diversity that can easily go unnoticed. We would encourage you to seek out diverse people who might have grown up differently, see this world differently or are just plain unique in your eyes. The price of perspective is priceless. Be open to learning about a world that you might not have noticed before speaking with this person.

In return, you could offer your perspective back to them during this friendly conversation. The critical aspect is respect. We aren’t looking to debate about what’s going on in the news, or hot-button topics; what we’re focused on discovering is what has made them who they are. With this new perspective, it can provide a different angle to perceive your latest art project.

When the Internet is your Friend

If you’re too much of an introvert or don’t live in a diverse area, that’s perfectly okay because you’re very privileged to live in the age of the internet. There are thousands upon thousands of books, movies, articles, podcasts and everything you can think of that pertain to topics you don’t know about. Artists are continual students, and it’s essential to retain an attitude of learning and curiosity when you’re trying to push the boundaries and create something new. You might even have to get outside your comfort zone.

Engaging with culture doesn’t have to change your values and morals. It doesn’t have to flip your entire worldview upside down. However, it will certainly challenge the way you perceive the people and society around you. To achieve a cultured worldview doesn’t mean accepting every different opinion that’s thrown at you, but rather, being aware of people who are different than you.

Speaking with an atheist as a Christian doesn’t require you to convert to atheism to consider their perspective on life. I would encourage you to talk with as many people as you can, read plenty of books and watch numerous movies and get just a taste of what life is like in someone else’s shoes.