Digital cameras and all sorts of smartphones have made point-and-shoot photography a way to go. How often do you actually look at those tons of often bad-quality pictures? (‘I took this picture at night, used the night mode and everything, you can’t really see it I know… But trust me that building was beauuuuutiful!’ ‘Uh uh… I all I can see is a few gleaming lights in the background’) How much of that really stays in your memory? Or even more importantly: how much did you really enjoy what you saw?
Fast food photography bears little protein value for the aesthetic sense and the images evaporate from your memory as fast as they’ve been taken.
By contrast, painting/drawing make the objects portrayed acquire a new – personalized – meaning. The rule is pretty straightforward: you remember only what you paid close enough attention to (imagine being on the road trip for several hours talking to a friend, how much recollection of the surroundings will you have afterwards?) The artist studies his subject, observes and dissects it, makes it his own while precision is secondary. Art is one of the few areas left where ‘fast’ doesn’t bear a positive connotation, which – the same as thousands of years ago – still needs concentration and creative spirit, things that don’t tolerate a rush.
Even if not for the sake of creating art, how invigorating can it be just to stop and observe the simplest things, re-learn to appreciate? Take a single berry (just one, not a handful), take a moment to see its shape and color, smell it, place it in your mouth and feel all the shades of taste. In adulthood we think we’ve learned it all, but we’ve forgotten even more.
Savoring reality is a form of art of its own. Chew slowly, you’ll live longer.