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Essay on Definition of my Identity

3 pages
679 words
Carnegie Mellon University
Type of paper: 
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I basically identify myself with solitude because it helps me embrace a myriad of interests with enough attention. The interests require a lot of mental engagement and creativity. The interests include landscape photography, playing the guitar, pencil sketching, and mostly playing board games such as chess, scrabble and checkers. I also have a penchant for philosophy, politics, sports, and science. Art can be used to represent my identity because it is a useful tool for expressing, preserving and influencing personal and/or national identity.

Elements and Principles of Art I use to Express Myself

Various elements of art can be used to express my identity. My desire is to use elements of visual art such as lines, shapes, tone, pattern, and form. All these elements will relate to each other harmoniously to produce the final piece. I would use a combination of smooth and dense lines to illustrate delicate and dense points respectively. Delicate points are at the face and fingertips while dense points will be representing the hands, legs and general body torso. My general outline would be drawn by curved lines to illustrate my composure.

Regular and irregular shapes will be used together to illustrate my diverse nature. The work of art will also blend various color tones that will serve to emphasize the illusions of solitude and tranquillity at the same time. A mixture of light and dark colors will also be used to portray a deeply pensive mood. The pattern of the lines and shapes used together with the color tones will be aimed at bringing out a three-dimensional image on a two-dimensional canvas.

How Art Preserves National Culture and Personal Identity

Various elements of art preserve national culture and personal identity because of the contextual meanings derived from them. This is evidenced when the interpretation of visual art can help decipher cultural activities of its creators. A good example is the culture of the kingdom of Benin, especially its leadership structures (Blood & Sachant, 2016). Kingship was passed on from the ruler to his firstborn son. After handing over power, the new king (Oba) was to construct an altar made of brass or ivory for his predecessors (Blood & Sachant, 2016). He was also supposed to make an ornamental crown for the king too. Successive observation of these traditions led to a collection of many ornaments that illustrated the culture of the kingdom. This is perhaps the reason why we still know their history and traditions.

Another way in which art preserved national culture was in the portraits of the American freedom fighters, especially George Washington (Blood & Sachant, 2016). His portrait was painted by John Trumbull who endeavored to create a transgenerational piece of art. The portrait shows Washington standing heroically amidst a battleground while reining his horse (Blood & Sachant, 2016).It showed courage in the middle of chaos and despair. The portrait strengthened George Washingtons identity as one of the key men who orchestrated Americas struggle for independence.

How Art Continues to Shape and Influence National Culture and Personal Identity

The purpose of art is not limited to preserving national or individual identity. Art is continuously evolving and consequently shapes national discourses. For instance, Andy Warhol used pop art to shape public perception about the life of politicians and celebrities (Rosenberg, 2017). He influenced how the public viewed popular figures by exposing the background events of their lives (Rosenberg, 2017). South Korea uses visual art to inspire specific values of Korean identity among its citizens. The Korean government has integrated art education in their curriculum to trigger conversations that shape nationalism and identity (Kim, 2015). Visual art also inspires focus on development efforts and encourages Koreans to be more competitive on the global scene (Kim, 2015). This has given the country a unique set of ideals from the rest of the globe.


Blood, Peggy and Pamela Sachant. Art and Identity. Sachant, Pamela. Introduction to Art: Design, Context, and Meaning. Georgia: University of North Georgia Press, 2016. 212-233.

Kim, Hyungsook. National Identity Discourses in Visual Culture and Art Education. Korea Journal (2015): 112-137.

Rosenberg, Jennifer. Biography of Andy Warhol. 28 November 2017. <>.

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