If you’ve ever seen the movie “Ratatouille”, an incredibly endearing film made by Pixar about a rat with big dreams and not-big-enough paws to make them come true, then you’ll probably remember a quote spoken by Chef Gusteau that was repeatedly made fun of and stepped on by an entrenched food critic:
“Anyone can cook.”
The critic didn’t believe that anyone could cook. It was a talent, he observed, that was reserved for the highly educated in the culinary world… point is, either you’ve got it or you don’t.
It’s not until the very end of the movie that the critic, upon witnessing what this little rat chef could do, came upon a stunning revelation about what the quote really meant in terms of cooking and being a culinary chef. No, not everyone can cook. I am sure proof of that (heck, I even mess up boiled cup noodles.) But a great cook can come from anyone.
“Breathe” by me
I’ve been turning this idea over and over in my mind these past few weeks as I frantically poured over canvases to finish my 150 point project for my English class. You see, I was the dummy who chose to draw 25 pictures — different styles of art I might add — in less than two-three weeks. I guess it would have turned out much better had I not procrastinated.
Anyways, this quote really resounded with me. You see, up until high school started, I had myself pegged as “the girl who could draw a little but will never get anywhere because she has no money for professional help”. I thought that because of where I am in life (in terms of money and family situations) that I wouldn’t really make it out there with my art and my ideas. And from that, I started thinking that I wasn’t creative, had no imagination and that I wouldn’t be able to do what I loved because of my “limits”.
Then it hit me, just as it hit that twisted critic, that all these limits I thought I had were placed on me by myself. Artists aren’t just these famous rich people with time on their hands and plenty of money to buy good canvases. They’re factory workers and farmers and homeless people. They’re mothers and daughters and unappreciated uncles. They’re people with an idea, a cause, a reason to speak up. They’re revolution-starters who started out themselves as little kids drawing portraits of their moms and teenagers sketching controversial topics that nobody else would dare to approach. They’re you and they’re me.
Not everyone can draw. But a great artist, someone who conveys an emotion that prompts the observer to have an emotion of their own, can come from anyone.
So enjoy it. Embrace your art. Be it stick figures that will one day grow into post-impressionist art or swipes of watercolor that will one day grow into abstract protest art. This week’s artists are the undiscovered ones, the famous ones, the starved ones and the thriving artists. This week, we celebrate the artists within us.