The thing I love about facts is that they are true whether you believe in them or not. Whether they hurt your feelings, enrage you, or make you question who you are… facts are true and there is no getting around that. There is a lot of beauty in something being completely true and unchangeable through time, space, and opinion. As an emotional and sensitive person (hello, I’m an artist), I absolutely love facts because, to me, they feel like the opposite to art.
Neil Degrasse Tyson blessed us all with this quote, “The good thing about science is that it’s true whether or not you believe in it.”
As an artist, I am constantly “finding my voice”. One thing that completely changed my life, and allowed my to find the voice I have today, was when I realized I could combine art and science, facts and feelings. So long were the days where I believed that my art was only as good as the emotions behind it. Nope, my art is stronger and more powerful when I combine facts and truth, with art and creative visual interpretation. When I combine my sensitivity with facts, it causes people to feel a lot of feelings.
We all have a lot of feelings and we all believe in things. Sometimes these things can be changed. We can grow and morph and get new insights and perspectives. Even the most angry can become soft and the most polarizing people can equalize. I believe in these things, with my feelings. I believe them because I have seen it in myself. I have grown and changed, morphed and blossomed.
This is why I know facts cannot simply change people. You need feelings. Tapping into the emotions behind people’s beliefs opens their eyes to facts. Without the feelings, facts cannot change the world. I love this. These ideas are what I have based my work upon. Sure, maybe my art has hurt feelings, riled people up, or caused debate on if an artist can make art about science (they can). I don’t mind when people don’t like what I do. You don’t have to like it. I don’t like things too. However, the facts don’t change. They are true whether you like them or not.
This is why I combine facts and feelings. I know that I changed from other people’s combinations of art and science, facts and feelings. Sure, sometimes my feelings also got hurt by some facts. But, these things caused me to grow into who I am today, which I know will be different from who I am in 10 years. I just love that there are inarguable truths in this world and maybe they hurt feelings, or you don’t agree with them, but they aren’t going to change.
But you can.
That fact is, you can change the world.
If you feel like it.
Facts: Questions and Answers
Q: How can I tell if something is a fact?
A: In this day and age it can be very difficult to tell what is true and what is false. Especially on the internet. Before you share something with your friends, check out some of these things:
- Has this been reported by a few other verified sources?
- Is there a copyright?
- Who is the author? Do they write about this topic often?
- Does this seem like something with an intense bias to appeal to your emotions? Is it making you angry or sad? Does it sound believable?
- When was this published?
Q: How do I know where to get my information and facts from?
A: There are lots of ways to guarantee if you are getting facts! However, just to be certain, you should always cross reference them even if you know the informational source to tell the truth. Here are some of my favorites:
- Syndicated and reputable news sources (see previous question for more)
- Books published by reputable publishing houses
- Scholarly articles and journals from trusted sources (and accredited) universities or scientific organizations
- Verified Non-profits and organizations devoted to researching and publicizing truths
Duke University Library breaks it down simply and effectively!
Q: But how are you certain things are true? Or that it is a real scientific fact?
A: The scientific method. Maybe not everything uses the scientific method, but I trust that scientists do… at least the ones I triple check are leaders in their field, before cross referencing their work with other sources. This article by Scientific American lays out what it means to be certain in the world of today.
Q: How do you know my scientific/fact based art is true?
A: I make sure to fact check all my work across many sources from books, scholarly journals, to expert opinions. I do my best to cite sources where I can.
Q: This is a blog post! These are just your opinions and feelings!
A: Indeed! They are. However, I cited all my sources by providing links. Click the links to find out more.
Q: You have a lot of feelings!
A: I do. I think my life would be rather dull without them.