Art is fundamental, unique to each of us.
For me, writing allows me to be creative, to be thoughtful and to learn more about myself and those who inspire me. But I also see art in so many other aspects of life: in parenting, in expressing our spirituality, even simply how we dress each and every day.
My husband, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, paints to relax. And of course, he loves to act. But he also approached bodybuilding as a form of art, self-expression and communication.
Each of us has an artist within and this is exactly what we teach our four children. We encourage them to find their form of expression and art.
Even in difficult economic times - especially in difficult economic times - the arts are essential. And right now, Californians have an incredible opportunity to support the arts through the Million Plates Campaign for the Arts coordinated by The California Arts Council.
If one million California drivers purchased an arts license plate, we would raise $40 million. That's $40 million dollars that would go directly to more than 300 groups across our schools and communities.
Think about what our re-commitment to the arts would mean - not just to our children - but to our economy. Creativity and innovation are part of California's fabric, and we can all honor and further that legacy.
The Million Plates campaign launches Monday in Los Angeles. But plates are available right now by simply going online to artsplate.org.
I hope you will take part. But more importantly, I hope you will embrace your own form of art and self-expression.
Whether you play basketball after work or sew for your children, you are an artist. You deserve to express your own truth and view of the world.
Your artistic contribution makes California richer, and the world a more creative place.
Follow Maria Shriver on Twitter: www.twitter.com/mariashriver