When I was around elementary school age, I remember being in my art class working with ceramics. I vividly remember my creation… a bright, ruby red bowl with points on it like a crown. Now, remember, I was a kid and in reality it looked more like a bowl with nubs but that’s besides the point.
I made that! It was mine, all mine, and nobody could tell me it wasn’t perfect.
Through middle school and high school, I remember trying different art media to see which ones struck my fancy. I dappled with pencil, oil paint, pen, wood burning, metal scraping, and chalk (to name a few). As an adult, I find I’m still drawn to pencil and paper. I enjoy working with all grades of pencil but even colored pencils are now in my repertoire.
All of these items have one thing in common for me – they help to ease my mind when I am feeling stressed or anxious. These items give me an outlet to express how I am feeling without judgement.
I’ve gone through many traumas in my life and each one has affected me differently. There are unique approaches to how I cope with what is bothering me. For instance, I struggle with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). When I’m feeling a bad episode of OCD coming on, it helps me to grab a sketch book and make my mind think about something else. I start drawing something that’s near me or that makes me happy, maybe even a doodle or two. (There will be a post on doodling to come, stay tuned).
Going through life is a journey – a constant changing of events. Some events we won’t have control of which can make life chaotic and frenzied, sometimes even unsettling. When we are faced with something like this, there is always an outlet to choose from.
People will watch me draw or see the final project and say:
“Holy moly, that’s amazing! You’re so good at this!”
“Thank you so much! It’s fun for me.”
This is typically the point when some people give me looks of confusion. It can be difficult to understand why drawing a tree on the lake can be fun for someone or penciling in every turtle shell line can be relaxing. The point to remember here folks – they don’t have to understand. It’s all about how it makes you feel.
If doing art is something you enjoy, do it ANYWHERE AND EVERYWHERE you can. Take this art journey and document your way through it. Show your journey to the world through your eyes. Let art give you a way to document moments in your journey, something to look back on.
A handmade snap-shot if you will.
If art is something you’re considering to help you through this journey of life, PLEASE give it a chance. Art can be the most amazing tool. Remember this too, art does not have to be done by a professional to be considered art. It does not have to be painting or sculpture. It can be any creative outlet you want it to be.
I encourage you to get your toes wet in the art world and see what may transpire. You might surprise yourself at what you are capable of creating, all while lessening the everyday stresses and anxieties.