This week I want to tell you why art-making is self care for me.
I’m a very visual person and I think art-making works especially well for me as a tool for self care because I already process that way. I see shapes, objects, colors, and other visuals float through my mind as I think about life, struggles, and people I know. For me, the phrase “seeing red” is actually pretty true. My emotions almost cloud my sight with their visuals.
I don’t keep an art journal – one of those incredibly visual journals where each page looks like a piece of art. I have friends that do, but when I journal I need to get the words out there and I love the way the black ink just pours forth across a blank page. But then when an image pops into my head – maybe a horizon with a sun, a house falling off a cliff, or a boat sailing into the unknown – I draw it too.
When I went to Spain in the fall of 2011 for my artist residency I brought my collection of these rough journal sketches and set about painting a series from them. I don’t claim this to be my best work, but it was my first intensive experience with painting and painting the way I wanted – from my experiences.
Creating this way gave me a way to process, fully work through, and instantly get to the root of what was going on in my head without my consciousness judging it all too quickly.
And this is still how I create. When this laptop doesn’t suck all my time, I paint in encaustic and I make art books. I create with imagery that somehow is an expression of my experiences of situations, emotions, moods, and people…the common human experiences.
Art is therapy is you want it to be. Or – if you are not so visually inclined – writing, fiber arts, photography, acting, dancing, and making music can do the same thing too.
It comes down to this:
Creatively express the part of yourself that needs a voice and you will be caring for your soul. [Tweet It]
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