How many of you do any form of art? From pencil drawings, colouring books, painting, or charcoals to sewing, quilting, crochet, knitting or any other creative endeavour? I’d also include dancing, singing or acting if you do it purely for the joy of it. 🙂
I can not even possibly list every type of art that is out there. I know that I am likely not even aware of many of them so I will refer to all creating as “art”. Okay?
I always enjoyed creating things. Knitting and crochet. Dancing, singing, performing arts. I played several instruments and tried scrap-booking for a while. (EXPENSIVE!!! Just sayin’.)
One thing I did not do was any sort of pen to paper craft. Certainly no drawing. I was useless when it came to drawing. I have troubles making a proper stick man. I am not kidding. Oh how I wish I was.
My other creative ventures sort of dropped away as I got older. I still dance and sing around the house but I don’t bother with parties any longer. I can’t stay awake that late and the music is ridiculously loud. And yes, I know I just admitted to becoming what I said I never would… a mature adult. 😉 I always played my instruments in bands but there are no orchestral style non-professional bands here where I live. Lots of country music, old style music but no thank you. The knitting and crocheting eventually stopped being fun when I ran out of people to give things to and the wool/yarn became more expensive than anything store-bought would ever be. All the people who say there is nothing nicer than something homemade were never willing to drop a big bag of wool at my doorstep so I gave it up. I am not complaining here. I believe that everything in your life has a season and we rarely do anything from the day we are up and walking until the day we die. We grow and we change constantly.
I do feel though that as each creative venture left my life and I did not replace it with anything else, I suffered mentally without even realizing it. I truly had no idea how healing and calming being creative can be. Taking your brain from its task focused, often rushed, think about 20 things at once brain to a calmer crafty brain where your biggest hurdle is deciding what shade of green to use or what pattern you wish to do next. It really doesn’t matter what sort of art that you do but it is almost impossible to focus on creating AND worry about item #53 on your to-do list.
Just shy of 2 years ago during my last stint in the hospital, a fellow patient found an art form that was said to also be a form of meditation. Since my ability to meditate without dissociating is extremely limited, I am always looking for other things to try. I can talk about alternatives to meditation in another blog but this one was called “Zen” tangling. It is a lot like doodling but you follow a set pattern over and over again in a very methodical way that eventually creates a pretty pattern. Since the required skill level is zero, I thought I would give it a try. Well, I LOVED it and was shocked that simple patterns could be turned in to something that looked complicated and difficult to master. This pattern was one of the first that I learned and I just loved how beautiful it looked with very little effort. Just some quiet time, a paper and a pencil.
Over many months I gradually learned how to put patterns together within pictures to create really nice images but if you’d ever asked me if I was an artist? I’d say no every time. Honestly? I’d still say no unless I really forced myself to admit that yes, I am an artist. Who knew??? Not me!
Just this summer my work has been picked up by a beautiful craft shop that really caters to people who like something different. I was all worried about making back the $100 that I spent on copies, envelopes and some frames because we work hard for what money we do have and need to be very careful. $100 is not pocket change in this house. And I am cheap… lets just be honest. I am cheap.
Well, I made my $100 back plus another $100 besides in my first day at the shop. When the owner called to tell me that she already needs extra prints of certain ones, I was blown away. Literally. What a beautiful shock to my system!
My point here is not to brag… although a little bragging never killed anyone right??? 😉
My real point is to hopefully share that each of us never really knows where our next talent will be found. Even when you think you know everything about yourself and can’t possibly be surprised, you still can be if you are open to allowing that creative spirit in to your life.
Not only is it great to realize new things about yourself but being creative is an incredibly important mental health tool as well. Whether you can paint the Mona Lisa or can hardly manage to splash paint on a canvas, it doesn’t matter. You don’t have to show anyone. Just create.
There is no limit to the creative things you can try and if you try a few things, you just might find an excellent tool to help get you through the rough times.
My “Tangling” has gotten me through many horrible days and it has also helped me celebrate many great ones. I have a wonderful friend that comes over weekly to “Tangle” the afternoon away and it is a highlight within my week.
Now I am selling some as well and that extra bit of money can help me pay off my debts sooner. Two years ago I would have never told you that this art would be part of my life today. Not in a million years. I would have told you that you were crazy. And I know crazy! I have certificates. 😉
So get out there and find something to love that allows the creative side of you to get out. Even if you go back to crayons and colouring books. They make them for adults now! Your mind will be calmer and your life a bit better for it. I am sure of that.
If you have any interest in seeing any of my work, I have a section labelled “Tangled Art” on this site.
Have a great day everyone!