How crazy to think that just a year ago today, we were living our lives the way we always did: probably recovering from freshers’ flu, going to more parties, attending karaoke on a weekly basis, studying face-to-face. All that without knowing that it would be abruptly taken from our hands in just a matter of months.
Now, with the lockdown making a comeback and students especially being restricted, these days may feel rather hopeless. Resorting to online studying, which might be the one thing successfully distracting the mind for a while (besides Netflix, of course), can be demotivating when there is nothing exciting planned for the day ahead.
Let me broaden your opportunities and revive your hope by introducing you to the wondrous world of art! Usually when people hear the word ‘art’, they think about the incredible artists DaVinci, Monet or Van Gogh and get intimidated. Well, worry not! Being an artist does not mean you have to know how to paint the Mona Lisa.
What does it mean to be an artist then, you ask?
Being an artist means something different to everyone.
Every artist ticks off a couple of achievements, no matter who they are, while working on their next piece. These achievements are the benefits art leaves you with, besides your masterpiece.
- 1. It is no secret that art stimulates the imagination.
If you are lacking creative energy, something as small as doodling or brainstorming ideas for a story can boost your imagination. Creating any type of art opens our hearts and minds– we have an idea and we bring it to life with the help of our thoughts and feelings. We create to understand ourselves better.
And, before you know it, your doodle turns into a drawing, which then turns into a painting. One of the exciting things about art, I find, is that when we are making it we tend to get bombarded with ideas upon ideas upon ideas of all the other cool, remarkable things we should try creating next! Thus, a stimulating, never ending cycle begins.
Of course, you do not have to only resort to drawing. If that is not your forte, do not be discouraged. You would be surprised how many things you can use to create art. For instance, I found fallen chestnuts and leaves one day and used each one of their unique shapes to imprint on a painting of mine.
You could create something epic with a tissue, too, if you wanted to. The point is that you try out anything that springs to mind and puts your imagination out there! And who knows, you might even end up liking your end result and sticking it onto your fridge.
- 2. Ever thought about wanting to improve your observation skills?
If you answered yes, you have come to the right place. When you are working on a piece of art, you instinctively want to make sure it turns out exactly as you want it to.
To do this, you concentrate. You fixate on the smallest detail and pay attention to not only what you are working on, but also to yourself. You make sure your hand does not slip and ruin the whole thing. You have never focused harder on anything else in your life, not even in class.
Okay, I did not mean to make it sound so fear-inducing. It really is not. It is the opposite, and it is so enjoyable when you are in the moment, connected to expressing yourself by creating something so special and wonderful!
It is this action that will add a “good eye” to the list of your notable qualities the more you practice it. Soon enough, you will not be able to go outside without paying attention to the mere details of the most random things, which will make you feel a hundred times more present and more grounded, too.
- 3. “An open heart is an open mind.”
Just as this famous quote by the Dalai Lama reads, art– which one tends to make with an open heart– helps you develop an open mind.
While it may look simple on the outside, it is not always. Art challenges you constantly. It makes you question your techniques, choice of colour, shapes, type of paint brush, symbols, word choice… you name it. “Does that colour really reflect how I feel?” you ask yourself as your gaze switches between the palette and the painting, lost.
Then, one day, you stop contemplating, and you choose to go with your gut: “Hm, this colour looks different. I wonder if it fits as well as I am picturing it.” And what if you end up not liking it or making a mistake? Is a mistake even possible when it comes to art?
Remember: just because it does not speak the story you wanted it to, that does not mean it speaks no story at all.
- 4. Art as free therapy.
It is a truth universally acknowledged that art heals. It puts you face to face with your demons, your past, and your worries. It nudges you to express yourself, to get to know yourself inside-out, in any shape or form.
Sculptures, writing, painting, drawing, DIY, photography… all of these may seem insignificant, but possess such an incredible power. Creating art eases your mind and for a while cleanses you of your present worries because you have something else to concentrate on. It is scientifically proven that art reduces stress. Making art is one of the healthiest ways to let go of your concerns.
Additionally, the feeling of self-accomplishment you get after you finish, no matter how much you end up liking it, is profound! Knowing that you put your soul into it feels rewarding enough. It does not compare to anything else.
I know that right now, unlike a few months ago, we are all busy with studying, but I still encourage you to go do something creative during your free time – especially if you feel stressed. Write a character sketch. Write in your journal. Draw something random on a piece of paper. Learn calligraphy. Create a vision board.
There are so many creative opportunities around us that we need to act on way more often. If ever there was a perfect time to start creatively expressing yourself, it is now.
Featured Image Credit: Zastavki.com