In a previous article, I talked about why art making is good for the mind, the soul and contributes to overall happiness. In these times of confinement, it can really help to keep you sane and balance you.
But what to do if you're not in the mood for a big project, or you just don't want to add that kind of pressure to an already difficult situation? Or if you never tried and you find this time perfect to wet your feet? Not all acts of art making have to be towards a masterpiece, or even a study. Just flexing your artsy muscles can have benefits too, and you can still extract some knowledge from the experience and the outcome.
Here you have some ideas that you might enjoy. You can choose to make them either traditional or digital, whatever makes you happier, or maybe try both ways and see what differences in techniques and application you find. You can learn more about yourself from this, too!
Abstract an image
Essentially, you'll take an image you like, be it a photograph, a painting or any image that catches your eye, and make an abstract version of it. It is an opportunity to translate an organized set of visual bits into a map of your inner vision of it. Certain things will pop up more than others for you, and you can give them more relevance in your painting. You don't need to be literal in any way, be it in terms of shape, color or composition. This is a way for you to have fun and express while learning what is important for you in an image and how you want to rearrange it. There are more serious and academic versions of this, of course, but my proposal is for you to relax and feel free.
Make a drawing with limited elements
To avoid feeling overwhelmed by the blank page, limiting yourself somehow will help you start something and “problem solve” your way into a nice design. I talked a bit more about it in this article. Your drawing or design can be anything. Freeform or structured, it doesn't matter, as long as you enjoy the journey. After making a piece with this concept, try another one, with the same limited elements. You'll surprise yourself by how many different things you can create, even with limitations.
Here I'll leave you an example tutorial, making a mandala with just four visual elements:
Join an art challenge
If you're keener on community sharing, especially in these times, joining an art challenge can be great both for the art making side and the social communication and exchange side of things. I talked about this in this article. There are tons of art challenges and even communities, from groups on Facebook to single ones, like the Loo Roll Art Challenge, and everything in between. Just Google “art challenge” and you'll see. You can even find some amusement first by watching art challenge videos on YouTube.
Renderosity holds monthly contests, which can be found here.
These are just some quick and easy ideas, just so you can start without pressure. If you just give yourself permission to enjoy the process, you'll be able to keep going and I'll bet you'll find yourself in “the flow” often!
Barbara Din is a visual artist, graphic designer, painter, interior designer, crafter, musician and writer living in Argentina. Learn more about Barbara and her work at the following links:
Barbara Din YouTube Channel