When you don’t art anymore
Sometimes life gets in the way of art. Maybe your priorities ate up all of your free time, the urgent swallowing the important. Maybe you’re going through something that took all your spark away. All the joy you felt when making art is gone. Maybe the joy of making art feels out of place right now. You feel guilty or don’t give yourself permission to make art. You don’t think you deserve it. Art is a luxury you can’t give yourself. So you start giving it less and less time until you stop altogether.
But you’re wrong.
Art isn’t a luxury. It’s a necessity. For everyone, but especially for artsy people like us.
Art is a voice when you can’t speak. It’s a balm when you can’t heal. It’s not a cure, but it helps you get through things. It’s a friend when you don’t have one. It’s a breeze of fresh air when you’re suffocating. So please don’t do yourself the disservice of abandoning it.
Sure, you might be thinking “but it takes space!”, “it takes time!”, “it takes planning” and you feel you can’t give it that. But you can. Just a little will reward you with some inner peace. If you don’t have any of those three things, try the simplest thing: just doodle.
With just a small notepad and a pen, or any drawing app on your cell phone, you can open yourself up to reencounter yourself with art. You can doodle anytime, anywhere. Start by not burdening yourself with goals. Don’t think of something specific to make. Just doodle. Move your hand and let it flow. Don’t expect anything out of it. Pressure gone. Just lose yourself in there for a while. And it will make your heart smile. Even if it’s just a little bit, it’ll be worth it.
If you find yourself in an impossible situation and you can’t even have a notepad or your phone at hand, close your eyes and doodle in your mind. You’ll be surprised at how calming that feels.
After a while, you might find yourself wanting to add a color. Or two. Some ideas for pieces might come to mind. Or curiosity might strike and you may want to try something you haven’t tried before.
Slowly but surely, you might find yourself giving art another chance. And it won’t let you down.
Barbara Din is a visual artist, graphic designer, painter, interior designer, crafter, musician and writer living in Argentina.