I find the most inspiration from my creative outlets. Yesterday I pulled out an old drawing notebook (I have doodled here and there over the years, but regret not pursuing art before college).
I spent an hour or two sketching and came to find how much those hours impacted my mood. I felt at peace. I am by no means as good as others, and consider myself quite artistically rusty.
This is why people make art– To feel, express, induce.
I used to think that art was the act of striking a pen against a piece of paper, taking images from something and making it come to life with your own two hands. There is something slightly exciting to me about blankness on a canvas or an empty room that leaves so much to be discovered.
If you don’t like how something looks, you can always erase it, or switch to something else and start over. I’ve taken an unintentional hiatus from a lot of things; writing, thinking about anything productive, even my friends. I’ve spent a lot of time alone coping with loss that I haven’t wanted to deal with. And that happens often, I think, when something dies. A loss is a loss and therefore we must grieve, allow ourselves to cut our losses and somehow rise to our feet again.
This is my again part.
When you’re young, the rest of your life seems eons and eons away and you always use “I have time to figure it out” as a safety blanket. But soon, it arrives. You get older and graduate and move away, and reality begins to set in. Student loans. Finding a Job. Settling down. Stop checking up on people. Figuring out this ball of fuckery we call a life.
Figuring it out, as I have discovered, uncoils into a very scary process. Soul searching isn’t exactly what I enjoy doing now that my house won’t be my house anymore; it will be my parent’s home. That was a big revelation for me.
I felt like a flower pot on a window ledge, watching everyone else in my life experience things. While I, sat and took it all in through the looking glass. It was not until a month or so ago that I spent some time pondering two concepts that I’ve never really consciously thought about in my life. Self serving and growth. Like anything that grows, similar to a flower, our souls need air to breathe, time to grow and flourish. Hair doesn’t grow healthy without regular trims, just as a garden does not thrive without proper care and nutrients. However, with growth, also comes removal. A hard yet inevitable lesson I’ve been dealing with lately: what parts of my life must i “cut off” so I can grow? If not a what- Who? Could it be possible, that I’ve been depriving myself of “nutrients” in my life that I didn’t even know about?
If I’m relating this post to art, here is where it begins. As humans, we were given the craft to create, the power to imagine, the opportunity to produce our own for thoughts. We get to choose how we want to spend our time, who we let into our worlds, how to be. How amazing is that? Do you realize how many people don’t get the same freedom? There are countries overseas who still punish those who express themselves or have an opinion that condescends the societal norm. And here I am, like many others, who mold and mesh and absorb those around me.
As I sat there, endlessly creating detail upon detail of this– I don’t even know what you’d call this- petunia flower Lilly creation, a thought occurred to me. What if I’m the canvas? What if it is me who’s pages have still yet to be scribbled on?
I may be the empty notebook, the blank canvas, but I am also the artist. I alone control what I choose to do, how I think and feel. I feel lucky to be able to have that choice. I choose happiness, I choose art, I choose truth and growth. I choose removal, even if it pains me to hurt someone else so I can move on. Think about that- have you been more of a drawing of something else lately? I encourage you to disagree, refuse to let others paint yourself for you. You are limitless, you are a work of your own art and product of your own thoughts. Be an artist. Change your colors, sketch your own self. True, many mistakes on paper and even in your own life cannot be erased completely, but embrace the fact that you can start over, whenever you want.
And so I say to you: Allow removal. Allow growth. Take everything as it comes to you and don’t deny yourself the chance to let the “figure it out” part of your life happen.
Dye your hair. Listen to an album all the way through. Sprint up a hill and lay in the grass. Fall in love with the wrong person. (More than once.) Realize that friends come and go and you need to be able to let go of what wasn’t supposed to be there as gracefully as your heart will allow. Splatter paint and get paint all over yourself. Find your outlet.
It doesn’t matter what you do with your creative outlets. Sometimes, it’s as bold as drunk karaoke at a wine bar and other times it’s as quiet as those two hours i spent crouched in my old art clothes from high school, etching away at a notepad.
For those moments, I created an art makin’ playlist.
Enjoy, be spontaneous, get inspired and make your art however you see fit.