You need to make art.
Yes, I’m talking to you. I’m talking to the artists and the non-artists. I’m talking to the dreamers, the I-wish-I-could-do-thats, the self proclaimed lackers of creativity, and even the seasoned professionals who are losing touch with their craft.
We all need to make art. I’m not saying you need to make it into a career. You don’t even need to share it with anyone around you, but you should most definitely make art. And here’s why:
1. Art connects you with others.
Art is a universal language. We are not all poets and wordsmiths, but art can give us a voice when our mouths fail to articulate our thoughts and emotions. Art is for everyone and we can all understand it.
When you view art by an artist who doesn’t speak your native language, there are no barriers between you and the art. You do not need to know how to speak Italian to understand the emotions portrayed in Bernini’s sculptures. You don’t even have to exist in the same time period.
Art can break down barriers between different groups of people and allow us to speak a common language. If you are feeling disconnected, make art. If you want to make a positive impact on the world, make art. What you create sends a message to the world.
What do you have to say?
2. Art soothes the mind.
We are spread very thin in this modern world. Our attention spans are short and are constantly being pulled in different directions. We have deadlines, bills, families, friends, and so many more things to think about. We need to take more time to just rest. Art can help.
Have you heard people talking about the importance of ‘mindfulness’ or being present in the moment? Art is a perfect way to practice mindfulness and soothe your worried and tired mind.
When you create, you can more easily enter a flow state. It’s that magical state where time doesn’t exist and you are fully immersed in your activity. Taking the time to create art is like taking time to meditate–but I’d argue it’s more fun. Create art for the sake of self-care.
3. Art heals.
Not only can creating art help soothe your mind in present moments, but it can help heal your mind from past trauma and hardship. Art therapy is a real thing. Through the practice of art, with or without a trained professional, you can embrace self-expression and explore your identity and emotions through your work.
I am not a trained art therapist, but read this article for more information on the uses and benefits of art therapy.
Make art for the sake of your emotional well being. It’s cheaper than therapy.
4. Making art is fun!
This one is a little obvious. You should make art right now, because it can be an enjoyable experience for everyone involved. It can be fun for the creator, but it is also enjoyable for the viewer. Art is enjoyable at every age and at every stage in life. It’s never too early or too late to begin making art. You can make it a group activity, playtime with your kids, or just a way to enjoy an evening alone at home.
Enjoy your time and make something!
5. Art Gives you Freedom
You don’t need to be skilled. You don’t need to have a message. You don’t need to do what everyone else does. You don’t need to follow any rules.
When you allow yourself to create art, you can have complete freedom. Make up new words like Lewis Carroll and JK Rowling (mimsy muggle!). Encrust a skull with diamonds like Damien Hirst. Swing cans of paint through the air over your canvas like Callen Schaub. Do whatever you feel like doing.
Art gives you the ability to experiment and explore. Art is playtime. Let yourself be free.
6. Art comes in many forms.
You’re probably already making art right now in ways you didn’t realize. You don’t have to practice traditional methods of ‘art’. You don’t need a canvas or a paint brush.
You can use knives in a kitchen and paint with the colors of the produce around you. You can plate your meals using your imagination. Your mashed potatoes can become a work of art! (I love cooking shows a little too much…)
You can stage photographs of the things around you that provide inspiration and build an Instagram account dedicated to inspiring others. You can mix different patterned clothes when you get dressed in the morning and create a collage on your body. You can dance. You can garden and choose your favorite colored flowers for a vase on your table. You can practice calligraphy and hand write letters to friends. You can sing in the car and tap your fingers on the steering wheel. You can make up new stories to tell your kids each night before bed.
Art isn’t just a picture on a wall. Art doesn’t have limits. It’s easy to make art in simple ways every day of your life. Art fills your life with novelty, beauty, and joy. Practice any form you can and do it often.
You need it. I need it. The world needs it.
Now go make art and share it with me on Instagram using the hashtag #messyeverafter
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