So in the last blog post I explained and talked a little about doing simple art projects to break yourself out of those anxious, obsessive moments that I'm sure a lot of us experience. Today, I'm going to elaborate a little bit more on a few specific projects you can do to help yourself! I promise, they are not intimidating and even fun to start!
Before we get into the details of each project, I thought I would share a little information on how to express your emotions through different medias and color usage. When I personally am anxious, I automatically know that I need to work on my inks or watercolors. I go to these specific medias because there's no hesitation in them.
When you put ink on a page, it's there and there's no going back and erasing it. You have to work with it. You must figure out how to make that mark look good overall. It forces you to think creatively and just go. It pulls you out of that mindset of not being able to make a decision because you either let go and draw with the ink and have fun with it, or you just sit there staring at a blank page. You have to concur your fears when playing with ink just to start using it, and that's why I think it is a very therapeutic tool.
With watercolors, you mostly work through layers. It can be very forgiving through all the different techniques you can use, so it's easy to start, but it also allows you to go deeper and deeper with each layer. Every time a layer dries and you go back to work on it, you see the piece improving which can give you more confidence. Working with watercolors personally excites me, and makes me feel like if I can make this and it looks good, I can make more art and I then have the confidence to be more productive and shake those anxieties off.
Another media that might work for you are soft pastels. These are wonderful because they are essentially pigment powder compressed into a stick. If you are unhappy with something you can easily adjust it or take away. It is not intimidating at all and really fun to experiment with. When I teach color to young students, I always use soft pastels to teach color mixing before we use paint. Paint tends to feel really permanent and students hesitate with brushes and paint. With soft pastel I've seen students learn color so fast and they have so much fun with it.
OK that's all I'm going into in with that, if you'd like to learn more about how to express yourself creatively please contact me as I teach workshops and classes on such things!
Now , two projects that will help you shake anxiety and depression in the moment!
Make a Zine!
Zine making is so fun and so easy. You can write and draw about how you are feeling or about something that you know about and want to share. The other day, I had no idea what to do and was really overwhelmed, so I started making a small zine with jellyfish drawings on each page. After I did this my mind cleared up and I felt a little more human.
So, here are the steps for your zine....
1. Fold a sheet of paper into your zine booklet. I have a few images below which explain how to fold your paper!
2. Pick a media to use! You can draw, write, collage, anything you want! This is supposed to be fun and easy for your mind and shouldn't make you think too much.
3. Pick a subject and start working! Don't think too much! Just do ! Create without thinking. Use your instincts! When you are done share your zine with your friends and loved ones! People love zines!
Make your own Mantra Card
Having a hard day? Take some of the statements you have to repeat to yourself and make it visual! Here's how I make my own reminder mantra cards, which are very meditative and simple to start.
1. Get your watercolor paper, crayon , a brush and watercolors set up nicely in front of you.
2. With your crayon ( I reccomend a white crayon) write on the paper your statement however you want. For example, "Self care is important" or "it's ok to ask for help".
3. Pick a color from your watercolor set. Using you brush and water , Make a mark on your paper with that one color. After you make one mark, make another. Keep going! The image doesn't matter. Create something beautful and allow yourself to just go and enjoy the process.
4. When it dries you should see your message through the paint! Add as many layers of watercolor as you want, and when you are done hang it on your wall as a reminder.
There you have it! A few ideas and tools for you to use if you ever need a quick project to calm the mind! Don't forget to keep posted for more blog posts and news on upcoming events and workshops!