It’s something you’ve probably heard before: making art has been proven to have a profound positive impact on our mental health. So why don’t more of us do it?
The answer is pretty simple, and chances are you’ve said it yourself at some point: people just don’t think they can. Now, I think that’s a little ridiculous. Sure, the art world can be a little daunting; plenty of us have fallen victim to a clickbait article with a title along the lines of “20 Lifelike Images You Won’t Believe are Paintings!”, only to scroll through a mile-long gallery of inferiority-complex-inducing photorealism. But thinking that “more realistic” is tantamount to “better” is only the second worst mistake that a person can make as an artist. The worst is believing that art is a competition to begin with.
The wonderful thing about art is how infinitely personal it is. Many people don’t truly realize the enormous wealth of things that constitute art, and every time they fail to appreciate the versatility of their own creativity, they miss out on another opportunity to feed it. Finding your creative outlet isn’t about making a skill where there was none, it’s about expanding upon all of the ways that you have been expressing your creativity without even realizing it.
Black Fire 1, by Barnett Newman, sold for $84.2 million in 2014.
Don’t underestimate your talent.
Maybe you spend hours in the character creator of your favorite video game, or maybe you like to make collages out of your old fashion magazines. Perhaps you like to cook extravagant meals, even when you’re the only one eating them. You might spend your mornings meticulously creating new outfits or makeup looks, or your nights typing up fan fiction about obscure 90’s TV shows. Maybe you doodle in the margins of your notebook, or sing off-key pop covers in the car, or fill your Instagram with pictures of your cat. No matter how you create art, the bottom line is that you do. You don’t have to write like Robert Frost, or cook like Gordon Ramsay, or do anything like anyone else. If you are using what you love to create something you can be proud of, you are an artist.
You can’t disagree with Mr. Rogers.
I know face painting is my creative outlet. I get to express myself artistically while also making a whole lot of people happy, and I absolutely love it. But I’m curious about yours. What’s your favorite way to create art? Leave a comment and let me know!