It has been almost a year since the world came to a screeching halt and we were all stuck at home. And in that time, I think it is safe to assume that we have explored every aspect of ourselves: our interests, hobbies, passions, and means of simply killing time. I know from personal experience that anything that has provided me with even the slightest bit of distraction and comfort from the mania that is current events has been fully realized and milked of its serotonin. Now looking back, the things I did to occupy my time that I find most rewarding are the things that utilize my creativity. From creative writing to painting, there were a lot of planned projects or spontaneous bouts of creativity that I cherish to this day. And since I am a firsthand account of the benefits to being creative, especially during such a poignant time in our lives, I am challenging you, the reader, to get in touch with your artistic side.
To be artistic is to be creative. And being creative is in our very nature as human beings. Think about the last time you played outside with your neighborhood friends and made up crazy scenarios. Or, try to remember all the art projects you did in elementary school that look completely insane to you now. You may even look back and say, “what was this kid thinking?” The answer is, “they weren’t.” A big part of being creative is making spontaneous decisions and simply going along with it. Being artistic allows us the blank slate to create whatever we may please. It allows us to envision our wildest dreams and deepest desires and translates that into a physical medium. Even if you are not a skilled painter or writer, making an effort to be artistic gives you an exercise in spontaneity, creativity, and looking inward into what you find the most pleasing about life.
Being artistic also allows you to be more appreciative and thoughtful of your life. Often when I am being artistic, I am usually doing so to express my emotions or create something that I would find beautiful. When I am sad, I’ll write a sad poem that describes each aspect of my emotions. If I’m happy, I’ll play some music on my guitar and sing my favorite song. And if I see a beautiful sunset, I’ll take a picture. Being artistic is therapeutic because you are using a creative outlet to express how you are feeling or if you find something worth living for. And, you are then left with a physical item that reminds you of that beautiful thing: that time when you were happy, or the time you were sad and how you moved past it. And often, that physical item of your emotions is often very beautiful and something you can be proud of creating.
And sometimes, being artistic just takes some inspiration. For example, I knew that I wanted to paint the other day but had no idea what to paint. So, I then proceeded to scroll through my Disney+ account looking for an animated movie I could draw inspiration from. And lo and behold, I then pressed play for “Finding Nemo” and painted the most beautiful picture of a fish. It was that easy! To be artistic is to be free. You can create anything you want on a canvas. Or, write anything in a poetic way. You can even use clay and sculpt whatever your heart desires. It may take going to a local museum to find some pieces that you want to mimic or even copy. It may take going outside and drawing what you see. It may even take watching an old animated classic to remind you of your love of fish! Being artistic is a way of expressing things that inspire you in your own perspective.
So, get out there and start making some art! It doesn’t have to be skillful, pretty, or inherently good by art critic standards. It just has to be your own. Something you can be proud of when it’s over. Something you can hang on the wall, put on a shelf, or reread later. In fact, I would even consider the writing of this article to be artistic, because I am trying to convey a subject (being artistic) in a creative and nuanced manner. And, I can’t wait to look back on this down the road and be proud that I did it.