I JUST finished a sketch book that I had since 2006. NO JOKE. My first page said
“Only Madhu can draw in this! (and her BFF -name omitted-)”
and then goes on to include notes that my BFF & I were writing to each other in homeroom. I also drew her! What a throwback.
Though my BFF and I lost touch, that freaking old sketch book really got me sentimental. The view from my sister’s bedroom window in our old house in Houston, painstakingly done sketches of my favorite women (Alexis Bledel, Emma Watson, Jessica Alba, Kristin Kreuk) that were actually not bad, rough sketches of my pets in their natural sleeping positions. Countless sketches of my hand while sketching (it’s really good practice if you have difficulties drawing hands). Even MORE sketches of characters I would write into short stories/novel ideas I had. Some Harry Potter fanart. Truly, it had it all.
I’m sad to see it go but so proud of myself. I lugged that sketchbook from house to middle school to high school to college dorm to college apartment(s) and then ENGLAND. Like damn I used the hell out of that.
But mainly I’m glad I dated the sketches, because I wouldn’t have known how old some of them were if I hadn’t. I’ve probably said on here before that I have a bad memory, but visuals help me recall things like no other. Some people are auditory learners, but I’m definitely a visual one. Probably feeds into my love of photography.
Anyway, the reason I began with that fun anecdote is because while I’ve been staying in England, I have done SO MANY crafts. Basically, the things I used to do when I lived with my parents but never really made time for in college (even though I lugged my collection of markers & art supplies there).
I think that I just had a lot of creative energy that was not being used in school (except in the occasional art, media, or yearbook class) and needed a way to get it out. That’s why I sketched, painted, made decorations for my room and even drew on the sidewalk. However, I think I create now because it keeps my head clear and really combats mental health issues. Of course, it’s no alternative to seeing a therapist. If you truly feel acute or general depression, see a therapist. Please. Keep seeing them until you find the right one for you, because different therapists have different styles.
Though I’m not depressed, I do have general anxiety. It’s nothing major, but I’ll just get anxious about everything and nothing at the same time. It’ll stop me from being able to accomplish anything important and sort of warp my perception of what people say to me and my life in general. Just an unhealthy view of the world. I don’t like who I am when I become anxious, but if I begin to write or aimlessly draw, I immediately feel better. In fact, the more intricate the creation, the quicker my anxiety or any destructive thoughts disappear. It’s most definitely because I can distract my mind, but it feels more long-term than that.
There’s also the sense of accomplishment when you see something you created. Just like the sense of accomplishment when you finish a book (I’ll do another post on how to get (back) into reading). And maybe it’s something you can see everyday–like art on a canvas or just a cute decoration. You look at it and think “I did that. I can make something that brings me joy. I’m not a complete mess-up.” It may sound bad, especially looking back on it when you’re in a happy place, but sometimes that’s all you need to keep your head above water. To know that not everything you do is a mistake.
On that cheery note, I want to post more of my art. However, most of it isn’t here in the UK. So far while here I’ve made…
- a wooden dowel art-showcase thing (post coming soon)
- a wooden dowel hand towel hanger (super easy & necessary for the bathroom)
- a simple “bonne chance” canvas for the guest room
- a bit of a messy “mum’s garden” on tea-stained canvas with pressed flowers from, you guessed it, mum’s garden
- the feminist killjoy miniature easel desk-art
- a recipe book
- a lip scrub
- the logo for this blog!
- a few videos
- MANY meals /green smoothies / juices (but none of them super excellent)
I realize some things are less art and more DIY, but the point is to just use your hands and your imagination. Truly, most of the things I make have to cost next to nothing because there isn’t enough money in the world to fuel my crazy craft obsessions. Also, it’s kind of fun to work within restrictions.
So, I hope this got you thinking about setting time aside for creating and making something. Super simple idea, just something I wanted to talk about. And I guess I wanted to show what I’ve been making.
P.S. I can actually finally get behind the “Make Art, Not War!” slogan. I didn’t fully understand it a few years ago.