My mother and I had a tradition over a number of years that we called “art night.” We would get together one night a week, sometimes with other family members, and “do” art. We might draw, sketch, colour, paint, create digital art…whatever we felt like. There are many levels of ability among us–some of our number could possibly be professional artists, but mostly we’re just hobbyists. Occasionally we turned out something we were proud of. Our ability and talent, for the most part, waxes and wanes according to how much practice we give it.
It also made for a nice social evening, as long as we weren’t concentrating too hard on what we were doing, so there’s lots of chatting and conversation. A time to unwind and relax.
Many people claim to have absolutely no talent for art of any kind–“can’t draw a straight line” sort of thinking, but I often wonder if they’ve ever really tried. I think that although inborn artistic talent is not run-of-the-mill common, I’ve seen how much a person can learn and improve with some instruction (like getting a good learn-to-draw book) and practice. Practice, practice. Fortunately, this type of practice is also fun.
I’m a big proponent of creative endeavours in just about any form. I think it’s good for our brains to be creative. Learning to work out solutions to creativity problems aids in solving other life problems, too. Creating is also a great way to work through or alleviate stress and emotional turbulence. Time slows down and expands when we focus on something creative, whether it’s painting, drawing, scuplture, crafting, sewing, woodworking, or something else entirely. I think it’s good for writers, too, to have other creative outlets in addition to writing. Exercising all your creative muscles leads to greater overall creative health than simply concentrating on one or two.
And speaking of health, there’s an interesting article here (http://jamesclear.com/make-more-art) on the health benefits of art, music, and other creative endeavours.
If you haven’t done anything creative lately, why not give it a try? You might end up less stressed, more happy, and healthier. Sounds like a worthwhile time investment to me.