I’m both a graphic facilitator and an artist. The graphic facilitation may pay the bills, but the art making has many other benefits. Perhaps this list will encourage you to remember (or awaken) your artistic maker self!
Some benefits –– or joys –– of making art:
- It’s a sensual pursuit: the pooling of ink, of colors flowing and combining. The sensation of a brush loaded with paint pushing across a primed panel, or piece of cardboard. The soft, sanded edge of a smoothed wood block. The resistance of a copper wire as it bends and catches the light. The kinesthetic, physical aspect, and the joy of being “hands on”, and engaging with the materials.
- Art connects us to others. It builds community through sharing ideas, engaging in conversations, giving feedback, trading artworks. And, by looking at others’ work, we can be inspired, uplifted, and feel connected. We can name ourselves in that community.
- The process of artmaking invites curiosity and discovery. Firstly, about what’s happening internally. Making can uncover emotions and moods, they arise from the materials and the exploration. In the work I pursue, there are no right answers, no formulas or equations. Instead it’s a process of wondering, trying, experimenting, and following the impulses: “Hmm, what if…”
- Art is personal. Good art reflects you. And I believe the best art is honest and unselfconscious. It reflects who you are, not who you think an artist should be. Finding your artistic voice is a process. See #3.
- Art is a practice, and a craft. There are skills to be honed, there are always ways to stretch and improve, and always more to learn. The process is humbling: the more you know, the more you realize how much more there is to learn.
- Art brings you into now, here, the ever expanding present moment. Through attention and concentration, it can bring us into a state of flow. Where time seems suspended. The desire to follow that flow is compelling and addictive.
What does an art practice bring to you? This might be a good time to dust off those art supplies you’ve got up on a closet shelf and find out!