Everyone is responsible for making art.Kara Andretta
The world is one weird place right now. A friend and clinical psychologist I know has begun referring to this time as “liminal”, as in liminal space in art – the time between what was and what will be. That where we are now, in a limbo.
Now, some will argue that and they are welcome to, but no one can deny that things are different right now and we don’t know what things will look like in the very near future. And that leaves many people with a pent up feeling and not just because we’re mostly stuck at home isolating and social distancing.
When we stop, when we settle the business of our days and are forced to just be, it reveals parts of us we’ve been able to ignore, shut away, or paint over. Parts of us we had been able to say “We’ll that’s just not important right now” or “I don’t have the time or energy to think about that”. Now we do have the time and it suddenly seems important to address our big pink polka dot elephants hanging out in the room.
After the clearing and cleaning of the house subsides, and we’ve accomplished the little tasks that we’ve been meaning to do, it’s like a big magnifying glass gets handed to us, turned ON us, magnifying all the things that are lurking in our own shadows.
Lack of empathy for self or others.
And questions. Plenty of questions.
It’s kind of like we’re wondering who this person is that has emerged from our very core that feels so discontent or angry, unfulfilled or dissatisfied, unfocused or frustrated. Where the hell did she come from? Who is she? What do I have to do to make her stop and be quiet and go back to the way things were?
I’m sorry, dear friend, it won’t go away now. That deeper you has been acknowledged now, exposed, and has has experienced the light of day and making her voice known, and she won’t be ignored any more.
There are many ways of helping her settle down, stop the chatter, calm the negative words and feelings and confusion and paralysis of not knowing what to do. Many people are doing the Netflix binging, but there’s only so much of that you can do (yes, even you Office fans will tire eventually and have to address your inner Dwight). Others are scrolling social media endlessly only intensifying the feelings, just in another way. Some are reading article after article about the awful experience of others the globe over.
I’d like to suggest something different, something more meaningful, something healing and progressive:
Let your creativity come out to play.
Art is a healing process, bringing both your body and mind into union, expressing emotion through positive energy. It’s the basis of art therapy, though you do not need a therapist to discover the deep healing and joy that art and craft bring us.
I deeply believe that every person has something creative inside them, because it’s how humans are wired. And when we decide to not pursue creation of some kind, we shut down a critical part of who humans are meant to be. It’s like stealing air from a baby, a certain death sentence.
Humans need art like they need air – therefore you must create.
I don’t suggest you take up canvas and oil paints, or clay throwing, or underwater basket weaving unless one of those things speaks to your creative soul. What I DO suggest is to pursue the things that intrigue you and fill you up.
Maybe your interests are all over the place right now. Cool, because that means you have options and life inside you 🙂
Does that feel a bit overwhelming, though? Even though it’s cool to have inspiration and a maker’s urge inside you, it can feel binding to not know WHICH ONE to go after.
Even moreso, does it makes you think: “What does it even matter? What’s the value in it?”
Let me share with you what I just said to an incredible creative friend of mine (in the middle of writing this, in fact):
“Art is valuable. To everyone involved in making it and consuming it. Art is how the world tells itself stories and how humans document what we are and have been. It’s how we imagine who we could be. The history of the world is best told through art, and without that, what do we have?”
The history of the world is best told through art, and without that, what do we have?Kara Andretta
Everyone is responsible for making art, for documenting their lives and their thoughts, and their emotions and experiences through creation.
Whether you’ve ever picked up a piece of charcoal, skein of yarn, bottle of ink, fresh canvas, or colored macaroni or not. You have creation inside of you and you MUST let it out.
Art heals, and it doesn’t just heal the maker – it heals those who observe it and take it in.
Therefore: you must make art to heal you and others.
Tell me in the comment below what you DO make currently, or what you have been wanting to try your hand at. Share with me 🙂 For me, I’m having a go at macramé! My sugar art will have to wait while I play and explore.
Happy creating, friend.