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Do any of you use art as a means to manage life? 


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I'm thinking about drawing or painting something. Not quite sure what or how, but perhaps it would help me to understand what is happening or just help me cope. Not sure how to get started and I feel shame because my boyfriend might see my drawings and get worried or just find them weird. I could perhaps draw on my ipad, that feels a bit more private...   

Do any of you use art as a means to manage life? Does it help you in any way? What do you think - is it worth trying?

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I do. I knit and crochet. I have gotten pretty ok at it. I do a lot of complicated lace work. 

The biggest help to me that got me started or unstuck if I didn't know how to do a certain stitch/maneuver? YouTube! 

I have even done a step-by-step painting on a canvas because YouTube has many artists who lead classes and help you learn about painting.

Here is the painting I did, the link to the tutorial is below, there are I think 3 parts to it (hopefully I will paste the link correctly lol):

 

Whoa! That is really big. Sorry about that. I knew I would mess it up! haha

If you don't like this one there are probably hundreds of thousands of other options so you can paint something you'd like to learn how to paint. 

I think it's definitely worth trying! Have fun and enjoy yourself!

 

Here is mine. And just wanted to not I have ZERO experience with painting or drawing. In fact, I suck at it! But if I can do this one anyone can I swear! :)

F0183E87-C217-473B-8729-51392E02E412_zps

Edited by Wonderful.Cheese
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1 hour ago, Velvet Elvis said:

Have you considered keeping a journal?  Open a word proc. and let your brain burp into it for an hour a day.

I keep a journal mostly for recording how I feel and if I'm improving in any way, but I usually write from my phone, so I keep it pretty short. And I write every day in my blog here. But writing for an hour a day - no I have never tried it. 

1 hour ago, WinterRosie said:

I do art therapy, so I guess that I do. I also colour and make things like cards for my therapist. 

I also draw in a sketchbook that's just as private as a journal.

Do you think it's helping? A sketchbook sounds interesting. Perhaps drawing in something that is for your own eyes only is good.

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17 minutes ago, Wonderful.Cheese said:

I do. I knit and crochet. I have gotten pretty ok at it. I do a lot of complicated lace work. 

The biggest help to me that got me started or unstuck if I didn't know how to do a certain stitch/maneuver? YouTube! 

I have even done a step-by-step painting on a canvas because YouTube has many artists who lead classes and help you learn about painting.

Here is the painting I did, the link to the tutorial is below, there are I think 3 parts to it (hopefully I will paste the link correctly lol):

Whoa! That is really big. Sorry about that. I knew I would mess it up! haha

If you don't like this one there are probably hundreds of thousands of other options so you can paint something you'd like to learn how to paint. 

I think it's definitely worth trying! Have fun and enjoy yourself!

Here is mine. And just wanted to not I have ZERO experience with painting or drawing. In fact, I suck at it! But if I can do this one anyone can I swear! :)

 

Thank you! I love youtube for learning new things. Your painting doesn't seem to be made by a person with zero experience! Very nice. Am I correct if I assume that you use art to feel good or distract yourself from feeling bad? I was kind of thinking about using it to find out what I am really feeling and see if that will ease some of my pain. I'm thinking about something less flowery and more like this. (Although I am of course not a "real" artist like she was.) Must admit, though, that I am a bit scared that drawing might make me feel worse.

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Oh wow! I LOVE that painting! I'm sure there are similar types on YouTube too! Doesn't hurt to search. Very cool!

And thanks. But it's true that i had zero experience! lol I was afraid to try as well. It was something new so I really doubted myself.

And yes I do many creative things to distract and feel better and more competent. I knit or crochet daily (unless I'm too depressed to leave the bed). I try paintings now and I even have adult coloring. There are free things of adult coloring online like mandalas. Very pretty and fun to color! Maybe that could also be a first step for you if you are afraid of jumping into painting right off the bat? But if you want to paint though, I say go for it! I believe it cannot hurt you or make you feel worse. It may be frustrating if you make a mistake, but mistakes are how we learn to be better at something. So it's not a mistake, just a learning experience.

I am a firm believer that creative endeavors are a great coping mechanism and a great distraction and a way to let out or ease some of the pain that accompanies MI's. I find this true for me and I've met others who feel the same.

Good luck! Keep us posted. I'd love to see what you decide to do! Very fun!

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57 minutes ago, random_woman said:

 

I keep a journal mostly for recording how I feel and if I'm improving in any way, but I usually write from my phone, so I keep it pretty short. And I write every day in my blog here. But writing for an hour a day - no I have never tried it. 

Do you think it's helping? A sketchbook sounds interesting. Perhaps drawing in something that is for your own eyes only is good.

I don't like journalling. I could not do it daily. But my sketchbook serves a very similar purpose. Sometimes it has words in there as well (I like the look of collages and of découpage) but it is not a word-based document the way that a journal or a blog is. 

Creative outlets are intensely personal and you will need to cast around for the one that feels right for you. Perhaps you'll like clay, for example, and don't know because you haven't tried it yet. Or maybe you'll like the combination of sketchbook and words. Can't know unless you try.

Like Cheese I also knit a lot. I'm currently working on a sweater and then I will start in on making the presents. And another sweater.

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12 hours ago, Wonderful.Cheese said:

Oh wow! I LOVE that painting! I'm sure there are similar types on YouTube too! Doesn't hurt to search. Very cool!

And thanks. But it's true that i had zero experience! lol I was afraid to try as well. It was something new so I really doubted myself.

And yes I do many creative things to distract and feel better and more competent. I knit or crochet daily (unless I'm too depressed to leave the bed). I try paintings now and I even have adult coloring. There are free things of adult coloring online like mandalas. Very pretty and fun to color! Maybe that could also be a first step for you if you are afraid of jumping into painting right off the bat? But if you want to paint though, I say go for it! I believe it cannot hurt you or make you feel worse. It may be frustrating if you make a mistake, but mistakes are how we learn to be better at something. So it's not a mistake, just a learning experience.

I am a firm believer that creative endeavors are a great coping mechanism and a great distraction and a way to let out or ease some of the pain that accompanies MI's. I find this true for me and I've met others who feel the same.

Good luck! Keep us posted. I'd love to see what you decide to do! Very fun!

Yes, I love that painting too! It's Frida Kahlo. Thank you very much for the suggestions! Learning a new skill while having MI is very impressive. I'm not sure what I need the most: Distraction from the pain or understanding and facing it. I can paint and draw pretty well, but I never thought I was good enough and didn't see the point so I stopped doing it many years ago. Coloring mandalas sound like it might be soothing. I notice when writing this that I am actually wanting to do something and looking forward to it. I don't remember feeling that way about anything for a long time.

12 hours ago, Wooster said:

I like the book Visual Journaling by Barbara Ganim as a nice starter.

Thank you very much! Googleling "Visual Journaling" I found this link https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/arts-and-health/201311/top-ten-art-therapy-visual-journaling-prompts and really feel like starting with nr 1.

12 hours ago, WinterRosie said:

I don't like journalling. I could not do it daily. But my sketchbook serves a very similar purpose. Sometimes it has words in there as well (I like the look of collages and of découpage) but it is not a word-based document the way that a journal or a blog is. 

Creative outlets are intensely personal and you will need to cast around for the one that feels right for you. Perhaps you'll like clay, for example, and don't know because you haven't tried it yet. Or maybe you'll like the combination of sketchbook and words. Can't know unless you try.

Like Cheese I also knit a lot. I'm currently working on a sweater and then I will start in on making the presents. And another sweater.

I love clay! But a sketchbook is more practical. I am most certainly getting a book with blank pages today.  I think I will post pictures of some of my visual journaling here (still keeping some private, of course), to perhaps get some useful feedback. I read that you are supposed to have an art therapist for that, but you guys are as close as I get to that right now. I really think that drawing/painting might result in something new and good for me connecting with parts of my brain that I don't use that much when I'm writing. Also, my english is limited, but art has no language.

<3

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Yes! I love all things art. I've always been artistic even as a child. It's a big part of my life and in times of stress it does help me manage my life. Especially when I'm cuckoo for cocoa puffs. 

Sketchbooks are great and cheap. I suggest buying paper and supplies on Amazon they're way cheaper than your local art store. Another one I love is a watercolor sketchbook, it's the same thing just has paper suited for watercolor. That one is a bit pricier but I like it because I get to keep all of my watercolor work in one book. And it can be private. 

I have never done art therapy (except for the days I was IP) but that didn't really matter to me. 

Have fun!

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4 hours ago, iaawal said:

Yes! I love all things art. I've always been artistic even as a child. It's a big part of my life and in times of stress it does help me manage my life. Especially when I'm cuckoo for cocoa puffs. 

Sketchbooks are great and cheap. I suggest buying paper and supplies on Amazon they're way cheaper than your local art store. Another one I love is a watercolor sketchbook, it's the same thing just has paper suited for watercolor. That one is a bit pricier but I like it because I get to keep all of my watercolor work in one book. And it can be private. 

I have never done art therapy (except for the days I was IP) but that didn't really matter to me. 

Have fun!

Had to use urban dictionary for that term, though I kind of could guess. :) I've been doing visual journaling for 2 days now. Went to my local book store, got a sketchbook and 3 pencils (4B, 6B, 8B). Had 12 color pencils already. I wanted it to be easily done, but perhaps watercolor would be better.  I'd like to be able to blend colors and get them ... ehrm... more colorful compared to the color pencils. If I buy from Amazon then I would have to pay shipping rates to Europe...But I see that they have many interesting items. Thank you!

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Ah boo. I rely heavily on Amazon lol. I'm sure there's a place to get good prices. Graphite (pencils) and watercolor are my main mediums. I do realism with pencil and I find it to be really useful for those moments when I'm, I don't know, tense? High strung? Basically when I have a lot of pent up energy/stress/anger I guess and focusing on tiny details for hours is something soothing. Watercolor on the other hand, is great for when I just need to release immediately or I just can't concentrate but need to do something because it's so random and freeing and watching the colors flow and blend into each other is good. And splashing colors on to the page randomly is fun. :)

I hope you enjoy doing both of them. It's pretty fun. 

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If you want to see how I am doing: http://www.crazyboards.org/forums/index.php?/blogs/blog/2540-the-visual-journal-of-rw/

19 hours ago, iaawal said:

Ah boo. I rely heavily on Amazon lol. I'm sure there's a place to get good prices. Graphite (pencils) and watercolor are my main mediums. I do realism with pencil and I find it to be really useful for those moments when I'm, I don't know, tense? High strung? Basically when I have a lot of pent up energy/stress/anger I guess and focusing on tiny details for hours is something soothing. Watercolor on the other hand, is great for when I just need to release immediately or I just can't concentrate but need to do something because it's so random and freeing and watching the colors flow and blend into each other is good. And splashing colors on to the page randomly is fun. :)

I hope you enjoy doing both of them. It's pretty fun. 

Reading your text makes me want to try watercolor again. I think I used to have a problem with them being irreversible. I tried acrylic yesterday and found it both limiting and soothing. Since I had to concentrate more compared to using graphite it did make me calmer. I forgot about my feelings. However I was trying to do a page in a feelings journal. :-D Tomorrow I will be back to graphite. I'll see if I can borrow some watercolors to see if I like the feeling. The combination might be good. Just having the option to add color in the right shade.

17 hours ago, Rabbit37 said:

Have you tried watercolor pencils? They draw like a colored pencil, then you can brush in water as you please. They're particularly great for traveling. 

Yes I have. Didn't like it that much then, but perhaps I will now? I have a nagging feeling that I gave mine away.

16 hours ago, MiaB said:

Amazon has a presence in Europe - even if it's not in your specific country, you might find it cheaper to order from the UK or Germany (for example).  Check this page for details.

Thank you! It's £5.50 per delivery + £0.90 per kg. Do you think it will be worth it?

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Thank you! It's £5.50 per delivery + £0.90 per kg. Do you think it will be worth it?

I honestly can't say.  I live at the other end of the world and the exchange rate with the UK pound is horrendous - so that sounds expensive to me.  On the other hand, if you're in a country that uses the Euro, figure out the exchange rate and decide whether or not it's an amount you're prepared to pay.  In my experience, art equipment is never really cheap, but it's worth it if you spend an initial amount on good quality stuff that will last you a while.

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I get a lot of art supplies at the dollar store. I also go to Michael's. Sometimes, if there is a good deal, I'll order off ebay.

I do loom knitting, which is a different way to knit without needles, that I find much easier than needle knitting. I can knit pretty much anything on them. There's a link in my sig to Craftasaurus, my blog, with my loom knit stuff. I always wanted to learn to knit, but sucked at it. Now I can make sweaters and shawls. If you have questions about loom knitting, I'm an expert.

I sketch. I write. I got manic and bought 12 prompt type journals off of Amazon a couple months back.. 

I'm picking up welding as a trade, and during class I'll make little metal sculptures and stuff just to practice. My cousin does art welding, which is really cool. Good way to get your frustrations out.

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On 5 november 2015 08:06:12, MiaB said:

I honestly can't say.  I live at the other end of the world and the exchange rate with the UK pound is horrendous - so that sounds expensive to me.  On the other hand, if you're in a country that uses the Euro, figure out the exchange rate and decide whether or not it's an amount you're prepared to pay.  In my experience, art equipment is never really cheap, but it's worth it if you spend an initial amount on good quality stuff that will last you a while.

Oh, I didn't think about that! This weekend I borrowed some watercolors which I seems to work ok for coloring graphite drawings. One is probably not supposed to use them in that way, but then again, it just has to be practical. Tried acrylics and that was to much work with blending and getting things right.

On 5 november 2015 14:16:12, WinterRosie said:

Honestly, a lot of my art supplies come from the dollar store. Even when I was making art professionally I'd often do that unless the work was particularly worth it.

Really? That's great. In that case I do know a very cheap place to get supplies from - if cheap is good enough. And since I draw/paint something new every day for my visual journal it's not supposed to be that good. (I have issues with perfectionism and don't want to get caught in that.)

On 6 november 2015 00:38:38, San said:

I get a lot of art supplies at the dollar store. I also go to Michael's. Sometimes, if there is a good deal, I'll order off ebay.

I do loom knitting, which is a different way to knit without needles, that I find much easier than needle knitting. I can knit pretty much anything on them. There's a link in my sig to Craftasaurus, my blog, with my loom knit stuff. I always wanted to learn to knit, but sucked at it. Now I can make sweaters and shawls. If you have questions about loom knitting, I'm an expert.

I sketch. I write. I got manic and bought 12 prompt type journals off of Amazon a couple months back.. 

I'm picking up welding as a trade, and during class I'll make little metal sculptures and stuff just to practice. My cousin does art welding, which is really cool. Good way to get your frustrations out.

Cool, thank you! I love your recent blog post about art therapy with positive affirmations.

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