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How Art Can Help You Cope With Quarantine

Infuse Your Day with Joy and Meaning by Creating Your Very Own Art! There are obvious benefits to making art of your very own like relaxation and the feeling of accomplishment you get when you express yourself. But there are other benefits more mysterious and magical that can change your life.  What better time to embrace the […]

Infuse Your Day with Joy and Meaning by Creating Your Very Own Art!

There are obvious benefits to making art of your very own like relaxation and the feeling of accomplishment you get when you express yourself. But there are other benefits more mysterious and magical that can change your life.  What better time to embrace the power of art than during a self-quarantine. You can create artwork that will expand your mind and heart to heal yourself and others during this global crisis.

 I’m continuously delighted and amazed at the revelations art brings to my life. 

I feel like an alchemist when I’m in the studio because whatever happens in there shifts my perspective when I leave.  For example, if I paint trees for two hours in my studio then go for a drive, the trees on my drive move more, they’re sparkly and bright, they have individual personalities, they seem more alive and aware of me. 

And it happens with other art forms, drawing for example.  If I go to a four-hour session with a live model, for the next week, everyone looks radiant to me.  I see the beauty in people and I have more compassion for them. 

Art is a mysterious and enchanting way to entangle our minds and hearts with the world around us.  The more you make art, the more you will discover.

In this article, I’m going to give you some ways you can make art at home with materials you already have at your fingertips. 

You don’t need a fancy studio or complicated tools and pigments to make meaningful works of art.  Take this time for yourself, give your worries a rest and spend some time exploring your creative side.   

COLOR

Coloring is not for kids only!  Coloring is a perfect way to get your feet wet.  It’s low risk, lighthearted and a calming way to bring more beauty into the world.  I color from time to time, usually on my tablet and it gives me so much peace- that is until my toddler demands her turn. 

There are plenty of free resources online for coloring print outs.  Check Pinterest for these.  I even made one.  You can find my coloring book here.

If you don’t have a coloring book, or a printer to print out a free coloring book, you can draw your own.  Not comfortable drawing?  Use a pen to scribble some loops on a page and get to coloring.  You don’t need a perfect composition to color, just some lines to stay inside of and something to color with. 

DID YOU KNOW?

When you color, you use both sides of your brain.

You use logic when you color inside the lines and creativity while choosing colors. 

Coloring clears your mind the way meditation does and I don’t know why this is but when we color, our mind is more likely to go to positive thoughts versus negative ones. See for yourself!

Also, coloring is a great way to engage with your kids. 

COLLAGE

Time to break out your scissors and glue!   A collage is simply a piece of art made with a combination of clippings, photos and small objects fixed to a surface.  You can collage on something 2 dimensional or 3D like a box or a piece of furniture.  Get messy and get inspired!   

VISION BOARD

Make a Vision Board by gluing or taping inspiring magazine scraps to a large piece of paper or poster board.  Vision boards can be life-changing.  When you go back to an old vision board, it’s amazing how many of the images have shown up in your real life! Remember, where attention goes, energy flows.  Make a vision board and let the universe know what you’re after!

SCRAPBOOK 

 A scrapbook page is a collage that tells a personal story about your life.  I love to put on my archivist hat and scrapbook memories of my friends and family.  My scrapbooking collection has gotten a little out of hand with boxes upon boxes of stickers and patterned paper but all you really need is some paper,  photos, tape and any flat ephemera like old receipts, movie stubs, bus passes, anything you find in your knick-knack drawer that’s relatively flat an means something to you. 

It’s nice to fit your pages into an album but you can just as easily frame your pages, tack them to the wall, put them in a box or mail them to the ones you love.  

When you create a scrapbook page, don’t worry too much that the page fits a certain event or timeline, combine what feels natural to you at the time.  You’ll find that when you look back at it, it will make perfect sense. 

CREATE A COMPOSITION

Consider the color and textures of the materials you’re working with.  Create a scene or something abstract.  Check out artists like Robert Rauschenberg and Henry Mattisse for inspiration.

DRAW

I love to draw.  You can draw from imagination, or real life.  All you need is some paper and a pencil, pen, marker or crayon. 

STILL LIFE

Draw your surroundings.  I like to construct my own little scenes to draw by clearing a table and adorning it with my favorite plants, rocks, and books.  After I draw it, I’ll rearrange and draw it again. 

This exercise is surprisingly exciting and it’s fun to see how much better I get at rendering. Discover your own marks and voice as an artist as you continue to work.  You’ll begin to unlock a style of drawing that is uniquely YOU.

DRAW PEOPLE 

For me, people are the most exciting subject to draw and my own drawing skills advanced the fastest when I started drawing people regularly.  If you are quarantining alone and don’t have anyone to draw, use a mirror and make a self-portrait.  Make a self-portrait every day and see how they change over time. 

If you are lucky enough to have a model, see if they will sit still for a couple 5 minute poses so you can warm up then 10 minutes or longer at a time so you can create a beautiful composition.  Track your progress by dating each drawing.  

HAND LETTERING

Hand lettering is the art of drawing letters and is a recent passion of mine.  There are so many styles you can learn and create.  There are many resources on both Domestika and Youtube for this.

PHOTOGRAPHY

Most of us carry a camera with us 24/7 and have become quite the handy photographers.  I’m talking about our cell phones!  Hehe.   And these days, that’s the only camera you need.  There are so many fun photography projects you can do.

MAKE A COLLECTION

You can take a daily walk and snap a collection.  For example, take a picture of all the beautiful flowers you see on your walk, collect photos of all the graffiti you see, take pictures of birds in pairs, whatever you can come up with! It’s a fun way to engage your curiosity and photography skills.  

EDIT

Play with editing.  There are many free apps and classes to learn fascinating editing techniques on your phone.  I use PS Express to edit photos on my phone which come with my Adobe Suite.  Visco app is free and has equally great photo editing capabilities. 

I took a course on Domestika called “Professional Photography for Instagram” and enjoyed spending countless hours cropping, healing and recoloring 100’s of photos from past experiences. 

DISPLAY YOUR ART!

MAKE YOUR OWN GALLERY

Hang the artwork you make in your house.  Choose a wall in your home to hang your creative journey.  This can be the wall above your bed or the refrigerator door, just someplace to watch your artwork grow and grow. 

SHARE ON SOCIAL MEDIA

Take pictures of your art and post them to Instagram.  Your friends and family will be inspired by your creative journey.  You might even encourage them to make artwork of their own.

REDECORATE

Rearrange the artwork in your house.  Nothing makes your home feel brand new like pulling down everything from the walls and hanging it someplace else.  This time leave space to incorporate some of the art you make in the mix!

GUERRILLA ART

Take it to the streets.  Post your art in creative ways outside of your home for others to discover.  Follow-up article about guerrilla art coming soon!

TIME TO GET STARTED! 

Take an inventory of the art supplies you have at hand and get to work!

In this post I talked about how art can bring more meaning and joy to your shelter at home.  I also talked about ways you can color, draw, collage, photograph and display your art. 

If you choose just one activity I mentioned whether it’s watching a video on hand lettering or coloring for the first time since you were a kid, it will open up a whole new world for you and deepen your engagement with yourself, the world of art, your community,  and the planet. 

Art has a way of quickly burrowing to the core of who we are, helping us live out loud and have impact beyond our wildest dreams. 

Let your creative journey blossom this spring.  Start today!  And tag me on Insta at #adelegilani so I can see your art or leave a comment below and let me know what you’re making.  Thank you and be safe out there!

Stay in touch! Subscribe to my newsletter here.

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