As we enter the summery month of June, the official halfway point of the year, it is the ideal time to take stock of our goals, purposes and where we are on our self-development and empowerment journey. Over the past two years, it has become so easy to succumb to our inner saboteurs and outer distractions that we forget what we are capable of and how much we can achieve, if only we spent some time introspecting and exploring our beautiful minds and imagination.
This is why I am writing this blog today: as a contemporary artist who literally makes art for a living, I understand the vital function that art serves in facilitating self-expression and drawing out from within us desires and passions that we are oblivious of. Regardless of what our artistic approach is, we can use art as a crucial tool to liberate ourselves from self-doubt and find our way to personal empowerment.
So, to get started on the journey of exploring the self-developing benefits of art, I would like you to try at least one of these things:
Doodle your way to your emotions
Alright, this might seem too simple to work but all I ask of you is to give it a chance.
All you are going to need is a blank piece of paper, a bunch of colour pencils or markers and a comfortable place for you to sit down. For the next 30 minutes, keep all your devices locked away and try to just focus on the blank paper in front of you. Take a moment or two to sit with your thoughts and emotions and then grab whatever colour you are attracted to and start doodling. These doodles can literally be anything: scribbles, drawings or even words that are popping up in your head.
Keep going at it for as long as you prefer but give yourself at least 15 minutes to draw out whatever is pent up inside you. I promise you that this exercise won’t just be cathartic but will also give you immense clarity on your emotions and thought patterns that might be holding you back.
Art Exposure Therapy
Okay, this is not an actual form of therapy but trust me, the psychological benefits are absolutely real. Now the beauty of visual arts is that it’s a wide encompassing term for various art forms that you can experience and use as a tool for empowerment. Have you ever watched a film or listened to a song that has brought up certain strong emotions or exposed you to a new way of thinking? If yes, then you just unintentionally got a dose of Art Exposure Therapy. This is what it is, to put it simply: exposing yourself to art (films, songs, performance pieces) that challenge your way of thinking and make you introspect about yourself.
If you are looking for art recommendations for your first intentional session of Art Exposure Therapy, then stay tuned because I am working on a blog just about that.
Why am I doing this?
This one is mainly for my fellow artists out there, who might be in the midst of a creative block and floating aimlessly in a pool of anxiety and self-doubt. As an artist, it is important for us to remember why we make art. It could be as simple and personal like it just makes you feel better or you had a specific vision or message that you wanted to get across. I want you to write it down. Yes, write a purpose statement about your art. Write down exactly how creating art makes you feel, the issues you want to tackle with your art and list down all the people that you are creating your art for. In times of doubt, pull out this purpose statement and read it to yourself. This will be an amazing reminder of how your art empowers you and helps you realize your potential and dreams.
There we go!
Once again, three simple ways in which you can use art to dig deep within and bring out thoughts that might be holding you back from realizing your full potential. There is nothing like living an intentional life brimming with liberation and empowerment, so why not start living that life today?
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