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Yes Art Heals but you don't need to be an artist

burst of colors drawing heals the mind
So, I was getting started with my Sunday morning chores which these days are more about DIY repairs. This time around, it also included setting up two small plants in recycled glass bottles to be put up in the kitchen, near the big window. An hour or so later, I chanced upon the drawings that my 4.5-year-old girl drew. This is when I realized that what I was doing and what I was looking at were both forms of Art. To turn this into a question – what is art? Is it as fundamental as creating something in a very tangible and creative way? I believe so. The artist could be anyone. In this case, my girl turned the canvas into art, using her skills, and drew us, a family. There is nothing to gauge her performance here. Such art is pure and unadulterated. It does not need inspiration or reason like filling out the galleries for an upcoming art exhibition.

caricature girl painting
Literally, anything that occupies your senses into creating something using your skills and some tools amounts to doing art, creating art, and being artistic. And I have realized that there is something deep, at the neural level, that connects art with our mind. To be brutally honest, since completing middle school I hadn’t been even close to being artistic. However, around 2016, my wife inspired me to do small things. This included starting a balcony garden. Once the planters came in, so did the need to paint and refurbish potting vessels and recycle a few things to be used as substitute planters. As a result, the spray paint cans, colors, and paintbrushes returned to my life. There is some therapeutic, close to healing, as your brush applies the color to a surface. It has a profound effect on your mind, taking it away from the daily anxieties, fears, and tensions.  

discover art childhood feel happy

I wouldn’t go as far as saying that it disconnects you from the world though that is what I hear about great artists and real content creators. Even when using paint spray cans, the mind pacifies itself as you watch the mist of colors coat a surface, turning blacks and greys into vivid reds and bright yellows. Overall, the little bit of academic, greenhorn-level art that I have been able to pursue via these humble attempts has proven to be medicinally effective. There is no pharmacology apart from the chemical formula that is at the heart of many painting mediums these days. There are no after-effects apart from some drops that have marked your home tees and shorts. But there is a lot to gain from the experience. Even if you need to think, overthink, and surgically dissect your thoughts, slowly scraping away the soil build-up around the corners of a small planter can be a very effective medium to concentrate. You will realize that while doing so, you breathe a lot slower, you are less irritated, and overall, you are able to think less or more but with greater clarity. The latest in this small journey has been returning to using crayons.

This might sound nerdy and oversold but as the crayons give away and a part of them is martyred on the paper, you feel more in the moment, and break away from the past or the future that might be overwhelming you. As you start filling in within the boundaries of different shapes and forms, called shading perhaps, the simplicity of the task helps you relax. Another thing that I plan to start doing soon with my daughter, and as a part of getting artistic, is more drawings using chalk—this is one frontier that challenges me in a very unexpected manner. For some reason, the logic and sentiments associated with painting, coloring, shading, scraping, and layering don’t seem to apply as much when the tool is a piece of chalk and the medium is a school’s blackboard…

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