I meet so many people who say things like “I could never do what you do! I am not artistic.” “I am not creative”. Usually with that sad tone to their voice that tells me they wanted to try but never had a comfortable opportunity. I always say “That is exactly what I thought. It just isn’t true”. Maybe it wasn’t a focus in school or you didn’t have a relative who could teach you the basics. Now you have the internet with copious options, maybe too many, and you just wouldn’t know where to begin.
My journey began when I was little. My earliest memory is finger painting. I love the bright colors and how they blended together. The simple joy of mixing, swirling, making a mess or a flower. From there I created scenes from cut paper, my favorite being the stage from a ballet I saw when I was about 4. Midsummer Night’s Dream in leftover bits of paper, boxes, paper dolls, stationary and glue. Then life got busy and the most I did was create collages of anything and everything.
I learned to knit, crochet and weave about the same time. I joined 4-H which brought me sewing, wood fiber and silk flower making, cross stitch, and other artistic opportunities. After high school I didn’t do anything with art or craft for a couple years. I think knitting popped back up first as a way to relieve the tension of college. I think I always had collage as a medium though. I love putting photos together, eventually taking up scrap-booking. Design and layout became useful as I created albums of wedding photos for a photographer. Fast forward and here I am constructing books and playing in Art journals.
So what are 5 things you can do to get started on your creative journey?
- Search Pinterest, google the types of art or craft you think you are interested in trying. Art journaling is a great place to begin as you don’t need to be able to draw, you can start with recycled items and build from there.
- Budget! Yes, that is the dreaded B word. Art can get expensive! If you know your limits and budget an amount for supplies it will make decisions easier. If, for example, you go with Art Journaling find inexpensive paint, maybe purchase a stencil or make your own, paintbrush and paper or an old book to get started with.
- Plan your time. Most of us are very busy on a daily basis. It doesn’t take a lot of time to play in your journal. If you dedicate 15 minutes here or there to the craft you choose that is enough time. If you have 2 hours on a weekend GREAT! Just as you plan life, plan time to relax and try something new.
- Don’t beat yourself up. As a new artist you want it to be perfect, or for the item to be finished right now. It takes more than a couple hours to knit a scarf or sweater. It takes time to get used to a new medium. It isn’t going to look like Van Gogh immediately. It takes time. Just let go and have FUN with it.
- Start! Don’t put it off. The longer you wait to try, the more regret you will have later on. Collage photos from a magazine, doodle your day, write a poem, pick a famous quote and paint around it; all great ways to begin!