Coping Through Art

Art is a perennial human experience.

It has been around for centuries and connects nearly all humans across the globe. I  believe it is in our nature to create beautiful things. Art comes in many forms and can encompass any form of creative expression. For many folks, art is not a part of their coping strategies toolbox. As a lifelong artist, it has been with me since birth. It has helped me cope with some of the changes and challenges in my life. The last few years might have been exceptionally changeling, and through art, I’ve been able to make something beautiful out of it.

You do not need to be an artist to utilize the healing power of art, all you need is the willingness to try it. Below are a few reasons art can be a great coping tool. 

1- Art can help you enjoy alone time.

At many points in my life, alone time was a luxury, now it seems that it is unavoidable. Being creative during my day gives my brain a break from the structure of my day. It gives me time to focus and let loose. Art-making can be playful and relaxing, it is the special time during my day where nothing else matters. 

2-Art can connect you to a larger community or friends. 

Not only is art fun to share with friends and other artists, making art with other people is incredibly fun. Although sharing art can be scary, finding a space or person/people who appreciate and encourage art-making can be such a wonderful feeling. 

3-Externalizes the internal.

Have you ever felt like you had something in you that needed to get out? Holding onto emotions can allow them to fester. Making art can allow you to get those tricky emotions outside of us in a safe way. To quote Macklemore’s song Vipassana “ Take all the ugly sh*t inside and try to make it beautiful”, art can be a way to release the feelings we may not otherwise feel comfortable expressing. 

4-Art can help organize and process emotions that words cannot.

Words are limited and they don’t always cut it. Sometimes, we may feel so overwhelmed that the words, or maybe the right words just don’t come up. Artworks when words don’t. Art-making can also help the right words to come to mind, either during the creation process, or afterward, reflecting art can shine a light on the shadows in life.

5- Art has helped me decorate the world around me. 

Not only is my living space highly decorated (the words “clutter-core, and maximalism come to mind) but art has also invited me to look at the world through creative lenses. On walks outside I am prone to seeing the beauty that is around me, it is common for me to snap pictures regularly, with intentions of drawing or painting what I see. Seeking out beauty has made my world a little bit more lovely. 

The last two years may have drastically altered our ability to cope. That is completely normal. Art-making can be an easy way to spend your alone time while also giving you an opportunity to connect with others. It can help organize and beautify the external and internal happenings in your life. Whether you are the next Da Vinci and you challenge with stick figures, having meaningful moments during the day can help us enjoy our days a little bit more.

Published by linneatheartist

Canadian Art Therapist and Death Doula. All services are currently offered online. Sharing my experiences with healing through art.

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