Updated: 18th October 2021
Have you heard of the bucket-filling concept? Back in the classroom years ago when I first started teaching in a Year 1 classroom, I came across the book "How to Fill a Bucket Today" by Carol McCloud. Essentially the notion explored within the book is that by being kind and supportive of others, you make them happy and you make yourself happy at the same time too. It's a great concept for kids and a handy reminder for adults as well.
After having my two little people, I felt a yearning for something to call my own. I wanted my identity back. I wanted some me time. I needed to nurture myself, not just my daughters. It was at that point, that I signed up for a friendly community art class. That art class and my beautiful, kind and inspirational teacher were the nudge I needed to get back into regular creative practice. And today, my art practice is my saviour. It is my stress relief, my outlet, my identity, my meditation, my self development tool. It offers me so so much. Art fills my bucket.
And just as McCloud points out, it is the sharing of joy and helping others to feel joy that can fill a bucket to overflowing. That is why through my own art business, I created a range of online courses, run live workshops and host a beautiful, growing art membership called Art For The Heart. It is a mission of mine to offer people just like you a gentle avenue to find yourself again through art. You can get a better idea of my offerings HERE.
Here are the top five advantages of getting back into regular, joyful art practice:
1. Relieve Stress
I'm not sure about you, but raising my two little people is exhausting work! Enduring the emotional rollercoasters, staying firm on boundaries and keeping the kids active is tiring. Kids are treasures - but you get out of it what you put in. So, after a day of running about, being able to sit down and calmly work on a watercolour artwork or splash messy acrylic paints on a huge canvas, is such a brilliant tool for releasing stress and processing the day.
2. Rediscover your Identity
Motherhood seems to be entirely about the children. For me, it was very hard to find room for myself. I constantly gave and gave and gave and felt so warn down. After some time, I had nothing to call my own. Everything in the house was shared. When someone asked how I was, I would answer by saying how my children were! As if their wellbeing was the same as mine. Diving back into art gave me something which was mine. An ambition, a fire in my belly, a passion, something to talk about and care about other than the kids!
3. Find Peace
Meditation and mindfulness are all the rage at the moment and I'm certain they are here to stay. I'm a fairly active human. I can't sit still. I pace the room when I'm on the phone. I struggle not to multi-task. Are you the same? In artmaking, however, I must stay focused on the task at hand. It is so powerful as a means for creating calm and an almost zen state. Immersion at it's best.
4. Self Development
Man oh man, art is my counsellor. That's for sure! As all artists do, I battle with my inner critic often as I create my art. It has been such a powerful journey learning to keep her mostly at bay. To be able to identify when the critic is getting in your ear and to be able to ignore her or put her back in her place is a rewarding challenge. Art has also helped me to solidify my beliefs and my values. It has given me confidence as I have something to call my own. It has shown me my resilience as I expose my art to the world, risking negative commentary but doing it anyway, knowing that this is what I was destined to do. If this sounds like you, you are in the right place. In fact, you will fit right in inside my free Facebook community.
5. Nurture Yourself
Me time. That old thing. The thing everyone says you must have, but the thing that you can never really grasp. The thing that you KNOW you NEED but it seems to fall off the calendar basically the second that you put it in. My art time is my me time. I make my art after hours mostly... after the kids are in bed... from 8pm onwards. My girls are in my bed every night and we're all up crazy early. I am tired but fulfilled. And I am so grateful that I prioritise my art time. I notice often that this is good role modelling for my girls - to have a passion and to work hard at something. I hope that they too one day will see their passions to fruition. They're little go-getters, so I just know they will!
That's all from me this week. Chat soon!
P.S. Feel free to paint with me in my free mini watercolour lesson HERE.