I was chatting to some friends the other week about artmaking and some really relatable blocks came up. One friend shared that she used to absolutely adore making art but can't find the time for it these days. Another friend told me that she would absolutely love to try her hand at watercolour painting, but she just can't justify spending money on something that feels so indulgent. And yet another told me that despite being an incredibly creative soul, she couldn't make any more art because she had nowhere to hang it. These stories awoke in me a knowing sadness.
I completely understood what they were talking about. I'd been in the same position and I’d allowed those blocks to affect my creative practice in the past too.
But the value of artmaking goes much deeper than time, cash and space. For creatives, the act of creation is a need. It is something we need to feel whole. To be ourselves. To connect with our power and our inner world.
Thomas Merton, the late spiritual writer, wrote that "art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time." Merton was likely referring to both artmaking and art appreciation, possibly to all areas of art including drama, dance and song, yet his message strongly advocates for the hidden benefits of art, specifically in relation to identity exploration and escapism.
And to sit here typing about why our limited wall and storage space shouldn’t affect our artistic output starts to feel slightly, well, silly.
If you are a creative heart and feel that urge, I challenge you to tune in to that. Listen to the calling. Make the art.
Here are some speed tips for the everyday creative who creates works on paper:
1. Store your work in cardboard art wallets from your local office supply store.
2. Choose an A3 art display folder as a storage solution.
3. Give your artworks as gifts - there is little more meaningful than an artwork created by a friend or family member.
4. Donate your art to charity raffles.
5. Introduce a sketchbook or visual diary to your practice.
6. Repurpose your artworks by cutting them into greeting cards, postcards and gift tags
And with the wise words of Neil Gaiman, the English author, I will leave you inspired to get your art on: "The world always seems brighter when you’ve just made something that wasn’t there before."
Now, go get creative!
P.S. If you’re keen for a touch of artmaking, get fortnightly art prompts and join the fun in my free Facebook group here.