Mindfulness has been a hot topic for a while now, and it is more important than ever. Building a mindfulness practice can be intimidating if you don’t know where to start, and the same goes for creating art. The good news is that you can actually combine the two!
When you think of mindfulness, what do you think of first? Meditation, breathing, journaling? All of these are proven practices to build into your mindfulness routine. Another way to practice mindfulness is by engaging in creative activities. You can be purposefully mindful while you paint, draw, or work with your hands.
Our monthly art box is intended for all skill levels, and you may be intimidated to get started on your art project. That’s a perfectly normal feeling! The beauty of creating abstract art is that it is completely unique to you. Wash away the distractions and expectations, and be in the present moment while you create your art. This works for anyone, including your kids and teens.
Follow these 4 steps to practice mindfulness while creating your artwork.
1) Focus on the process of creating
Two creative blockers for many artists are simply getting started and getting caught up in the outcome of your art. Instead of focusing on the finished product, allow yourself to be curious while you explore a new artistic medium. Allow acceptance instead of judging your art as good or bad. Enjoy the process of learning something new and working with your hands.
2) Start with the Familiar
If you are still feeling resistance, start with something familiar. Focus on a shape, pattern, animal, or object you see daily. When you sketch or paint something you see every day, your mind may be more at ease because of the familiarity. Maybe you love the pattern on your living room rug or something else in your home. Can you try to recreate it? Don’t overthink it!
3) Be present and notice your senses
Being in the moment is what mindfulness is all about. That doesn’t have to look like sitting and meditating. When you sit down to create your art, take a deep breath. How does it feel when you blend oil pastels with your finger? Does your paintbrush or pencil feel light or heavy in your hand? Do you notice a sound when your brush or pencil moves across your paper? What colors are most appealing to your eyes?
4) Notice your emotions
Creativity can have a positive impact on your well-being. Part of being mindful is being aware of how you feel and also being accepting of it. How did you feel when you first sat down to get started on your art project? Were you nervous, excited, calm? Did any emotions come up while you were creating your art? Once you finish your artwork, notice if there is any change in how you feel. Just notice without passing judgment.
Try these basic mindfulness practices the next time you work on an art project or pick up your sketchbook. Which one works best for you?