A year or so ago a friend of mine invited me to go to a class for 'art journalling' at a local art studio. It involved making a journal from scratch, then decorating the pages ready for any creative idea that came to mind - collaging, drawing, painting etc... I toddled along because I thought it might make me use a different part of my brain (even though I am the world's most useless artist) - and that might in turn help with my creative thinking for stories.
I enjoyed the class and met some lovely people all of whom were far, far better artists than me- but that apparently wasn't the point. The idea was to lose my inner critic and just 'be'. (Which is all fine and mighty when you have a smidgeon of talent, but when you spend the whole class drooling over other people's artwork and hating your own because you could never create anything remotely as good at that then you might have to rethink why you're actually there!) We learnt a few different techniques and got our hands dirty smearing acrylics and I did overall enjoy the whole process and found that it was quite relaxing and yet stimulating to be doing something that didn't have a 'reason'...ie I wasn't intent on selling this, or making a masterpiece, it didn't have to be 'good'. The idea was that what we created each week was a reflection of how we felt that day, or how we wanted to feel, or just to do something different to our usual routine.
The class finished and I was left wondering what to do with the supplies I'd bought. I couldn't find it in me to do the art journalling at home- I couldn't find a reasonable 'excuse' to spend 4 hours on a project...but I did invest in some 'zentangle books' (the art of creative doodling) and now do a bit of doodling when I'm lost for plot ideas and it does take my mind along a different track of thinking. Apparently it's good for us due to the meditative effect it has on the brain.
So I was intrigued by the huge explosion of adult colouring books that have hit the bestseller lists over the last year. And would colouring-in have the same effect as zentangle or journalling? Flushed with enthusiasm I rushed out and bought myself a copy of one of the books. It has gorgeous pictures for us to colour in.
it takes me? (I also have a fear of ruining what could be a good picture by my amateur colour choices!!!) I think I'm going to need to do some relaxation once I've done a supposedly relaxing pastime!!
Anyone else tried this? Does it help relax you? Do you do any 'creative relaxation? Or do you just prefer a glass of white and a good book?
I have seen a lot of these colouring books for adults around and yes they are very pretty but they are not for me or painting for that matter either my preferred form of relaxation is reading I love to turn off to everything and let myself lose in a good book that way I travel the world from my comfortable armchair :)
Yep, I think I'm in the same camp as you, Helen! I might have to regift this colouring book!Delete
I can neither draw or paint to save my life, Louisa! Did you do that Summer pic? I love it. :-)ReplyDelete
Hmm, I've noticed those absolutely beautiful colouring books for adults too. I think them too beautiful to mar with my scrawl, though. I never could stay in the lines. I bet they are weirdly relaxing though. But you can count me in the same group as Helen -- prefer to relax with a good book...and a glass of wine. ;-)
Hi Michelle, Yes I did do that summer pic- it's a collage and it was a hot summer's day and I was quite proud of it. However, there were lots I did that I was horrified about!!! LOL- I think the book and wine are calling me!Delete
One of the Aussie romance writing community - Juliet Madison - has just scored a major deal with a US publisher for her colouring books for adults so its certainly red hot at the moment!ReplyDelete
I'll take the wine and book, thanks :-)
Oh wow- that's fabulous stuff for Juliet Madison- a fabulous writer and obviously a great artist! And yes- wine for me too please!Delete
I really like the idea of colouring books for adults but I've yet to find a book of pictures that appeal to me enough to want to buy one. Or maybe its just that I'm hooked on the idea and not the execution. I don't know. I totally get your fear of mucking up a perfectly good picture with your colour choices. What if you choose one and find you don't like it. Do you continue to colour in and try to get over it, or tear the page out and burn it? LOL.ReplyDelete
What I do know is that I love knitting with pretty variegated yarns--short projects like socks or baby beanies only. And playing sudoku or word finds while the family watch the rubbish that's on television lately.
Or reading in a comfy chair with a huge cup of coffee or a glass of wine. Bliss.
Colour me impressed, Yvonne! You are obviously waaaay ahead of me on the knitting front! I have tried many different crafty things over the years: cross stitch, quilting, knitting etc and I'm as bad at those as I am at drawing. Think I'll stick to what I'm great at- drinking wine and reading!!!Delete
Like Yvonne, I love the IDEA of arty projects -- whether journalling or colouring-in -- but when it comes to execution I'd be right there on the crowded couch with a book and wine. I did have a go at scrapbooking quite a few years back, when that was "the thing", but I didn't have the time to spend to get to the creative level that would have satisfied me. Suspect that's be the same with any arty pursuit. I wouldn't find it relaxing because I'd be too mired up in getting it "right". Or better. Or whatever.ReplyDelete
I think we're of the same mindset, Bron! Make some space on that crowded couch- I'm coming in!Delete
I actually have the colouring book in the blog post. I can't say I pick it up that often - too many other things taking priority, but it is fun when I do colour it. I'm considering getting the author's Enchanted Forest one at some stage.ReplyDelete
I'm curious as to what art journaling is - will need to put on the to do list to google.
As for other creative endeavours, I enjoy cross-stitch and embroidery. My current project is one that I designed from scratch for a friend. In fact, I might do some work on it this weekend.
I'm with you, Louisa, about that getting it "right" thing which makes it hard to start in case I make the "wrong" choice about colour/pattern/stitch size/fabric/picture/whatever! I did a collage workshop at one of the conferences and I'd "save" a picture I particularly liked because the collage idea I had mightn't be "good enough" for it and in case I thought of a better idea for it! So over the years I built up a large collection of pictures that took my fancy, but didn't actually do anything with them, in case it was the "wrong" thing! I mean, seriously! What's with this! My filing cabinet turned into clutter central! I've just finished being incredibly ruthless and thrown them all out!ReplyDelete
Looks like these are all the rage at the moment! I just picked one up and it's so much fun. Nice to do something that's away from the screen.ReplyDelete