Long-time readers may remember my saying that I was not brought up in a creative household. Expressing myself creatively was not nurtured. The first time I thought I might have talent was when a sixth grade art teacher approached my mother and suggested I take art lessons because the teacher thought I had something. (I didn't get art lessons). However, after the art teacher's encouragement, I started secreting myself in my bedroom, drawing fairies (a favorite subject) and intricate maps to go along with the fantasy stories I wrote to take myself away from the real world.
I also shared in one post that I suffer from depression. It's a hard thing to talk about, and some wonder why in the world I'd share that on a public (VERY public) forum, but I'm not ashamed of it, and have come to find there are so very, very many people in the world who suffer at some point in time from some level of depression or sadness.
The reason I bring these two subjects up -- creativity and depression -- is because I want to share a tip I learned from a wonderful therapist, and it's something I believe works for any age, and at any time.
Exercise One: Draw everything you like to do.
Everything you can think of. Whether it's reading, sleeping, traveling -- pie! -- clothes, birds, exotic cars, pickled peppers -- draw it.
When I was at the lowest point in my life, I could only draw four things. That's so sad! But I look at life now, and I can fill that page up. It's interesting to keep an art journal and date the pages, and every now and then come back and draw a new page, and see what things you add, and what things fall away as new things take precedence in your life.
Exercise Two: Buy a Doodle Book
Oh, I love these. This is the latest one I bought:
You can buy this particular book here, and others like it by clicking here. I don't care if they're found in the children's section or geared towards kids -- they're AWESOME-fun books. The particular book above is more adult-oriented, I'd say, with more jumping-off points and levels of intricacy, and I'd highly recommend it. Complete patterns, join shapes with doodles, and decorate things like snails shells, Russian onion domes, and flowers. If you're not quite up to Zentangles, this sort of book will really bring out the artist in you. Not only that -- it's soothing, because you can just color, too!
I hope this has been a welcoming, helpful, and enlightening post for you, and I encourage you to search out these books in the children's section of your local book store SOON!