Making Art Gives You Cookies

Making Art Gives You Cookies

I won’t self-diagnose, but I’m fairly certain I had a minor panic attack this past weekend.

For about 30 minutes, I felt my world spinning out of control and I was dealing with mixed emotions of fear, sadness, insecurity, and even a little rage.

I can’t say for sure what triggered it, but I think it had something to do with author Simon Sinek.

It’s not Sinek’s fault really, he was only trying to help, but a short video snippet from one of his speeches inadvertently triggered a meltdown.

Have you ever felt that way about someone giving you advice? No matter how good and well-intentioned the advice may be, it fills you with panic because it’s just another thing you need to add to the list of things you’re not doing but should.

There’s also the bonus aspect of trying to do anything in a frustrated state and it feels like all the inanimate objects you come in contact with are plotting against you. Items are either too close or just out of reach.

If things fall, they always roll under the sofa, and always a half-inch from the end of your fingertips.

You bang your head on a cabinet door, stub your toe on a door jam, and spill coffee on your shirt while you’re taking a sip.

Maybe that’s just me, but I was dealing with it in a bad way.

Instead of taking all that negative energy and pushing it onto the people around me, I stomped into the studio, sat down at my desk, and got my hands in the paint.

It was a messy session, with paint, and glue all over my hands. I’m glad I wore my art apron on this day because I’m certain my shirt would have taken a few hits, and within thirty minutes, my woes were all but forgotten.

If you make art, then you know the feeling, but there’s significant evidence that the act of making things triggers the part of your brain that relieves stress and makes you feel rewarded for your actions.

Short story: Making art gives you cookies!

I had a conversation with my mother yesterday. She’s also an artist and she was telling me about a training course she took recently that helped her get past some self-imposed barriers in her art process.

The course dove deep into art technique and process, but also trained her to look at the work from different perspectives and create more tension and balance in her work.

I’ve been toying with the idea of creating a similar course, but one that mixes both my art process as well as my design thinking, and sharing how design fundamentals can help improve the artistic eye.

Between the conversation with Mom and my recent exploration, I’m getting closer to understanding how this training will play out, but more importantly, how it can improve lives.

I can see more clear now than ever that creative expression helps us become better versions of ourselves and I cannot wait to share my experiences with others.

I’m deep in the mix of making these new 100 paintings, and if you can believe it, one of the things I’m thinking about is what I’m going to do when I’m done.

I’ll make more art, of course, because there’s always something to paint, and as always, I’ll share it all with you.