This post comes from our blog intern, Aubrie!
If our eyes are the windows to our soul, then I think the visuals that our eyes capture enlighten our souls in some way. Each and every person has the ability to tap into their own sense of creativity, when we do this, it allows us to express the thoughts, emotions, dreams and wishes that can’t really be represented in words. Through the years, I’ve discovered that I feel my best when I’m able to actively express these thoughts and feelings through visual art. Although I think my heart always knew this, my mind held back my creativity for some time. I always thought that, to be considered an artist, or even to consider yourself an artist, you had to have some sort of accreditation… some type of affirmation that people admired your work. I’ve slowly realized through making my own art that that is absolutely not the case.
Art comes from within. The best works aren’t intentionally made for others, but to express the artist’s own vision. Once I began to tap more into my own creativity and worry less about if it was any good or not, I began to find inspiration everywhere. I had knocked down a barrier and was able to express myself so much more freely. I started taking the time to sit down for a few hours and sketch. No not for class, not to post on Instagram, but just for myself. The point was, it really didn’t matter if someone thought it looked absolutely horrendous, because the feeling that came along after was that of pure accomplishment. The act of taking different mediums and interpreting them on paper worked like a good yoga class for me: allowing my imagination to run wild in turn helped to calm my racing mind.
Pablo Picasso explained this concept perfectly by stating “art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.” He emphasizes a good point here, even though we all will most likely never achieve the same artistic fame as Pablo Picasso, we can achieve the same feeling he had when he took a paintbrush to canvas. But it’s not just painting, there are so many different mediums of art that can be shaped into whatever your heart desires. Maybe it’s using collage as a lighthearted hobby or perhaps it’s indulging in sketching as a form of mental therapy, but whatever the reason, there’s beauty to be discovered.
Try out these five mediums that I’ve grown to love and have helped me to explore self-expression through visual art:
Painting always seemed very formal and structured in my mind. Certainly people studied for years and years before learning all the techniques needed to paint something beautiful. But actually, I learned how to paint by simply admiring other’s paintings. Scrolling through the internet or even walking down to the museum, I looked deep into how and what made the paintings so appealing. Watercolor is by far my favorite medium of paint and we all love to use it in images here on the blog! Fluid and delicate, strokes of watercolor magically create beautiful stains across crisp white pages. When I have watercolors out at my desk, they transform the whole area into a beautiful mess of colors. Experiment with mixing and diluting a rainbow of hues for a wide range of possibilities.
The Free People graphic desig team have mastered the art of hand lettering like nothing I’ve ever seen before. Something about hand crafted words stringing together poetic quotes or sentences brings a romantic feeling to mind. After many years admiring this traditional graphic design work, I recently tried my hand at the pen and paper form of typography. In this day and age it may be even hard for many people to remember how often they really hand write anything out. Computers have taken the place of notebooks and typing has taken over the art of lettering. It’s amazing how creative you can get by taking a step away from technology.
I’ve been taking design class for 4 years now, ever since I discovered my love of expressing myself creatively. I can’t tell you how many times my professors have explained the importance of a sketchbook to the class. I have to admit, in this case the teachers were very right, sketching is where so many ideas originate from. Designs, paintings, and installations probably all started from a sketch of some sort. I feel as though the process of sketching is often like a metamorphosis. It’s an opportunity to hash out your ideas over and over again until they becomes exactly what you intended.
I remember lusting over fashion magazines as a thirteen year old. I would rapidly flip through pages, tearing out the ones that immediately caught my eye. Once a pile had formed I would paste the pieces in layered collages and hang the many works of art from my bedroom walls. It was imagery recreated to be something of my own and there the hobby formed. I don’t think I’ve had a living space since without at least one of my original collages hung on the wall. Now I love to read travel, surfing, photography, and nature magazines and pull tears to create collages of visions that I have for my future. Collages are one of the most motivational forms of art that I’ve discovered.
Vibrant colors smudge onto the paper, smearing together to create a tie-dye effect. The unique colors that oil pastels create is like no other medium I’ve tried. They’re soft and supple and I love to create landscape drawings with them because of way the blue dissolves into pinks and oranges… sunsets were definitely meant to be portrayed through pastels. Getting your hands dirty is the perfect opportunity to discover how grounding this medium can be.
+ What is your favorite medium to express yourself creatively?
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