There’s something intimidating about creating art as a “non-artist,” isn’t there? As a gal who happens to be dating an visual artists and art teacher, I’ll admit that the fear of creating something less than stellar can paralyze me from even trying to begin with. But seriously people, that fear is dumber than dumb. Say it with me… we are all artists. No accreditation or class makes a regular old joe-shmoe into an artist. The truth is, every one of us has this innate ability to tap into our creativity. And when we choose to do this, our expression of ourselves, our thoughts and dreams and desires and even fears comes to fruition. We create and we share ourselves. We have stories and truths worth hearing. We do ourselves (and our community) a disservice by allowing our fear of making imperfect art to stop us from creating it to begin with.
So let’s get sloppy. Let’s try for the sake of trying. Let’s make something.
Here are seven art forms every person, no matter their skill level, should try tonight!
Sometimes there are beautiful messages hidden on a ripped page of an old textbook and we just haven’t uncovered it yet. Blackout poetry authors see the unseen and write the unwritten by using a permanent marker to cross out words on the page until something new is revealed. Often these messages of hope are completely unrelated to the previously published words on the page.
To create your own blackout poetry, find two anchor words or phrases on the page. You do not need to read the entire article before your start eliminating words. Many times, once you have found your two focused words or phrases, the hidden message is revealed kind of like a word search. There are no rules here… just pure, unadulterated poetry.
Gather your sister’s old Seventeen Magazines and your parent’s newspaper collection and get rip happy. Tear out images that spark your imagination, whether it’s bold typography or the striking picture of a businessman working. Pile up pages upon pages of graphic beauties and start layering them together. Piece by piece you’ll find some gorgeous representation of your own taste, your ideologies, your motivation. Make abstract layers based on words or phrases, tell a color story by only placing certain colors on the page… the possibilities are endless.
Hand Building Ceramics
Flashback to your elementary art class days… because it’s time to bring back the pinch pots. Not many of us have access to an electric firing kiln, but fear not! With just some polymer clay, a rolling pin and a regular old oven (and maybe some acrylic paint), you can make yourself some unique goodies. Choose your form and get molding. Creating sculptural pieces of art to decorate your room or to give away as presents is as easy as pie. There are some amazing DIYs out there to check out (like this ring cone, these pretty little glazed beads, or this adorable dish). Get inspired and get rolling… literally.
Remember the good old days of latch-key and friendship bracelets? There isn’t anything better than weaving on a rainy day… and it’s a great distraction when you’re doing something mundane! Weaving projects can range in size, color and versions, so deciding your project is really up to you. It’s one of those traditional crafts that has been passed down the centuries. If you’re looking for a basic introduction to the art form, check out A Beautiful Mess’s Weaving Class blog posts. Their projects are totally charming! Warning: this medium is totally addicting!
Stream Of Consciousness Journaling
Ah the unstructured, unedited writing in a journal! For this art form, all you have to do is let loose. Reflect every dirty detail of your imagination, from your observations and feelings about a person, place, event or thought to a doodle of what you think your face looks like right now. There are no rules, except to tell the truth about your particular state of mind at the given moment. Half of the time my stream of consciousness journals are scattered with “I’m hitting a road block here and I’m unsure what to write about… I wonder why I keep hitting these..” moments that lead to other wonderful observations about my own internal thoughts.
Forget your English teacher’s pet peeves and ignore any and all sentence structures. Write adjectives of a feeling. Write a steam and leaf chart from one phrase. Write with a vibrant color, change it every now and then. Write upside down, sideways, in a circle or in a shape. Just keep writing. When you finish, you might be floored by your own beautiful ideas.
Now before you get all “but-I’m-tone-deaf-I-can’t-sing-I-hate-my-voice” on me… hold tight. The musical voice is the instrument we were all innately born with. That’s right you were born with a literal instrument in your body! Whether you’ve sung in the shower or in a concert hall, we all have a great ability to share our art through our voices.
Bare with me you uncertain singers… even you can improvise melodies. Listen to jazz standards, or YouTube pop chord progressions. Listen. Just listen! When you feel comfortable with where the song is going, play around with some rhythms. Hum a little melody over these consistent chords. Mess around. Get funky, try strange sounds. The point of improvisational singing is that you don’t need much more than your ears and the openness to try weird things. The more your practice, the more comfortable you will become with hearing your singing voice and the closer you come to songwriting. Baby steps people!
One of my favorite art forms (of painting at least), and certainly the simplest! Watercoloring is almost therapeutic for me. The zen-like quality of creating a few strokes of color and a wash of water to make fluid and streamlined creations is near meditative. The best watercolors, in my opinion, are the simplest. So experiment with mixing a few colors and diluting them with water. Maybe even take a pen to the page and illustrate over your washes. No matter what way you play with watercolor, your creations almost always come out looking delicate and deliberate.
Is there are particular art forms that you love to experiment in?