Monday, August 6, 2012

Art – De-Stress

I’m an artist.  I grew up drawing, painting and taking every single art class I could.  We even had a bus pull up to my elementary school that taught wood crafts and other fun things.

This is my very first oil painting from when I was in the 3rd grade.  California Poppies.

I just love to create.  In fact, I feel it is a big part of my gifting from God.  After working as a graphic artist, I decided to go back to school for art.  My biggest problem was that I loved ALL types of art and it was really hard to pick what to study!  God has given me different types of art to do at different times in my life.  Currently, because I have a toddler and it’s really difficult to get paint out, or spend time in a ceramic’s studio, I am focusing on photography.

My husband gave me my first DSLR camera for Christmas when our 3rd son was just a few months old.  It is one of the best gifts he has ever given me.  I LOVE it.  (Rings & a Kindle Fire are also up pretty high on the list)  I didn’t know then how much it would help me to have photography in my life, especially having fibromyalgia.  I had taken a few film photography classes in school, and I had a background in digital art, so I was comfortable making the switch to digital photography.  The first year I had the camera I spent lots of time learning, reading and practicing, but THEN I found an awesome web site.

It is a place where photographers take and post a photo a day for a year.  I was in awe of the great photography on the site and it was something I wanted to learn how to do better, so I signed up!  It’s free.  January 1, 2011 I posted my first photo.  And I’m still posting!  I have had such a blast doing this project.  I take pictures of my kids, God’s creation around me and experiment with things I’ve never tried (like water drops and fizzy fruit!)  I am so grateful for the inspiration and encouragement the other photographers have given me.  The best part is, anyone can do this!  There are lots of people on the site that use regular ‘point and shoot’ cameras or smart phones.  It’s a great way to document your life, your pain, your joy, be creative every day, and help reduce stress from your life.

Not only do I post photos daily, but I have started selling my work.  I joined a local art group where I was able to put some of my photographs in local businesses for sale, I also set up a booth in my towns Art Walk once a month.  And I started an Etsy shop to sell online.

If you are a creative person, you NEED to find a way to use your creativity.  Find a hobby that you just love and make time for it!  If you love to write, journal, if you love to draw, doodle!  If you love to garden, or bake, do it!  I know what you are thinking, “this is just a waste of precious energy,” well no!  When you do something that you enjoy, something that stimulates your ‘right brain’, you will feel more energized and even be able to relax and think clearer.

Is there something that you used to do that brought you joy?  Or is there something that you have always wanted to try?  Why not start this week!  I pray it will make a difference in your stress and overall joy like it has for me.

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