Art!, Emotional Breakdowns

Arting is Good for the Thinking


So after a stressful few days of classwork, exams, and academia in general, I got out of class today and did nothing this evening but art. Some of it was for class: I’m working on a larger version of my first book project for my Book Arts class, and I brought my materials back to my apartment with me so that I could get ahead on the images. The difficult part for me, after all, is the actual construction of the book.

Yeah but for basically the last 5 hours, all I did was art. I worked slowly and meticulously. When I’m doing classwork, it’s true that I’m more goal-oriented so I tend not to let my thoughts drift as much. But after I ended my time with the book tonight, I pulled out my weird ink pencils that I was telling one of my friends in Book Arts about today. I started by working on a nondescript Micah drawing, which turned out all right…but when I was working on his hands, I fell in love with the glow that they had, and I started a drawing just of the hands, because why not? I always want practice on drawing hands.

At one point, I paused in the midst of drawing and realized how many other things I was processing through in my mind as I worked. Conversations I’d had; people in my life; struggles with people; things I was looking forward to; something my student at my internship told me and how I was going to talk about it to someone else.

And I know that I was much more focused when I was working for class, which is very interesting to me that I suddenly became aware how much or how little concentration goes into what I’m doing. I think that’s what I always prefer about creating images from mental ideas. Everything for the drawing is internally generated, which means that more of my attention is on my internal terrain. I think that’s why I can drift amongst different thoughts in my head while I work; I’m already there, anyway.

I still have some outlines of stamps on my arm from leaning on them in class today, and that reminds me how much I love feeling my art with body and soul. That’s why I can never give this up. It makes me feel so alive.

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