Finding Myself Through Art

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It’s been a rough day.  I’m just very depressed, and haven’t really felt up to do anything.  I don’t really want to do any of the things I normally enjoy.  I just want to sleep.  And I know I can’t do that.  I can’t let the darkness win.  I have to keep faith.  I have to believe that everything is going to be alright again.  I need to embrace my inner light, even if it’s only a spark.  I need to keep going.

So, I gathered up whatever energy I had, and I asked my husband if we could go to Michael’s to get a sketchbook.  If I can’t do anything else right now, maybe I can at least embrace my art and find myself through artistic expression again.  So, we went to Michael’s and I got a sketchbook.

I don’t draw.  I can’t draw if my life depended on it.  I wish I could.  I dabble in many different types of art, but one of my top fave mediums is collage.  I love taking various images, piecing them together, and forming a new whole.  I find it very therapeutic.

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I’ve been collaging as far back as I can remember.  When I was a kid, my grandma would save all her greeting cards that she had received throughout the year.  Then, she would set me up at the kitchen table with a piece of paper, glue, and scissors and give me her pile of greeting cards to play with.  I loved cutting out images and figuring out different ways to make an new image.  It was one of my fave things to do as a kid.

Nowadays, when I collage, I use magazine images.  When I collage, my mind completely becomes blank.  I get so wrapped up in what I’m doing that I lose all concept of time and place.  I don’t have any idea of what I’m going to create, I just let the process happen organically.  I flip through magazines and whatever catches my attention that day, I immediately cut it out and set it aside.  I do that until I feel like I’m done.  Then, I look at all the images I gathered and start cutting out, piecing together, gluing, and honestly just seeing what happens.  It seems that however I’m feeling comes out in my art.  And some days I surprise myself.  Even when I’m really depressed, like today, my art reflects a sense of optimism.  My art helps me to find a way to express how I am feeling in a healthy way.

Art is a huge part of my M.U.D. life.  Art is a huge part of me.  And it’s something that, even when I’m depressed or anxious, it’s always there to help me find solid ground again.  Art grounds me.  Sometimes it’s the only way I can make sense of the world.

So today, I created two collages in my new sketchbook.  Both are different, but both riff on the same themes: life, love, kindness, different roads to travel, different ways to look at things.  And I do feel better after creating them.

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Light Through Dark – Collage # 1 – 12.19.17 JRW
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The Storybook of Life – Collage #2 – 12.19.17 JRW

Find how you can express yourself, even when you’re feeling depressed or anxious.  If not through art, then find what works for you.  We all have different ways of expressing ourselves.  Embrace that and run with it.  Then, when you feel like you are being pulled into the darkness, grab onto that lifeline and express how you are feeling.  Don’t keep it inside.


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