Spiritual Autobiography: How Can Art Help You Tell Your Story?
Who can make art? Do you need an art degree to make a worthwhile creation? Does your final product need to be "really good" to validate its existence? Many people want to get involved in the creative process but are inhibited by how good they think their final product will be. They miss out on the wonderful process of art making and its "incredible results." They miss out on the opportunity to use art to tell their story.
When I say "incredible results" I'm not talking about the actual physical results of art making: the product. I'm talking about something much more powerful: the process of creating art and the wonderful ways we grow spiritually by creating it. To consider yourself an artist you only need to change one thing: your attitude toward art making. Consider becoming an art maker who is process oriented instead of product oriented. Take the pressure off by allowing yourself to enjoy creating without being tied to the expectation that your end result must meet some standard. Instead, be excited about a different end result: what you learn about yourself as you create.
One way you can help yourself develop a new attitude towards art making is to keep an art journal. An art journal is a place to write about your creations once you have created them. This is the icing on the cake for the artist: the place where the "incredible results" are reaped. Now you get to consider the "Why?" behind what you have created. Is your final "product" uplifiting or troubled? How do the colors you have chosen reflect your mood? What does your creation say about how you see your life and your world? Is your end result an expression of where you are at spiritually? How is this newest piece of art different from others you have made? Use your art journal to explore these types of questions. Make your art journal a place where your art gets an opportunity to tell its story and yours.
At first, considering the idea that you could be an artist may be intimidating. It is likely that your artistic ability has been judged by others: teachers, family, friends and the world at large. Fear that you will make something "ugly" or that you might "fail" can be daunting. The best way to push through the fear and intimidation is to begin making something and using your art journal as a place to sort out your feelings. You may have a lot of negativity to push through since you have likely been taught that only some people are artists. This is simply not true. Everyone has something to make, say and share. Everyone has a story and everyone is gifted with the ability to share it in their special way.
Have you every noticed that no two pieces of art are exactly alike? Just like no two people are the same, neither will their creations be! You have a gift to express yourself using colors, shapes and designs in a wonderfully unique way. You also have the ability to gain maturity as an artist: you'll discover ways to tell your story better as you continue to create. Like with anything we want to do, we must begin doing it to learn. Don't rob yourself of the ways art can help you grow because of past experiences and beliefs. Begin to create and watch your story unfold! Enjoy the "incredible results."
by: Alisa Clark