I’ve had lots of jobs and even a few careers and I’ve always jokingly said that when I really “grow up” I’m going to be an artist, more specifically a painter. It might seem a bit strange then that despite MANY years and MANY more dollars invested in my professional training, I spent approximately ZERO TIME taking art classes or creating art. And yet, I LOVE painting, the same deep in my bones way that I LOVE the ocean and cheese and non-itchy clothing. Oddly, at the same time, I believed that:
1. I was not inherently creative
2. I didn’t “know” enough to start creating art (I was waiting to have time to take classes or get a tutor or have studio space or …*insert reasonable sounding practical excuse here*).
3. I thought being an adult meant that I had to put fun and whimsy and play aside until I’d finished all the tasks on my Official Adulting Drudgery List (that I completely made up) and (*shame alert*) I didn’t think I deserved or had earned play time.
Oh fuzzy bunnies, please...do not fall for the nonsense that I did for so long! Instead, learn from my journey to Wonder Lab story, and just get started already.
In July of 2017, I was feeling anxious and itchy and restless and irritated and even a tiny bit despondent. I watched a few late night youtube videos about a new fad called Acrylic Pouring. I gave it a go. It was AWESOME. And because this medium completely had a mind of it’s own (there’s really no controlling it!) something magical happened. Freed from the ability or expectation to “Do It Right”, I transformed into a gleeful mad scientist. My eyes gained a sparkle, I started uttering frequent “oooooh...I wonder what would happen if’s” and I excitedly experimented with the addition of a new chemical, color, or technique (or sometimes all of the above).
I did it about a gazillion more times, often introducing the technique to a friend or family member. Watching other people experience the magic started feeding my soul in a whole new way. I kept on doing it. Today, I’m STILL doing it and I’m always trying new techniques and new materials and still having A BLAST.
Painting in this way changed me - or at least awakened a part of me that I had tucked away for a really long time. When I’m painting, I feel more grounded and connected (to my family, my friends, strangers, the universe, etc.). I’m less anxious, less itchy, and much more willing to step out of my comfort zone (YES - painting made me more VULNERABLE and more BRAVE) and truthfully, I am happier. I have no idea if it will have the same effect for you - but what I do know is that this medium is ACCESSIBLE to just about anyone - if you can knock over a cup, YOU CAN DO THIS. And it might crack open some wonderful, hidden, magical part of you that remembers how to play and have fun ...and, oh shoot, even make the world a better place.