Go get creative!
I’m hugely passionate about creativity – every part of it! I mainly fulfil my creative quota through painting and music and I’m here to get you into it too! Research has shown that creativity involves the use of multiple brain areas (not just left brain and right brain). So, as well as helping produce dopamine, reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s, creativity can also helps improve your cognitive ability.
Here are my favourite ways to get creative through the ages, from when I was a beginner to now.
Beginner: Painting in the lines
If you love the experience of painting but are not comfortable drawing yet, try out painting by numbers or engraving art. Painting by numbers provides the paint and canvas for your chosen drawing, you just need to fill in the gaps to produce a sure fire masterpiece. I also really enjoyed engraving art when I was younger, you scrape away the picture guide on the top layer of black paint to show the foiled underlayer. Once you’ve finished your picture you will have a silver image on a black background. I find something meditative about these kind of activities, you just need to paint or draw within the lines given to produce an image just like the photo!
If you enjoy choosing your own colours and want to feel liberated from the guide markings digital art is a great way to explore painting without the mess. There are lots of great tutorials online to learn your style. Digital art offers a great way to find your style you can produce graphic designs and more realistic, paint like finishes too.
Over Summer I really enjoyed scrapbooking my year. Scrapbooking is a perfect way to mix your mediums: work with pen, paint and photos to produce something you can have for a lifetime. I chose a font I really liked and traced it for my headings (time consuming be warned!), added writing and doodles in white pen and I used photo apps to buy matte good-quality photos to stick onto my pages. I found that scrapbooking wasn’t only calming but also comforting, I enjoyed reminiscing on some past memories as I journaled away my thoughts and I enjoy looking back on it when I was some nostalgia.
Creative Societies at Warwick
I’m a huge fan of Warwick ArtSoc, they offer a mix of events which have included Life Drawing, Painting along to a Bob Ross episode and tie dye workshops in the past. Materials are sometimes provided and it’s a great way to relax after a day of lectures.
Other societies I’d recommend looking into if you want to get artsy at Uni include Craft Society, Photography Society and Lego Society!
My favourite Art
I discovered my love of painting clothes in Lockdown. I invested in some fabric paints and bought a sweatshirt to get started. My advice would be start small and see how it goes – it feels daunting when you first start and it’s time consuming. However walking around in your own design does makes it totally worth it.
Using watercolours is my favourite kind of painting and my skill has developed over time. Here’s how my art has changed, it was only a few days ago I saw the old picture I drew in February 2019 (right) and compared it to my more recent work in January 2021 (left) and I realised the difference. If you want to start watercolours (please have a go!) you don’t need an expensive set. Any £10 set will do. If you want to splash out, buy a white pen – I couldn’t live without one now. Build up your art in layers, it’s time consuming but works really well. Make sure you’re also happy with the outline you draw to start with. No matter how well you paint, if your proportions are not right to start with you could spend a lot of time on something you’re not happy with in the end.
I love using acrylics for graphic, bold prints – here’s an example from my scrapbook. Outlining bold flowers in black and highlighting other areas produce art ready to brighten your day! Try it with other designs, or to simplify down animals or landscapes into bigger blocks which require less detail. Acrylics work really well on notebook covers and bold prints are great for personalising items.
Have a go!
Hopefully I’ve been able to inspire you to get creative! If you don’t know where to start, try following some art pages or Instagram accounts and see if they can help spark your imagination. Art improves with practice, don’t feel disheartened if work doesn’t turn out how you would like, think about another technique or watch a YouTube video. If art was something you really enjoyed when you were younger think of this as your push to get back at it!
Like Ralph Waldo Emerson says “Every artist was first an amateur”