Welcome to Week 52 of the 52-Week Art Journal Journey. I’m Melinda, and I’m here to encourage you to reclaim your creativity and establish a healthy habit of creative self-care. We’re taking a look back and making choices about moving forward this final week of 2023 and the 52-Week Art Journal Journey.
There were so many ways I thought about approaching this week. And first I want to talk to everyone who had a hard year, who just wants 2023 to be over. Revisiting words upon words is perfect to process some of the things that tie us in knots.
Words Upon Words
Start by writing. Whatever comes to mind about the year that’s ending. Maybe there are things you need to say, to express, to vent, but don’t particularly want to read again. This is perfect for that.
After you have a block of words, of sentences, turn your page a quarter turn and write your next set of lines over the first. When you come to the end of the space, another quarter turn. Then another. If you still have words to express, or empty spots you’d like to fill, write them out however you’d like.
However ugly the words were… now they’re something beautiful.
But don’t stop there.
Choose some colors that represent how you’d like to experience 2024.
And color. Look for shapes within the interesting piece of art you’ve already make. Follow lines you see, or just color as you want. You may remember this small art from Week 4: Making Ugly Beautiful. One of my favorite stress-reducing mind-dump vent, ugly-words-into-interesting-art processes. It was the video I made under the most stress… and it worked. Click here to check out the video.
You’ll end up with a lovely stained-glass or mosaic effect.
Although the past doesn’t change, and our futures can’t obliterate all the pain of the past, and time doesn’t erase trauma, time does soften edges. And whatever we’ve been through, we’re still here, and there can be beauty in life, in us, in broken pieces.
Another artistic way to deal with feelings and thoughts we want to express but keep private is asemic writing. Use your thoughts or feelings to inform the way your pen or brush moves, but what make asemis writing asemic writing is that it has no literal meaning. The thoughts or feelings you use could be ugly or not. Either way you end up with something beautiful. You can click here to watch Week 30: Asemic Writing to learn more.
This week you can color your written-on page with colors you’d like to feel in the coming year.
We can also use lines to express the year we’ve had. Maybe things have been steep, and you’ve climbed. There have been ups and downs. Some may have been rapid or jagged. Feel your way back through your year, and express the feelings and experiences with lines. All over your page. Crossing each other. There are several video prompts you may have seen this year that would have given you an idea of where we’re going next. We’re also back to what I previously mentioned in this post about how time can soften painfully sharp edges. One option this week is to relax into softening the harsh points of our past year, with the neurographic softening of the sharp corners I so enjoy.
This week’s small art is all about you. All about you as you wrap up a year, and prepare for the next.
Another option is going through old magazines for words and images that express the year that’s on its way out. Fill up a page for 2023, then do the same with words and images of things you’d like to do, try, experience, accomplish, feel in your upcoming year.
This final prompt was going to be about ending strong and moving forward committed to taking regular time for creative self-care. But I’m not feeling all gung-ho. Although I’m still all about regularly making art and practicing creative self-care, and encouraging you to do so, I’m also accepting that it’s okay to feel STRONG. It’s okay to be mellow about art-making this week. It’s okay to admit if you’re feeling tired.
Whether or not you’re excited to see what 2024 holds, whether you’re feeling energetic, overwhelmed, or anywhere in between, we can all accept that taking the time for creative self-care is important. Not a chore, not just one more thing to try to fit into an overly full schedule, but, as I mentioned in last week’s video, a gift. It’s a gift that, yes, we can give ourselves, but it also benefits others. Like the oxygen mask on the plane thing. For those of us wired for art-making, making art can be the right kind of self-care.
Committing to making art everyday as part of the 2022 100 Day Project was transformative for me. It’s why there is a 52-Week Art Journal Journey. I need to share what I’ve found with others.
I’m not much of a New Year’s Resolution type of person. But it’s never a bad time to commit to establish a healthy habit of creative self-care. The end of the year is a good time to step back and assess, and consider where we’d like to be by the end of the next year. Practicing regular creative self-care art-making can help you feel more stable, can give you more peace and confidence, and help you be more fully be who you are.
I can say this because I experienced it. I EXPERIENCE it.
Despite how balancing and beneficial I knew it could be, I gave up regular art-making for YEARS. There was always something that seemed more important. I had to have an excuse or seemingly good enough reason to take the time.
But making art isn’t a waste of time.
It’s safe and useful antidepressant and anti-anxiety treatment. It calms and strengthens our minds. It nourishes our souls.
If you’re excited, or at least optimistic, or even wanting to feel optimistic, about creative self-care art-making in the year to come, click here to sign up for the Better With Art newsletter that takes the prompts a little further, and also receive a link to join the private Better With Art Facebook group.
Make art with me in 2024
It may be the last week of the 52-Week Art Journal Journey, but this is your invitation to join me next week, and every week, for a new creative self-care prompt.
It’s never too late to reclaim your creativity. It’s never too late to get into, or back into, a habit of creative self-care art-making.
If you decide to share art inspired by my prompts to encourage others to reclaim their creativity and practice creative self-care, tag me. I’d love to see your creativity! My new creative self-care Instagram handle is better.with.art. Click here to follow.
And if you’re on Facebook I hope to see you and your art in my encouraging little but slowly growing Better With Art community!