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How to Get in Touch with Your Artsy Side

Maybe you’re hankering for some painting, or you have a lifelong dream of being part of a kick line, or maybe you just need a way to relax from staring at spreadsheets all day. I might be biased as an art history student, but I believe that everyone needs a little art time to keep themselves sane. Here are some ways to scratch your artistic itch:

  • If you’re into drawing and painting, check out your local activities listings, bulletin boards at coffee shops, etc. and see if you can find a figure drawing group. Usually these kinds of things meet once or twice a week for a suggested donation or a small fee, five to ten bucks a session, to pay the models.
  • Want to get involved in art in a team setting? Show up at auditions for your local community theater, even if you’re not interested in performing. At the audition you can talk to the director about getting involved backstage, doing makeup, helping with costumes–which you can do even if you can’t sew!–or helping with designing promotional materials.
  • If you have expertise in an art field, but have been too busy to do it, consider volunteering to mentor students in your area through a school, or a youth center. It will give you a reason to get back into your passion while passing on your knowledge. There are many ways to get involved with a range of time commitments. Talk to the art and drama teachers and see what they need. Most districts don’t have enough arts funding to cover all arts topics, so chances are they’ll be enthusiastic about your offer.
  • If handcrafts are more your thing, look for a local Stitch and Bitch group, or start your own! Set aside a time each week to eat snacks, knit, sew, or needlepoint, and meet other people with the same interests.

Finally, if getting out of the house is really not an option for you, or your free time is sporadic and inconsistent in a way that prevents you from making a regular commitment, be sure to check out the Google Art Project, and take a tour of a museum from the comfort of your couch. One thing that I always mean to do but never remember to is to pay attention to the special events going on at my local movie theater. You can see operas, ballets, and even marching band competitions on the big screen for a reasonable price, which seems like a really great time to me.

The most important step to getting involved with a new activity, or return to one you love, is to make time for it. Consider it an essential part of your sanity routine, like watching Community, painting your toenails, or reading a pleasure book.

What do you do to keep your creative juices flowing?

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By (e)Kelsium

Kelsium lives in Southern California with her partner and collection of almost (almost!) kill-proof plants. She enjoys the beaches, but finds the lack of acceptable bagels distressing. She considers herself an expert in red lipstick and internet rage.

15 replies on “How to Get in Touch with Your Artsy Side”

I like trying to express my artsiness by making scrapbooks of things that I find artistic or beautiful or interesting. Articles about dance, music, film, art, local things I’ve gone and enjoyed, as well as tickets to events I’ve attended. I clip out pictures of people I think are stunning or unique-looking, and whenever I go through the books, it’s a celebration of everything artistic in the world, and a journey of where I’ve been in my life. In addition, I like making mix CDs, writing reviews of films, and enjoy cooking as an everyday pastime. It’s just important for me to have art in my life everyday, in whatever form it comes into.

When I want to relax, I go to Color Me Mine to paint pottery. I give away a lot of them as gifts, and folks are so excited to get something homemade.

There’s a new sewing store in town, I might take lessons. Joanne’s Fabrics has all kinds of lessons on sewing, cake decorating, quilting…

I really like the mentor through a youth center idea. I’m a recent Art Ed. grad looking for a teaching position which is hard to come by in the middle of the school year. This will be away to keep my teaching skills fresh and my creativity flowing. I’ll definitely be investigating this thanks for the idea! Also lately I’ve been watching Community while knitting. Joel McHale plus crafting what’s not to love right?

I’m an inspiration/mood board nut. I have a huge one in my home office and I think I had upwards of 6 in my cube at work. I life crap from everywhere and stick it on the board or in a binder. I just need to be visually stimulated all the time, so I think any creative work I do is influenced at least a little bit by my surroundings.

I’ve been really, really wanting to host a self portrait party–supply large canvases and paint, ask people to bring booze/food, get drunk and paint ourselves. Then we can trade the pieces if we want. I will get around to this someday…

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