Just Make Art

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When Life Gives You Lemons, Create Art!

By Cindy L. Adkins

If you ever gone through a particularly difficult time, you may recall that you received some valuable insights during that struggle. If you have obstacles facing you right now, it is a good time to get in touch with your creative self. Do not even entertain the thought that you will wait until life gets better. Jump in and express yourself in a manner that only you can.

You may decide to tuck your newly-produced art away in a drawer, but chances are that will never happen. It is more likely that you will begin to see all the talent burgeoning inside of you and let it come to the forefront. This serves two purposes. First, it lets you express yourself at a time when you need it most. Secondly, you will see that even in the midst of what seems to be an unending difficulty, you took time out to do something positive for yourself.

If you cannot draw a stick figure but would like to be involved in the creative process, there are many great places to start. You could begin with mixed-media, collage, or altered art. There are many fine examples of it on the internet for you to become inspired. Look at various websites for examples of how you can begin your own artistic journey.

Perhaps you feel that it is too costly to take on a new endeavor. But, you can start with a fresh tablet of watercolor paper for under $5. It can be cut to various sizes that you would like to use in your work. If you are just starting, there is no need to buy paper of varying dimensions. Just cut to fit and you are on your way!

If you are thinking that you are stymied because you do not own any art supplies, that should not be a deterrent either. Look for items around your house that can be used in an artistic manner. Do not forget to go outside and look for treasures in your garden that can be pressed and used, as well. Twigs can provide a nice touch that offers a natural feel to your work. Empty the contents of seed packets and use them for texture. The possibilities are endless.

Producing art is not limited to painting a canvas. You can just as easily decorate a jar or box that you have sitting in a cupboard somewhere. You can decorate it with some of your favorite family photos and trim it with ribbon and silk flowers.

Once you get started on your artistic quest, new ideas will abound. Each day, you will think of other thematic turns that your creativity can take. My own background in quilting is what gave me the love of color and texture. For years, I learned different techniques and created numerous original works, but never considered myself to be an artist. Then, one day I decided to design a project for my community using pictures with fabric and voila, my mixed-media career began!

The main thing is, do not wait for things to get better. Start by gathering ideas and then supplies. Once you are in "the zone," so to speak, your difficulties may not vanish, but your focus will definitely change. That is the secret to art--that it is freeing and rewarding to anyone who enters through its doorway. So, when life gives you lemons, put the seeds on your canvas and use them in your art!

Cindy L. Adkins is a New Orleans-based artist who enjoys inspiring people to use their own creative talents. She believes that the artistic process itself grows even stronger when shared with others. Ms. Adkins holds a Master's Degree in Humanities and a B.S. Degree in Liberal Arts.




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