“I’m not an artist.”
Just because you’re not an artist doesn’t mean you can enjoy the benefits of a creative booster! Exploring your creative side isn’t to make you an artsy hipster. It’s to ease anxiety, boost your mood and often helps your ability to problem solve.
Now it’s no fun doing something and it looks awful. Everyone has something they are naturally keen to that they can tap into for some creative flow. Check out some of these great alternatives to drawing.
1. Write for 5 minutes straight
Oh you’re not a writer either? Don’t worry, even writers really don’t know what they are doing either.
This is a great practice that more people should do. For the same reasons drawing is good for you, so is writing. An added benefit often glossed over is people who write more, speak better. Less “uh” and other filters in daily conversation.
What do you write? Anything. Short story. Poem. Free write. Journal. Do a prompt series you find online. Switch it up everyday. Just put some pen to paper and learn to streamline your thoughts.
2. Paint by numbers
Adults are taking everything kids love, including paint by numbers. I think it’s our obsession with nostalgia.
Unlike 20 years ago, you can now find paint by numbers in difficult or custom art! Intricate patterns or send in a photo to be made into a paint by numbers, it’s definitely geared for the adult who needs to let out some creative energy but isn’t sure how to direct the energy. Sound like you? Click here and check some out!
3. Make something useful for the house
Something creative you can actually use. A lot of art projects end with just additional clutter. More paintings. More sculpted bowls. More notepads filled with sketches.
Find something your house needs but you keep looking for the perfect color etc... make it!
Obviously start with a low skill level if you’re new to the DIY game. Book shelves are easy, book marks, candles, herb boxes, jewelry dishes etc. There IS something you can make.
For stuff like this I always like to get a friend involved! More fun and you get a second opinion before tearing into something.
4. Do a home improvement project
It starts with making something useful for the house and ends up turning into a whole home improvement project... what separates the two? Probably the difference between going to Hobby Lobby and Home Depot for the bulk of supplies. I once only intended to add a shoe rack to my closet... ended with a full remodel. New trim, paint, hardware, layout, everything! It's a slippery slope.
Also, another great thing to bring a friend along for the ride! Projects on the house quickly turn into more than you can chew. Men, I know you CAN do it alone.. doesn't mean you should! Instead of stomping around the house cursing when you have to run back to the store, have your buddy with you so you stop and get a six pack on the way back too.
5. Recycle project
The only TRUE way to know something is being recycled is to do it yourself! Do an "upcycle" project. Pretty simple. Take something you're done with and turn it into something you will use again.
Example, I've been saving old glass yogurt jars from the one brand so my baby has little glasses to practice holding proper cups with. I also have Mason jars for various things in the kitchen and the ambition to make candles with some but that's just thrown on that long list of crafts I'd *like* to do.
Clothes are another great one to do this with. They can be turned into more clothes or a new item entirely. Literally anything you make with fabric.
Without becoming a hoarder- before you throw a good item away ask yourself if it holds another purpose you need filled..You'll be surprised what you start coming up with. Most of my house is based on this method of life. Old t-shirts become cleaning rags and protective covers for things, good to-go containers become tupperware to send leftovers with people back home, and cosmetic jars are a great way to store things inside desk drawers and other small spaces.
The earth thanks you.
6. Wood burning
The earth is upset you're setting her on fire.
Just kidding! Wood burning a nice piece of art > the art of sending junk mail.
This is a hobby I picked up over the pandemic. I'm not amazing at it but it didn't take long to become not awful. It's fairly inexpensive to get started, even with the wood prices skyrocketing. I have a sh*tty wood burning pen that comes with a couple tips but only one heat setting and no rubber gripper. It does the job. It's super uncomfortable for the hand- looking back I'd pay a little more money to get a rubber gripper one. So far I've done a nice wooden plaque for a business, a wooden door hang for my son's room, some Christmas ornaments and a college basketball team logo wooden plaque.
You can do it so cheap it's one of those things where it's like, why not go for it? Try it for a couple weeks and then pick it up for a couple hours every few years after that when you magically find it again.
Had to put this one on here. Cooking is a low key passion of mine. I really love unwinding and cooking a meal with no real constraint. It makes me feel artsy and like a scientist all at the same time.
The best part about cooking is that it's creativity with the most basic of purpose. To feed you. It's money you're already going to spend, mostly time you're already going to take. It's a convenient and delicious hobby. Also food makes friends. I win people over by inviting them over for dinner. The power of a well-cooked meal knows no bounds. You really can't pick a better skill to hone on the side.
So you say you're REALLY not artsy? Well I still have you beat. If you love knowing how things tick, get creative by programming something to be just the way you like it. Programming is the present and the future. It's gonna be what your kids are learning and already knowing a thing or two could really help them (and you.)
Even nerds can be creative.
Basically my point is just because you're not Monet doesn't mean you can't feel that creative high that artists get. Finding ways to be creative is crucial for your mental health. It taps into those parts of your brain that make you feel good in the moment. The after effect is being able to tap into that same creative high when you need it at places - like work!
Go forth and create! Create a mess. Create fun. Create a solution.