Art as Therapy

(C) 2020, JJ Shaun

I have never been much for journaling on the regular. Many of my daily journal entries end up the same, “the weather was nice, nothing much happened, the end.” Oh, I’ve had periods in my life where I tried to build a habit, but it never lasted long enough to miss writing about my day. I even tried to use more drawing than words. That lasted a couple of weeks. My journals always had substantial time gaps that made me wonder what happened in the interim, as details faded over time.

Even those sketchy journals are gone now.

The longest “diary” I’ve kept is this blog. I suppose that’s a sad admission coming from someone who claims to be a writer. The fact is, I write when I’m stressed out or trying to work my way through a problem. That generally translates into sitting down to write in fits and starts.

I’ve recently discovered beginning art videos on YouTube and Facebook. I know I’m a little late to the party (again), but I’m learning new skills. Whether I’ll ever be any good at creating art is a whole ‘nother issue. The fact is, I’m using my old brain in new ways. I used oil pastels to create this piece. I still have a lot to learn.

(C) 2022, JJ Shaun
Sunset, with oil pastels.

Another way to create is through coloring. I loved coloring as a kid, and I rediscovered the joy of coloring a few years ago. I began with mandalas.

(C) 2016, JJ Shaun
Mandela coloring.

I’m working my way back into the patience that coloring a page requires; my mind won’t relax enough to think about how best to make the picture pop. And again, I’ve turned to online videos to learn better techniques. I’m still working my way through a complete picture.

I spend a few hours each day on a writing website, reading through the newsfeed to find a story to review, a prompt that will catch my imagination, or reading through the latest newsletter for hints, tips, and tricks to improve my craft. My stories are getting more attention than they have in a while. I’ve been reading through my first attempt at a novel in hopes that I can catch the thread and finally finish it. Whether it will be good enough to publish is another story altogether. Only time will tell.

One thought on “Art as Therapy

  1. Art might be the only thing that keeps me sane, honestly.
    So I totally get you.
    Your drawings look amazing! And without a doubt it will only improve.
    Have you ever tried digital drawing?
    I use the app “sketchbook”. It is free and ad free. It has quite a lot of features, such as water color and pastel.
    Sometimes it’s a bit slow, but overall I like it a lot 🙂


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