Have you ever found yourself speechless but so full of emotion?
It isn’t that the experience has no expression or meaning. It exists beyond words, and we need to turn to other forms of expression to access what we are feeling.
Art is more than images and marks on the page; it is a language. As artists we understand how to use this language to explore the light and dark of our life experience.
I started speaking at a young age; I mean younger than the norm, and if you ask my parents they will agree that I never stopped talking from that point on. I also started reading at a very young age and with those two gifts I began storytelling and exploring my world in words.
It wasn’t until decades later that I began keeping an art journal. My therapist suggested that I incorporate art as part of my healing. At first I wasn’t interested in drawing my emotions, but she said something that resonated enough to change my thinking. My therapist said (I’m paraphrasing this) “Some experiences can’t be put to words because there are no words, or the experience occurred before you were old enough for words.”
So now I keep a journal that is for my eyes only. I fill a journal and then I put it away because it can be painful to keep it around. But art is healing me, and helping me come to terms with the past.
(One summer evening I plan on having a great fire where I will burn my journals and free myself from the past.)
As artists we are fortunate to understand the power of our creativity. We speak another language that transcends words and provides us with meaning.
If ever you are feeling guilty for spending your time creating, remember this: You are feeding your soul, and exploring the light and the dark of your life experience. All of which will help you become more deeply connected to the world.
How has art helped you? Do you keep an art journal? Do you share it with anyone? Comment and share your perspective.
Have a great week!