We, as humans, simply don’t have time for everything we want to do, everything we want to be. We barely have enough time just to maintain staying alive – food, sleep, work, occasionally going for a walk. It’s all a lot. Adding art to this seems like an immediate overwhelm.
On the surface, it feels as though art is something only available to those with an excess of time. The special humans, the ones who forget to eat, the ones who can run on five hours of sleep. Society has told us that art was created for the artistic genius who lives in a cabin in the woods.
It’s my mission in life to tell you that it is not.
It’s my mission in life to tell you that art is for those with a full, busy life. Art is for those enveloped in a busy social life. Art is for those with more ideas than time.
Art is for the cabin-in-the-woods-guy, but it’s also for those with a million responsibilities.
Art’s entire schtick is that it’s inclusive.
And that includes you.
It’s a sneaky lie that’s sold to us in a society that values output and productivity and more, more, more. This is ironic in the Alanis Morissette way because art is actually a time machine. It has the ability to slow time down. As practical magic, it teaches us to look closer, pay attention, and notice details. This mindfulness becomes inherent when you have an active art practice.
We can’t help but to slow things down. The only thing that is required of you is to take the first step. Repeatedly. Tiny, small steps towards your creative heart. Repeatedly. Finding small pockets. Repeatedly.
Your practice probably doesn’t look as neat as an uninterrupted Saturday to devote 6 hours to your creative practice. It probably looks like pockets.
Going slow is about finding those pockets and making what we can.
We do have time. It doesn’t look the way we wish it would look, but that’s what art is all about. Finding beauty right in the mess.
Cathy Nichols is a full-time artist, oracle card designer, and online teacher. She specializes in vibrant mixed media paintings with layered handmade papers, sheet music, flowers and all things joyful. Her popular online courses include “Mixed Media – Painting Modern Expressive Flowers,” and “Create Your Own Oracle Deck.
Arlyna is a lifelong artist who has always been into painting and anything art-related since she was young, following her passion for her career as a graphic designer while being an entrepreneur. She enjoys documenting her life in Shanghai through urban sketching and journaling. Her art journals ranging from watercolours to mixed medias to junk journals, serve as her free space to create freely and expressively and a respite from the hustle and bustle of life with twin teens.
Zero expectations. Zero pressure. All the fun.