Make gifts this year! Here’s some ways to stay sane and motivated as you crash through your holiday projects this week:
1- Please don’t say “I’m not creative.” That’s like saying, “I don’t have brainwaves.” If you are awake, you can create. Draw someone’s name on a card and color it. Frame it in one of those $1 clear acrylic frames from Walgreens. They can keep it on their desk (just ideas).
2- Every human is an artist, period. If you attempt a stick figure or doodle, you are making art. Because you are creating lines in a moment in time. And those lines can only come through you and every single life experience of which you are comprised. Therefor those lines are 100% unique. Therefor you are an artist. Therefor everyone is an artist if/when they feel like it.
3- Whether you are making a mix tape (thumb drive?) or an oil painting, forget about the receiver’s reaction—just focus on the moment of creating and how amazing it is that you can produce art any moment you wish. Do your thing and the rest will follow. (And yes, mixing art together is art too. Tell an eighties kid that mixtape-making is not an art form and he/she will knock you out. Just kidding, he/she will roll his eyes and sigh sadly, because human craftsmanship, even on a boombox, is becoming increasingly out of reach.)
4- While making and judging your projects, drop descriptives like good/bad/beautiful/ugly. They are completely subjective and therefore, moot. Would you have strong arguments between the beauty of a beetle vs a housefly? Right. Because things are just that– Things– to be enjoyed in the eye of the beholder. Just blast your favorite music, enjoy a glass of wine (or water!), and get lost in the art of writing your friends names.
5- When the end-of-the-world-super-virus comes, are you going to be packing carefully, wondering why I chose to paint you a shrunken head last Christmas? No! You will be fleeing civilization by whatever means necessary. I think that’s a nice thing to consider when you are painfully agonizing over the content of your “creative” projects. It doesn’t matter at all. So be compulsive and do whatever you want. Got a pet? Cover a canvas in their painted paw prints! (pet-safe dye/paint) Got some magazines and newspapers to recycle? Chop them up and decoupage a set of coasters! Don’t get caught up in the WHY. Just be yourself and do the DO. It’s the reason for the season.
6- Spare yourself the anxiety of striving for perfection. The point of not buying gifts was to create things in a stress-free, happy place. (i.e. not the mall) This is about self-expression, yes, but also self-care. Be kind to yourself, enjoy the process, and don’t get too caught up in perfect results. You have people to see and places to go!
7 Remember, it’s the thought that counts. Happy holidays!