How Art Can Save Your Soul

“You must not fear, hold back, count or be a miser with your thoughts and feelings. It is also true that creation comes from an overflow, so you have to learn to intake, to imbibe, to nourish yourself and not be afraid of fullness. The fullness is like a tidal wave which then carries you, sweeps you into experience and into writing. Permit yourself to flow and overflow, allow for the rise in temperature, all the expansions and intensifications. Something is always born of excess: great art was born of great terrors, great loneliness, great inhibitions, instabilities, and it always balances them.” — Anais Nin

From a very young age, I turned to art as a way to process and sometimes escape the world around me. Art provided a space for me to create the kind of life I dreamed of: horses and unicorns, happy families, and all things cute and pretty. There were no arguments, no angry faces, no fear in the world I drew on my paper. Coloring absorbed my mind and passed the time.

As I moved into my teenage years, art gave me a way to express all of the emotions I was overflowing with and overwhelmed by on a daily basis. I continued to color even then because I found it so relaxing.

Once I was in art school, art provided stimulation for my mind and my soul. I began going to museums in Philadelphia and staring at pieces, FEELING how the images affected me. And trying to understand what I wanted my artistic voice to be in the world. Did I want to capture beauty? Make a political statement? Process my emotions? Did it even matter if it came from the depths of my Soul?

For me (and many others), art became a way for me to identify and communicate to the world all the subtleties of who I AM and what I believe in a way that words cannot express. Art got me through a lot of difficult emotions during difficult times. And I am always amazed how my own art can speak to me, bringing to light my subconscious thoughts and fears, telling me things that my conscious mind was not aware of as I was creating.

Art also gives me new ways to experience the world and expand my mind. New techniques, new materials, new classes, new ways of looking at the world around me… Art is a never ending journey and one that I still enjoy to this day. Thank you ART for always being there and for saving my life time and time again!