Friday, February 24, 2012

Stress & Artistic Expression

Like some of you, I have had my share of stress in 2011 and was able to deal with them and get past them. This latest stress, that I am now experiencing, has affected more than my health.

We all know that stress is known to affect your health. And boy does it! For that, there is medication and treatment. However, I was not aware of the effect stress can have in your creative process. It seems, at least for me, that I must have a clear mind, and available time, in order to create. Lately, I have found that being under stress can actually bring your creativity to a complete stop. It is very hard to get started.

When I mention this to friends and family, some say to paint and lose the stress and others agree that they just can’t create under stress. I ran into one of my old art teachers at, of all places, a funeral. He asked if I was painting. I said I have not been able to under all this stress. He said, “Well, what are you waiting for? Get started and the stress will disappear”; a very true statement. Now, if he had only explained to me how to get started.

How has stress affected your creativity? Let’s share how we can get started.


  1. Rosie,
    Oh, yes, stress has affected my creativity. I will be linking back to your post in my blog. =)

    How? Well - not painting. Outside of my sketchbook, I have very little art work even begun. My lifeline, my stress relief, my zone is contained in an 8x5 in. sketchbook. My hands are comforted when rubbing my fingers on the hardcover. The plain blue cover comforts me and hides my art secrets. The book holds a pencil - a magical wand that draws my thoughts and words onto paper. Later, when allowed, the colors are back filled. My brain is still exploding with ideas, but am more relaxed because I have a place to record them for later prompts.

    Art journaling has become my stress relief.
    Will I get back to painting and encaustics? You bet. Will they have to pause a while longer? Probably. Will my creativity stop? Absolutely not.
    Sketchbook with pencil in tow, I go.

    Rosie - how about trying it? No one has to know how "bad" a drawing is to you. No one has to even see the pages. Drip, draw, glue, etc. in it. It will help. It will give you a beginning. Get started by scribbling on a page and then fill it with colors.

  2. Angeline,

    Thank you for taking the time to share your experiences in dealing with stress. My sister read this and immediately went and bought me a sketchbook. I have not only tried, but had a couple of "bad" sketches, but trying took me away for the time being.

    I plan to follow your advice and carry it with me

    Thanks, Angeline!