If You Feel Like You Can’t Make Anything Out Of Your Life, Make Art Instead

William Felker
William Felker

Make something to feel better. Make something to relieve your stresses and daily pressures. Make something to forget your worries.

Use your worries about paying off your student debt to make a delicious batch of peanut butter cookies. Use your negative thoughts about what body shape you think you should have to make a painting of the female form. Use that rejection letter from the awesome sounding job to make a blog post that’ll inspire others.

It doesn’t have to be anything that will make your fortune, it just has to be something that has turned the bad into something good.

Write a mushy poem about the one that got away. Draw a funny cartoon (even if you think you can’t draw) portraying your dick head of a boss as a comical villain. Splash colour all over a canvas to look like the beautiful hot mess that you are.

Of course, you’ve probably already got one of those adult colouring books; perhaps hoping the pictures were porn as suggested in the title; they’ve certainly got the right idea, creating a feel of calm as you slowly colour in each tiny part of a highly detailed sailing boat scene. But if you just want to take action on how crappy your day might have been – to create something unexpected – then colour in those intricate pages with the cold cup of coffee that’s bee sitting on your bedside table for four days. Paint the sea green and the rain pink. Sprawl all over the pretty patterns with words you’d never say in front of your mother.

These things that you are making are not with the intention of uploading to your Instagram afterwards. This art is for you.

Of course, feel free to show it off. Write a killer script and make a movie. Put together inspirational essays and sell your first e-book. Or, keep your art to yourself in that little box of keepsakes at the bottom of your wardrobe. That’s cool too.

If you’re not feeling particularly creative – that’s fine. I suggest at least grabbing a scrap piece of paper, maybe even some junk mail sitting in your recycling bin, and write “FUCK THIS” all over it, as many times as you can. Then you can either scrunch it up, put it back in the recycling, rip it to shreds, light it with a match, or frame it and hang it proudly on the wall. It’s still something that you’ve made. It’s still art.

Unfortunately Netflix binges very rarely perk my mood, even when watching the awesome power couple that is Mr and Mrs Underwood of House of Cards. Sometimes I find an inspiring gem amongst all of the low rated horror films that are ready for streaming, but it is an unusual find. So I turn to making something. I make something to please my future self, even if it’s just a little bit.

If none of this works, fall back to the peanut butter cookie idea – they’re easy as fuck (easier than pie, trust me) and are the most more-ish and comforting things that give you taste-gasms when everything else in the world seems a little sour. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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