How to channel your emotions into crafts (no matter how "artsy" you are)
I’m a visual person who can’t really paint or draw that well, but this doesn’t mean that I have to stray away from creating art. Because art, whether you’re “good” at it or not, ish SUPER therapeutic!
When I’m feeling feelings that seem to be clogging my brain, I retreat to my room, blast Sleater-Kinney, and create crafts from what I can find in my house. Just like my feelings, it’s messy and all over the place, but it helps to clear my mind. When I’m feeling super passionate about something, or maybe I’m broken down, I have this urgency to make my thoughts into something tangible; it’s like, I’m going to cover my emotions in glitter and paste them to some construction paper, because glitter makes everything better and maybe associating it with my current feelings can make me feel better too!
Here are some ideas for taking your emotions to creating different forms of art:
Mood boards are great for when you come across pictures, patterns, quotes, etc. that go with your state of mind. Cut out random pictures from magazines lying around, and paste them together to create something that resembles that feeling. If your feelings are messy, make it messy; if you are happy, find pictures and words that make you happy; if you can’t stop thinking about nachos, go right ahead and make a mood board about nachos!
A mood board making session struck me in the midst of being in a jealousy rut of this girl who is talented and beautiful and doing things that I want to do. Focusing on green, the ol’ color of envy, I cut out and printed pictures that suited this mood. The process of cutting and pasting images to make something that connects all together, really helped me to take a step back and remember that, I too, am great and special in my very own way. Also, after my crafting session, I realized that jealousy literally doesn’t do anything positive for anyone ever (besides make sort of cool mood boards).
Ah, journaling. A classic in the art of teenage angst. Jotting thoughts down in a simple composition book can really help to clear the mind. Writing in a journal about your day followed by reflection on your feelings, can soothe some mental chatter. I like to journal about each of my days, good and bad. It’s a tool to keep track of my thoughts and to help me expand through writing. It’s free-writing, so that means you write whatever comes to mind. No need for structured paragraphs, a thesis, yada yada yada. Think of your mind as a computer and your writing as a printer — whatever is on the “screen,” jot it down!
This journal entry came about thinking about life and where I want to be; I have my sights set on getting out of my current living situation, and moving onward, wherever the heckonward may be! However, I have been meeting some super fun people recently that I want to be closer friends with. I decided to journal about it because I wasn’t sure I felt about these two ideas of wanting to get out of here, but also meeting people who make me want to stay; through my spastic/quick free write, I came to a realization of just letting whatever be, BE!
*Although this entry is not specific to one day; a combination of days happened to inspire this musing!
Create a playlist to jam to while experiencing emotions that are negatively or positively overwhelming. Picking songs that have to do with one theme really makes the jam sesh personal to you! Associating songs with emotions makes you feel less alone. Daydreaming, dancing, or maybe even crying to the tunes can give you a chance to really let you JAM WITH YOUR HEART ON YOUR SLEEVE, and take the time to get those feelings out.
I made a playlist on Spotify with songs having to do with believing in yourself (yes, the Pokémon theme song is included. It is the ANTHEM for overcoming self-doubt/becoming the #1 Pokémon trainer). I listen to this playlist when I get bummed out from failing or whenever I begin to doubt myself. So go right ahead and put on my “You Can Do It!” playlist, grab your hairbrush microphone, and sing your little lungs out in front of your bedroom mirror.
It’s so relieving to be able to take overwhelming emotions, and turn them into words that create visuals. The thing that I love about the process of poetry is that even being in the midst of being eaten alive by emotions, being able to make metaphors and mentally stimulate visuals, helps assurance with whatever is going on.
This is part of a longer poem that I wrote about a boy who I wanted to like me. I decided to write a poem about it, because I remember looking at the art he makes and being like “Wow, I wish I looked like that. Then maybe ____ would like me.” It’s a poetic thought, so expanding through poetry just seemed right! Also, there’s something about liking or loving another person that makes writing poetry be a first instinct for me.
IMPORTANT: If you want to write your emotions out in poetic form, don’t worry about it sounding cheesy or embarrassing — it can be as personal as you’d like, don’t fear any judgment! It doesn’t have to rhyme or be on that Emily Dickinson level.
Whether you find yourself feeling super excited about life you can’t sit still, or super bummed out you can’t even get up to get the remote, let that energy out through creating! Creating works of your own emotional art opens your mind and helps you to better understand what you are feeling. I’ve been making things in these times since I was a braced-faced tweenager coping with the excessive hormones ala puberty; it’s simply the best to look back at all of my creations made in times when I thought the world was ending, because HERE I AM! I MADE IT! So don’t let feelings make you feel stuck or out of the moment — turn those feelings into your personal collection of crafts.