Missing all those crafts your elementary school forced you to do? Balancing a healthy relationship with the arts can be a struggle for everyone during the tumultuous journey of adulthood, but your creative side isn’t a thing that you should be fighting with. Whether it’s locating a new hobby or discovering an old passion project, it’s time to pour your heart into cultivating a wholesome thing that can give you joy as well as last.
1. Take a class at a local university
Not just any old class, take a class that you actually want to take. If you’re in school, there’s no harm in using it to cover one of your electives. Maybe painting is your thing but you haven’t done it in years. Maybe your father bought you a camera that you never put to good use. Whatever the case may be, it’s up to you to hit the books, the clay, the dance studio, or whatever else you want to do.
2. Try your friend’s hobbies
Quilting? Metal-working? They might not sound like your cup of tea, but try saying you don’t feel accomplished after crafting your first knife! Like many things and life, discovering what you’re interested in is going to take some trial and error. Lots of the hobbies people take after are stumbled upon by chance, after all. So ask around, see what your loved ones are interested in and then join them to find the hype. They’ll understand if it’s not your favorite thing in the world, but the sure thing is the flattered feeling you’ll give them when they discover that you’re genuinely interested in learning from a master.
3. Pick up an activity you used to do
Playing the violin might’ve felt easier when you were twelve, but it’s satisfying to find yourself being able to retrace the steps however many years later. Self-satisfaction is everything when you’re attempting to be creative. Great poets don’t despise their poems because the words are a part of them, as much as an arm or a leg. If what you create makes you feel good, then keep on creating it. The quality only matters as much as the work you are or aren’t willing to put into it.
4. Learn a new language
French, Spanish, Korean, Chinese, there’s plenty out there to learn before you travel more in the world. Speaking a language that you aren’t fluent in will stimulate your brain, and can open up new opportunities for you to flex your creativity
Besides, when I say learn a language I mean that you should actually go learn it. Ten words a day, grammar lessons intact, staying committed enough to listen to music in that language and attempt to make friendly conversation with native speakers online. Duolingo can take you to a certain level of fluent, but if that doesn’t stick, consider another program or a private tutor. It’s never too late to teach an old dog new tricks.
5. Draw. On everything.
When I was eleven, many of my friends were natural artists. They understood artistic concepts, had their own styles, and even began animating. I was admittedly stunned to figure out that some of them had stopped by the time we got much older, seeing as how I always looked up after them, and felt flattered beyond belief to have them complimenting my artwork. The secret? Doodling.
Up and down the margins on my math homework, on my hands, on my binders, on everything I could touch. Obviously some of these behaviors got me in trouble, but after years of doing so I found myself pleased with my drawings, with my art style, and the progress I never would have believed possible. The other secret about this is to consume everything you can get your hands on. With the internet, there’s no shortage of cartoons or tutorials.