Use your space well and look around online. After a break from art

It’s hard on the heart to return to something you love after being away for years. Many of you have been through that or are going through it now.

Life gets in the way of making art (and I say this with love and gratitude), and you have to figure out how to get back in touch with your creativity as if you were starting. These are solid starting points if you have stopped making art for a while or are returning to it after a lengthy absence. Enjoy!

Be Self-First ” It’s Not the Same as Selfish “

Putting yourself first can be hard, right? But I want you to remember this when you have a chance to explore your art but don’t: you are a better person when you take care of your creativity.

You are special and unique because you see color and texture everywhere and look at things differently. So please take care of yourself. It differs from being selfish; when you do it, you’ll feel better and have a better outlook. And people will love you even more because of it. So could you put it on the calendar and stick to it?

Go toward what you love.

What excites you (or gets you excited again) about painting or drawing? For me, color is always what brings me back. I’ll go days without seeing a beautiful green, blue, or pink, and then I’ll see one that will inspire me to paint or sketch using colored pencils or oil pastels. If you love color as much as I do, your first step might be to watch the Perfect Color Mixing video download by Nancy Reyner. This reference is for you if you love color and want to take it all in.

Take Up Space

Take up space where you can, but let your art take up space. Whether it’s a shelf, a closet, a room, or a sliding bin under the bed or sofa that’s easy to get to, whatever your art needs right now, please give it its place so that you can go there and start making art without having to run around looking for supplies.

It doesn’t have to be a fixed place. For example, I keep all my art in a big box and a toolbox because my apartment isn’t very big. But that works for me and might work for you if you are starting. 

Just Look

You can go in any direction when you are just starting a trip. But if that gives you anxiety fire alarms, start with this:

  1. Just look.
  2. Check out art books, visit an art show, or look at an artist’s work online.
  3. Look up an artist whose work you like and look at it.

If you want extra credit, keep a sketchbook with you and write down your thoughts, artistic ideas, or pictures that come to mind. But being creative doesn’t always mean being busy. Part of it also has busy minds and eyes that are soaking up the inspiration.


Take the time to warm up your whole body, including your hands, fingers, and wrists. Even though art isn’t a contact sport, it’s a good idea to get back in touch with the movements that come with pen strokes and brush daubs. This

This time for warming up can also be playtime! Play around and leave your mark. Close your eyes, use your less-used hand, or try a tool you’ve never used before. After a break from art, there are no rules anymore, so your creativity can do whatever it wants. Let it!

What’s Reasonable

When I started making art again, it made sense to start by trying out different media, both ones I liked and ones I had only heard of. I had to try them out first to see if I liked pen and ink or if I was happier with a paintbrush in my hand. If that makes sense, learn about media as much as possible. Take an art class, pull out any old art supplies, or watch videos on making art to find out what you like to do with your hands. Let your senses be your guide!


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