This is from the Facebook page event held on August 24, 2019. it is a free webinar entitled How to use art as a medium for self-care by Ma. Crizelle Ramos, YouTube content creator of ColorsbyCC.
Self-care has been talked about in many ways, but this is the first time I’m doing it. My life has been incredibly sad these days. And one of the things I learned in dealing with it is to find ways that will make you happy. Well, happy in a sense that I get to live by.
Depression Changes You
I am not a psychologist nor am I a professional artist. My discovery of my newfound passion for creating art is something I could say as one of the very few silver linings in my years of clinical depression.
With all the unfortunate and tragic events that happened in my life, I feel like I don’t recognize myself anymore. I feel like I have changed a lot and sadly, it’s a change that’s not for the better. I lost my confidence to do anything, the enthusiasm in life and that feeling to dream about the future. I am living life on autopilot.
Depression, anxiety, and stress affected my health physically and mentally. But art, specifically watercolor painting, helped— and is still helping me to cope… to keep on fighting…
Reconnecting to Self
When I paint, I just don’t mindlessly paint. There are small decisions and actions I need to make for me to transfer this image from my head unto the paper. At first, it’s really hard because I didn’t know a thing about painting. But I got so interested in it and I got amazed with how watercolor paints work that I was investing more time, effort, and money than I thought I would. But I can honestly say it’s worth it because the feeling every time I paint and especially when I finish a painting is really priceless. It’s happiness I can feel from the inside of my soul and I feel it restores my confidence as it gives me a sense of achievement.
Reconnecting to Others
When I’m really not okay, I shut myself to everyone. It’s not that I enjoy loneliness but I just don’t want people to see me like that. When I paint and share my paintings to family, friends, other watercolor enthusiasts, it’s my way of connecting with other people and ‘socializing”. It really helps to fight the loneliness and it feels good for me to be discussing watercolor painting with other people.
Reconnecting to the World
I love to travel. This is actually one of the main reasons why I opt to do freelance work. I no longer want to be bounded by the strict and limiting schedule of working in an office. Not being able to travel as frequently as I want to in spite of working honestly frustrates me a lot. However, painting landscapes became my way of seeing the world and appreciating its beauty. Now, whenever I look at the sky or the clouds or the trees… I’m thinking, “How can I translate this beauty in painting?” So, there, I guess I could say painting made me more grateful for the simple things that I didn’t really pay that much attention to.
How to incorporate watercolor painting to your self-care habits
As I said earlier, watercolor painting has been helping me fight depression and all the other demons inside me. I really think this is one of the best self-care habits that I have done for myself.
Watercolor Painting Redirected My Retail and Self-care Therapy
I’m one of those people who feels good when shopping. When I was really becoming into watercolor painting, my purchases have changed from clothes, shoes, and make-up to art materials. I buy good paints, papers, brushes that I could use to support my newfound passion. I put a mini art area in my tiny room. I collect and surround myself with things I love, with the things that spark joy. Looking at these things makes me happy. Using them makes me happier!
Watercolor Painting Helps Me in My Self-care Routine to Make Me Feel Good
I paint especially when I’m feeling strong, negative emotions. Instead of letting myself dwell into negativity or instead of doing something I would regret, I just paint. Watching how the paint behaves on paper while I’m working on a piece of painting has become really therapeutic for me. It’s really effective for expressing my thoughts, my feelings; for calming me down, altering my mood, and then for thinking more logically about stuff.
Watercolor Painting Helps Me Have a Balanced Day
Working from home doesn’t mean that it’s not tiring. Sure I’m no longer spending hours traveling to and from work but my brain is still working for 8 hours thinking about all the things I do in my job. There are a lot of times when I work for more than 8 hours. Also, it’s also not helping that I have the same space for working and sleeping.
I do watercolor painting as frequent as I can and I do it every after work hours. Shutting down my laptop and preparing my painting materials tells my brain that it’s time to start “resting” as I’m done working for the day.
When I paint, my brain is obviously working when I’m thinking about how I will compose a scene, or what colors I will use, or what techniques I will use for this and that. But this is work that my brain enjoys and I feel like it’s a really healthy exercise for my brain.
Watercolor Painting Gives Me an Attitude of Gratitude
Watercolor painting makes me happy. It makes me see the beauty in everything I choose to paint, even on the simplest of things. Whenever I finish a painting, I feel proud of it because it’s MY work. It’s the product of my thoughts, my feelings—it’s me transferring what’s inside me unto paper.
At the same time, I feel thankful to God for giving me the ability to paint and the inspiration to make all these paintings. I feel thankful because in spite of all the negative things that happened, that I’m feeling… I can still be an instrument to do beautiful things, like a painting.
How to rekindle your passion and keep it alive
So, I found my newfound passion. I have watched hundreds of painting lessons and I paint every single day. I’m in love with painting and I have lots of ideas and future projects in mind. One day, I woke up and feeling uninspired. A day has become a week, then a month. You must be thinking, am I questioning if this is really for me?
No, I’m not questioning my passion. I believe it’s normal for the fire of your passion to be waning. Just don’t let it die. And even if it does die, you should reignite it as soon as possible.
Paint Different Subjects
The first subjects of my watercolor paintings are doors. After painting a lot of them, I feel like I’m getting bored. So, I worked on landscapes. I haven’t done landscape paintings so it’s challenging for me. At first, I was working on tutorials then I started doing paintings without them. Then I had the same feeling I had when I was working on door paintings. I still have a lot to learn about painting these subjects so why am I feeling this? Instead of getting burnt out on the subjects I like, I started working on other subjects I feel like I want to do. So, I feel it helped a lot because I work on all the subjects I need to work on and I’m not getting bored with one of them.
Set Low Expectations
My expectations of myself and of others can sometimes have a negative effect on your passion and painting habits. As a beginner, I always keep in mind that not all of my paintings are worth sharing to others. Sometimes, I work on paintings that would only be seen by me. These are the practice paintings from which I have these happy and not so happy accidents. This is from which I learn and discover what works, what doesn’t work, what I like and don’t like.
Use Self-care to Keep Yourself Inspired and Keep on Learning
On the days I’m not painting, it doesn’t mean I’m not thinking about painting. I’m watching different watercolor painting tutorials, searching for different reference materials, looking at other creative projects, window shopping online for art materials, etc. I keep myself busy with the things related to my passion because I am searching for inspiration and so that my learning is continuous.