Art post title image
Mental Health

“Art is to console those who are broken by life…”

Vincent Van Gogh once said “Art is to console those who are broken by life…” and you know what? It is! It’s an outlet. It’s something that can draw you in and become a fun and rewarding escape from your thoughts. It can mend, even if just for a short while a broken, weary mind.

Now, I’m not saying that everyone needs to run to the shop and buy supplies and paint masterpieces. What I am saying is that it is worth a try. Even if you just doodle on a newspaper with a biro, making every politician look like they came from a cartoon from the 1990’s. Anything. It’s an outlet and to be fair. The one I just gave as a very basic and silly example is actually therapeutic. (Trust me on that one… I used to love doing it all the time when I was younger. The worse of the mood I was in the stupider I made people look… it did help a bit.)

There’s proof in that statement because there are art therapies out there! They’re there to help people get that outlet, get that time to be drawn into something else other than their own dark, negative and unhelpful thoughts. There is research and papers even books on using art therapy with recovery. They help people get their inner feelings out and gain an understanding of them.

Below are two excerpts from the West London NHS Trust website.

“Art therapy is a powerful way of focusing on the whole person, not just the symptoms of a person’s mental illness. It encourages a person to express themselves freely, creating images or objects that reflect suppressed emotions. Talking about an artwork with a therapist can help a person understand the issues that arise, and gain greater control over aspects of their life.”

“By concentrating on expressing images that come from inside a person rather than what they see in the world around them, art therapy gives a person increased insight into thoughts and feelings, helping them to see things with a new perspective. This insight offers hope to a person as they discover a sense of their personal identity separate from their mental illness.”

I even talk a little about art therapy and my experience and thoughts of it in a previous post which can be found here

Also, please take a look at this report about art and it’s contribution to wellbeing from the guardian.

However, whilst art is indeed a very wonderful and helpful tool… it can be hard to even get the will to pick up that pen/pencil/paintbrush etc. you can feel zero motivation. You can feel it won’t be any good. You may even talk yourself out of trying. I know. I’ve been there. I haven’t really drawn for nearly two months now.. maybe a bit longer I’m not sure. I always tell myself I’m going to tomorrow. Then tomorrow comes and there’s another excuse.

Just like your recovery, art and creativity take courage. Courage to believe what you’ll do will be good. Courage to ignore the negative things your mind is throwing at you for even thinking about drawing or what not. I’ve been there.

Trust me though. It is worth it. If you can’t access an art therapy or art group.. do it at home! Do it alone, or with your family and/or friends. Go get yourself some nice pens, pencils, paper. They are cheap (this is not sponsored in any way) but go to Poundland or Wilko, they have some really cheap ones and Wilko stocks those nice Crayola colours for really cheap. Chuck on some music and let your hand take over. Draw how you feel, draw what you’re thinking or even random scribbles. random splodges of colours. You’ll soon find you’ve done something wonderful. I believe it.

My husband for example. What he did on Tuesday was beyond random but it looks good.. and I’ll show you one side of the paper below. He says he’s not an artist but I thought this was really good. Especially pumpkin dude.

Husband artwork with pumpkin man
Husband’s artwork ft. Mr spook!

Whilst I’m not willing to show off what I am working on for the blog just yet. Here’s something I have considered to be a mini mascot in my own chibi style who will start making appearances every now and again in my posts. Here she is below.

chibi art misfitmuser
chibi misfitmuser

I’m not an amazing artist but I thought she turned out quite well. It took me mst of the day to even pluck up the courage to try and draw her. So please believe me when I say that I get it when you say you don’t want to draw because of how you feel or you just can’t because you feel so rotten and useless. I get it! Just give it a try. It’ll be worth it.

I will throw at the end of this post some extra pictures of some drawings I managed to do a while back when I was feeling low which expressed how I was feeling pretty accurately.

I guess a pretty happy post in general does make a difference. When I’m in the artistic mood and when I find my old drawings do expect to see more on these posts. Or even just random doodles put in where I feel that they will fit. If you want to see more, just let me know! I may even set up an extra page on my blog itself to store all of the main art things that I do!

If you like what you have read here today, or maybe it’s resonated with you then please hit the subscribe button on the sidebar so you can get notified of all new posts.

– Gem

    *** Here are the two extra images I promised a bit further back in the post! ***
art piece of mental illness
“I feel I’ve lost myself”
art piece on mental health
“Defective”

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Hi! I'm Gemma, a mental health and recovery journey blogger! My blog focuses on the effects of mental illness and the entire recovery process.

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