Drawing as relaxation, that really sounds attractive… Summer break is almost over again and it’s just then that it’s nice to hold on to that relaxation. That’s why this is a surprisingly fun way to both relax and be challenged.
Drawing is ideal for that: it’s effort and relaxation at the same time. You have to do something, you’re busy, you’re active…that’s the effort. At the same time you are focused by that effort and completely in the moment. You are not busy with yesterday or later or tomorrow.
Drawing is also a form of relaxation!
So Why Are You Creative?
Is ‘drawing’ or ‘being creative’ on your list of hobbies? And can you really relax while drawing or painting? It is good to think about why you do certain things and for what purpose. Why does your creativity matter? Is creativity a way for you to relax, let go or shift your focus?
The danger is that you often have a ‘perfect’ end result in mind when drawing. Or do you sometimes let the creative process come as it comes?
For the perfectionists among us (and there are a lot of them!) it is often not good enough. As a result, we often try to be too desperately creative. And that’s a pity! Drawing should be about relaxation: relaxation through effort.
How Can Drawing Help You Relax?
This is an idea: don’t set the bar too high, put it even lower.
Keep your hobby fun for yourself and don’t attach any judgment to it: everything you make is good. It’s all about the creative process. By drawing or painting you create a moment of peace for yourself: nothing else is needed, you can let your creativity flow and you can let your thoughts flow.
Being creative is good for processing emotions and letting go of what has been. By drawing more consciously and paying attention to whether you are relaxed, it can already help to get started in a more relaxed way.
Being creative in this way can be very therapeutic and help you to really relax. It is not for nothing that being creative is a way to express your emotions: you can really express your feelings, whether this is happiness, anger, love or pain. By being creative in a conscious way, you can process these emotions, perhaps give them a place and experience more relaxation. How beautiful is that!
Drawing In a Relaxed Position
By relaxing while drawing I don’t only mean letting go of a perfect result or ‘having to’ draw, but also the way you draw. In which (sitting) position do you actually draw? Just as an occupational health and safety service watches over ergonomic sitting postures at work, you have to take your own drawing and sitting posture seriously.
Try to sit relaxed with both feet on the ground. Relax your neck and shoulders. Is the table you are working on high enough? While drawing, take your eyes off your paper (or iPad) and focus on something in the distance. That way, your eyes are less likely to get tired and stay accustomed to focusing on different things. Look up, move your neck carefully, turn your shoulders and wrists. Be careful not to sit in the same position for too long: also give your body ‘rest’ from sitting continuously and start moving. Get a cup of tea or make a sanitary stop.
Do you find it difficult to detach yourself from your work? Then remember: nothing is more awful than to have not only a drawing after a creative session, but also a stiff neck and a cramped back as a result! If necessary, set a timer 😉
Don’t Let Others Drive You Crazy, But Let Yourself Be Inspired.
In this time of Instagram and YouTube we get to see things from other artists and creatives a lot more often. It can be overwhelming, all those different drawing and painting styles, successful stories and all those people who can live from their creativity. The influencers you follow all seem to pop out a creation every day as if it’s nothing.
Do you know what it turns out to be? These creative people don’t always create something new, but also make use of the power of repetition by sharing made creations again. They also regularly take long pauses to feed their inspiration again.
Every creative person knows how essential inspiration is and that you should not cross your own boundaries.
Don’t be discouraged by it, because they too have their own struggles, but try to see how someone else works with colors, shapes, themes. Learn from them and get inspiration to develop yourself. In the end it’s all about creating your own style you feel comfortable with. This also helps you to draw more relaxed: you don’t have to be like someone else, it’s about what you do.
Inspiration To Colour Outside The Lines
Let your feelings speak
If you ask yourself, what would you prefer to draw? Can you draw from your emotion? Use colors that match how you feel. This can be black and white if you are not feeling well or yellow if you are happy, but also play with this. What would happen if you started working with yellow and orange in a sad mood? Think about what colors would do to you. It’s by standing still that you can relax more and create peace and space.
Make use of other references
Try something new and get inspiration from others. Use Google, Instagram or Pinterest and get inspired by the use of colour, material and shape. You can also use various references such as photos, dolls or other objects (leaves, flowers) to help you capture the right shape or posture on paper.
Be aware of drawing
Many of us will watch television or videos on YouTube while drawing, listen to music or be distracted by our phone. Try shutting yourself off from all these outside stimuli and focus only on the drawing itself. You will notice that it calms you down: your brain is not (or less) distracted.
Or… use music!
You can also use music as a means to draw in a relaxed way. Don’t have an end result in your head, but move your pencil or brush to the rhythm of the music. Make thicker lines during the louder pieces in a song or make smaller movements when the music is soft. You can also draw or paint a (large) paper full of movements to the music of an entire album of your favorite artist. What colors do you actually associate with his/her music?
Use colors that make you happy
Choose only colors that make you happy or use colors that calm you down. For example, scientific research has shown that the colors blue and green calm people. Extra tip: don’t just stay above your drawing (sitting position!), but also go outside! Then you can immediately find inspiration for new creations.
And again: don’t be too strict with yourself. Relax, take it easy!
Are you going to be more relaxed from now on? Calm your monkey mind with drawing!
Let me know about your experiences in the comment section below!
With love ❤,