Art & Design Magazine

Art Therapy - Finding Time for Yourself

By Tampster1 @tampster1
Art has always played a major part in my life. Whether it be grabbing a sheet of printer paper and pen, some charcoal and wood or if I am really lucky I can find time for a brush and canvas, I have always used art both as a therapy and as a gauge of my mental health. I feel it is very important to find 1 hour a day to focus on your personal well being. I don't consider it selfish or negative. Our lives get so crazy and easily become of control that I find it an essential part of my emotional health and I am very lucky to have someone in my life that recognizes that.  
I find 20 minutes hour a day of uninterrupted time when I take lunch. I drive down to the river, and either grab my running shoes and zip around a quick 2.5km trail or I crank up the stereo and grab my travel sketch bag. I take this kit everywhere. It contains the essentials for my style of sketching which is not really fancy, is easy to transport and knows how to get the job done. I emphasize my style as this has taken me a long time to understand what that is. I think that my style is always evolving. I know how to draw,  and understand values, I can get through color theory, but finding MY style...wow that one is tough.
This art travel kit contains a blend of artist and student grade supplies, that gets the job done without breaking the bank.  Front left to right:
  •  Red watercolor pencil- I do a lot of portraits and find a neutral red doesn't complete when others colors are laid around it.   
  • Fine tip watercolor brush - for a little more detail
  • Charcoal pencil, soft lead encased in wood that easily blends and will give you a wide range of values.
  • Black water-soluble marker pen. A strong color that can be blended out with limitations.
  • Black permanent Sharpie marker, fine point. It provides strong permanent lines. 
  • Pigma pens in an array of nibs including the brush pen. Permanent fine tipped pens. 
  • Black gel roller pen. **my personal favorite. I love the way this cheap pen works. It will move just a little with the addition of water but doesn't get all crazy. 
  • White marker pencil. An alternative to a white gel pen.
  • White gel roller pen. I have a few and find this one works best for me.
  • A new addition to my kit is the watercolor fan deck. It may not be the best quality but this is just a sketchbook and as I mentioned earlier your travel kit should get the job done and is easily portable. check,check, and check. This deck comes with a water brush, mixing tray and a small sponge. Its perfect for my style. 
  • for back up I still have my Sucrets watercolor tin with a basic 6 color palette. ( a warm and cool of each of the primary colors) 
  •  travel size spritzer
  • napkins 
  • a hardcover sketchbook. I love this cheap sketchbook so much I grabbed 3. This one has signatures in both brown craft paper and off-white sketch paper. This paper does not hold up well to multiple layers but this will force you to lay it down right the first time. 

I usually only get a few minutes a day for art therapy and not everything I try will work out in 20 minutes and that is OK. The point of the exercise is to find time for you. It may not seem like a long time but anytime I can switch your brain from left to right seems to reset your mental state. So, where do you find your 20 minutes? What is in your mental health artist toolbox?
Art Therapy - Finding time for yourself

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