3 Steps To Discovering Yourself Midlife Through Creating Art
Midlife is a time for self-discovery.
Most people wouldn’t define this period of our lives in this way. They would call it the point of decline or the far side of the hill of life. “It’s only downhill from here!” is a phrase you probably heard when you hit your 50’s or 60’s.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. That youthful spark and fervor for life is yours to recapture at any time you wish. All you need is a creative artistic outlet to ground you in this time of change, and through which you can channel that positive energy.
You may be saying to yourself, “I’m not creative! I’m not an artist!” But at the Accidental ArtMaker, we disagree. It doesn’t matter whether or not you’re “good” at creating art. There are only two things that are important:
That art making makes you happy
That you discover something new about yourself while doing it
How do you go about discovering yourself midlife through creating art? Let us show you the Accidental ArtMaker way, step by step.
Step 1: Choose Art That Interests You (Even If It Scares You)
Your first step is to choose a form of art making that interests you. It can literally be anything: painting, watercolors, clay molding, iron-on design transfers, stamping, and scrapbooking are just a few examples. Junk Journaling is on my list!
It’s important to do what you like, even if the thought of doing it wrong or making something ugly scares you. Let go of your fear and just let your creative soul take the lead.
Step 2: Give Yourself Grace As You Learn A New Skill
Most people aren’t good at making art the first time they try it. They have to fumble around with their supplies, make mistakes, and above all, practice, to get better. Remember to give yourself grace as you begin learning your new skill, and don’t beat yourself up for using the wrong type of paint or underbaking your clay sculpture.
Step 3: Don’t Judge Your Artwork Too Harshly
Most of the time, we are our own worst critics of our artwork. But the truth is, when it comes to making art, the best part of the process is not the result. It’s the journey.
When you were creating, you reached down deep into a well of inspiration you forgot you had or didn’t know existed, and you spent your time and energy in an act of pure artistic expression. It’s fine if it doesn’t look good. That comes with practice. The fact that you made it is special in and of itself.
So, don’t judge your artwork too harshly. Instead, ask yourself: did I have fun making it? Did I discover anything new? If the answer to both questions is, “Yes,” then you’ve done it right.
I must warn you: you may be surprised by what you discover. You may find out that you are a great painter or that you love designing furniture. You may realize that your favorite color is fuchsia, not just pink.
But above all, I hope that you discover (or rather, remember) that you are a beautiful soul, inside and out, with your own voice and unique way of expressing yourself. Once you learn that lesson, age becomes just a number, and the sky's the limit.