When I was younger, I loved to paint. My paintings weren’t anywhere close to being masterpieces. But I enjoyed the hobby, and I painted every night.
Soon, I filled the walls of my childhood bedroom with paintings depicting everything from landscapes to calligraphy to attempted portraits of my dog. Some were messy, and some were clean, and while I never considered myself a professional, it was a part of my routine.
And then college started.
At first, I didn’t bring any painting supplies and pretty much forgot about my hobby. I was running from one thing to the next, and the time I used to spend painting before bed turned into time for me to scroll TikTok.
Even the thought of bringing out paper and paints and water and brushes felt like a disaster waiting to happen — I’m not the cleanest when it comes to painting.
As time progressed, I craved a creative outlet — something separate from writing articles, reading, editing and spending time with friends.
So, I ordered some new painting supplies on Amazon and settled in for a night of relaxation: just me, some slow music and the paintbrush.
I don’t even remember what I painted, but I remember running upstairs to tell my roommates how content I was bringing back an old hobby.
I gathered up all my art supplies the next time I was home and started to get back into the habit. While I might not paint every night anymore, I still do when I see a few hours of spare time or when I know it’s time to unplug and reground myself.
I have started to prioritize other creative outlets too. Whether it’s designing pages for the Graphic or enrolling in more art classes, I realize I can be productive in ways that are also relaxing and restoring.
While I do not foresee myself becoming a professional artist, I expect art will always be a way for me to relax and reset while learning every day my art doesn’t have to be a perfect masterpiece.
Painting frees me from ruts and helps me realize it is OK to spend time doing hobbies I simply enjoy, even if there isn’t an end goal attached.
So, I will continue to paint when I feel like it. Maybe one day I’ll stray away from acrylic paint and get into oils and pastels and all of the other forms of art. But for now, I’m content to pursue my little hobby here and there and always have it there for me as a form of rest and relaxation.
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Contact Abby Wilt via Twitter (@abby_wilt) or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org