How Creative Expression Can Be A Powerful Tool in Times of Struggle

As the first weeks of 2020 draw to a close many of us may feel that our well-being may have taken a bit of a battering.

Simply turning on the news can feel like an anxiety-inducing walk through a long list of national and global struggles we can feel powerless to respond to. Particularly in the midst of our country’s bush fire crisis, we can feel frustrated, saddened, and even guilty about how best to respond.

Of course there are many practical and necessary responses in times of strife. But how can we personally process, contribute and heal when we feel surrounded by struggle?

There is so much evidence of the power of art and creative expression of all kinds in responding in times of suffering. Throughout history, countless artists have discovered the power of processing struggle through artistic expression. One example is beloved artist Frida Kahlo, whose many paintings show examples of how creativity can help us understand pain.

Frida Kahlo – The Broken Column (1944)

In the midst of the harm suffered by our landscape during these bush fires, here are a few ways we can find respite and healing in our art and creativity.

Using Creativity to Process Sadness and Grief

Image: Melanippe_art

It can be easy to wish away our sadness in times of great struggle, but grieving for what we have lost is a healthy and even important way to process our trials. Before we can find hope, our creative expression can help us sit with our sadness and understand our own emotional responses to pain.

Tip: Whatever your creative expression, let what you feel have a place in your art.

Using Your Creative Response to Bond with your Community

Image: kelogsloop

Often when we experience a time of suffering as a community, there is a real need to share our responses and participate in a collective kind of healing. Creating art of any form and, if you feel comfortable, sharing it publicly, can be a point of response that your whole community can experience.

Tip: Consider sharing your creative response, large or small.

Using Creative Expression as an Antidote to Destruction

Image: Sonya Kosar

When I turn on the news lately, destruction seems everywhere, but the opposite force of creation exists within us as well. When we create something, we push back against our feelings of helplessness to channel our energy into the birth of a piece of art, a small victory in the face of suffering.

Tip: Encourage one another to turn destruction into a creative act, however small.

Image: Anna Kputsova

As we face this time of great struggle and difficulty, I hope we can find comfort in the endless potential that lies within our creativity, even as we seek practical solutions.

Paint for Fun believes in the creative potential inside very person. We love to sit outside and create art in response to nature. Wherever you are, lets create beautiful, meaningful art out of the toughest of times.

(Featured image credit Erhan Cihangiroglu erhancihangiroglu)