I decided to take up art journalling just over a year ago. My Doctor advised that I take up a new hobby to help deal with both my physical and mental illnesses. I had hobbies, such as dancing and zumba classes that I loved but my worsening conditions meant I had to stop.
I felt lost and hopeless. Uninspired. My mother had taken up art journalling and had told me about how it soothed her, emotionally, as well as keeping her occupied when she was poorly with Bipolar and Fibromyalgia. I was tempted to have a go but didn’t have a clue where to start.
Over a cup of tea my mother said something that made me decide that art journalling was to be my new hobby! She said. . “The great thing about all art is that there are no rules! Your art journal is just for you. It doesn’t have to be fancy. Even the simple act of drawing scribbles or painting a page can be incredibly soothing. Try it and see.” And I did. And my mother was right. Before I knew it I had started expressing my emotions, my fears, hopes and even anger on pages that started out as dots and scribbles and turned into something amazing.
My mother inspired me with her own amazing art journals and paintings and I thanked her by making her pages that symbolised my love, appreciation and gratitude for all that she does for me. For always encouraging me to try something new and reassuring me that no matter what happens, I am strong enough to adapt.
Keeping an art journal has helped me recognise certain issues I have, certain challanges I must face. It’s helped me to come to terms with my EDS, Fibro and BDD (body dismorphic disorder) diagnosis and helped me to celebrate them in a way and accept them as part of who I am.
To anyone out there who is facing hard times, I would so recommend trying out art journalling. It’s a type of magic that allows you to explore and learn about yourself and see how creative and unique you really are and lets you look back on how far you have come. Since those first few dots and circles on a blank page, I have covered my page in zebra stripes that I no longer struggle to accept. Instead I am proud of my stripes. Of my fears that I face every day. We are as unique as every piece of art we make. Be it music, theatre, painting, fashion and all the other amazing things we can enjoy and be part of if we reach out to eachother with our art.
My new hobby has been a life saver for me and has introduced me to some like minded friends. My next project is to hopefully make a colouring book that will raise awareness and possibly money for research into EDS, Fibro and mental illnesses. All these illnesses are very close to my heart and I hope that one day, my artwork and my poetry will make a difference to someone. Somewhere. I remain positive and forever hopeful 💖❤
Thank you Steph for sharing your lovely art journal with us. Remaining hopeful for you now and always. 💗Anna
Check out Stephs blog page here https://annawerrunblog.wordpress.com/steph-may-heads-blog-page/