One of my favorite stress-free activities is drawing! It is one of the main things that has helped me with my anxiety, which makes sense as to why I want that to be my full-time gig. I've always been an artist but felt like rerouting when it was time to go to college. I was fashion-obsessed my Jr and Sr years of High School, and ended out opting for a fashion design degree (which I never got) instead of a studio art degree - also never received. Even though I never got my degree, I still spent a lot of time going back and forth with myself in my creation process. Dealing with the internal battles of am I doing this right, will this garment get me a good grade, and am I even doing what I love led me to a very slow decline to a pause. I spent years doubting until I realized that I had everything I needed to be successful, I just had to decide.
If you are like me and want to freely create as an illustrator, loosen up before a digital design, or before sitting down with a pattern for a garment - I've got three helpful tips to help you decompress and get those creative juices flowing!
1 : Write down what you're going to accomplish! Whether it be a small to-do list for each step of your process or a deadline. This is something that can help you stay organized and out of your head so you can continue your practice without hesitation.
2 : Take yourself out of the work. Think about what the world needs, and create for them! This step has been one of the hardest for me. I've always been so attached to my work, and not willing to share that it ended out blocking me from connecting with people. I am still learning this skill, so I invite you to join me on this journey of detaching.
3 : Put your pen, pencil, whatever medium to your paper or tablet, and just see where it takes you! This is by far my favorite routine because it has become a signature practice of mine. I loosen up and create quick sketches with a continuous line drawing, and sometimes I keep them as final illustrations. Very specific to this practice I've challenged myself and others to look at their hand and try drawing it with their non-dominant hand while not looking down at the paper and keeping your gaze on your hand until you're done. You might also challenge yourself a step further by closing your eyes, and imagining something specific like an apple for instance, and placing your pen down without lifting and try to draw the apple you're envisioning.
I quit a good job for an incomplete vision to become a fulltime fashion designer a little over a year ago. Not knowing how much hard work, and time that would take I utilized these steps along the way to ease my anxiety. Even though this process took me in a different direction, I am forever grateful for the slow down. Creating best practices for yourself through trial and error is only going to help in the long run!
Thanks for reading, and good luck on your creative journey!