What do you do when you’re sad?
Do you listen to sad songs, to go with the mood? Do you have self-loathing thoughts? Or, on the contrary, you tend to blame the world or everyone else for the way you’re feeling? I guess it depends on what causes your sadness. Is it something you have no control over? Is it something you’ve done? Is it something you want really badly and realized you’re not going to get, ever?
Sadness is, I think, one of the most art-worthy feelings, and one that is great for channeling into art. Of course, we would prefer not to have this feeling in the first place. But when we do, making art, using it as our muse may be a good way to exorcise it, even a little.
Depictions of this feeling are usually pretty dark, mostly monochrome. Someone sitting with their head down. Someone crying. Eyes with tears coming out of them. It’s obvious and logical. There’s a reason why we associate certain feelings and moods with certain colors and shapes. I’ll talk about this in another article.
But, how about we go against the norm? What if we try and find new ways of representing this feeling? A colorful depiction might show some irony, for example. Or hope. Who knows? Focusing on this might even distract us from the sadness we’re feeling.
Does your sadness have texture? Or is it more like a watercolor wash? Does it have pointy shapes? Or is it a soft, velvety mist? Is it rainy, or a laser-like sunray that blinds you?
These are good questions to ask yourself, while you experiment depicting your sadness in new ways (or for the first time).
Are you completely paralyzed by it? Just grab whatever you have nearby and start doodling without questioning what you’re doing. It’ll help you get out of that motionless state and will calm you down a bit, or at least channel your inside emotions into something outside of yourself. Getting it out always helps. And art is our friend and a great tool for that.
Barbara Din is a visual artist, graphic designer, painter, interior designer, crafter, musician and writer living in Argentina.