Perspective. It’s all about a point of reference. In a tough situation or relationship, it’s a priceless asset. It’s also pretty hard to get. That’s because perspective comes with space in distance or time, and in the middle of a stressful moment, we don’t often have either one.
Art can give us that needed perspective. It allows us to see the world through different eyes and unlocks our own creativity, thus CREATING space for us to see life differently right where we are. A recent visit to the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art reminded me of this valuable truth.
When I first walked in, it seemed like there were few exhibits. The first room clearly represented a lot of work, but the point eluded me. Until I started walking around. Drip. Drop. Plunk. Splash. Shloop. Plink. The exhibit wasn’t about what we saw, it was what we HEARD.
What was it telling me? I haven’t a clue! But what it revealed was this: the art was everywhere and for every sense. The WHOLE place, ceiling to floor, was exhibits. They all had meaning.
They all changed my perspective. And the change left me feeling curious and observant about life in ways I’d forgotten to be.
Do you need a change in perspective today? Spend a little time creating art. Or share it with a child. Art in community can be even more powerful for shifting our view of life!
Ways to use art to change your perspective:
- On Clutter: Make something fun from the old and discarded things around you – collages of leaves, flowers, papers and recycling will do the trick.
- On The Familiar: Take pictures of a familiar room in your home, but while sitting or lying on the floor. Print them and keep them in your handbag for a ready dose of perspective. Especially if you’re raising a toddler!
- On Messy Kids: Use your hands: spread a large garbage bag over your kitchen table. Squirt shaving gel on it and do some finger painting. Or use chocolate pudding for an extra treat.
- On Wrinkles: Crumple a piece of paper into a ball. Unfold and flatten it on a table. Color each crease or the spaces between them with crayons or colored pencils.
- On Perfection: Close your eyes. On a piece of paper, draw a place you love. It’s not going to look perfect, so don’t let that stop you.
- On Meals: Create a picture or design on the plate with the food you’re serving for a meal. Or simply make it look nicer than just lumping it on the dish.
- On Your Messy Car: Pull out all the stuff you and your kids have left in the car (jakets, shoes, papers, cheerios…), and on your driveway, make a “person” or some other figure out of it.
- On A Challenging Relationship: Slather a piece of construction paper with glue. Using a hand-held hole-puncher, punch holes in scrap paper, allowing them to fall and stick wherever they land. This takes work, just like the relationship. But somehow the picture always ends up interesting!
These activities are just to get you started. It won’t take away the challenges of situations you face. It’ll still be the same mess, clutter, frustration, familiarity. But it will look a little different when you see it through the eyes of your inner artist.
What will you create today?