I grew up in an incredibly artistic family. One of my cousins, Chantal deFelice, is a very talented full time artist who works hard everyday to pursue her passion. My other cousin is pursuing his passion as an Artistic Director for 99 Stock Productions, a company he started with several other passionate young people. All of my aunts manage to paint, draw, or photograph life on a regular basis. Even my grandmother would sketch little things that she loved into the free pages of books that she adored.
Somehow I ended up becoming a Biology major. How am I related to all of these people?!
Despite my choice of college major, I have a wide variety of interests that don’t always seem to make sense together.
- I love animals of all shapes and sizes, but am still horribly creeped out by snakes and spiders.
- I really enjoy volunteering whenever I can fit it into my schedule.
- I love shooting guns, particularly when I go elk hunting with my dad.
- I love learning about life in other countries and want to travel everywhere.
- My favorite days are in the heat of summer when I can drive around dirt roads with the windows down and country music blaring.
- I actually do enjoy my Biology courses in college even though I complain frequently about how hard they are and spend far too much of my life studying.
- I love sitting downtown and watching people as they run through their busy, sophisticated lives.
But most importantly for the purposes of this blog, I find art to be the most incredibly cathartic emotional release. I took art classes throughout my childhood and would frequently fill my summers with paintings and sketches. In high school I fell in love with traditional 35mm film photography and took every class that my school offered. As a perfectionist of a child, I never thought my art was good enough for me to go anywhere with it, so I became frustrated and gave up on it. It wasn’t until recently that I realized that I wasn’t doing it to become a professional artist. I was doing it because it made me feel better. I genuinely loved the act of art.
Even when I am taking too many credit hours and don’t have the time to make myself dinner, I will still create time to sit down and draw something. The act of creating something makes me happy and centers me enough that I can accomplish the other things I need to do. I usually draw things that I see or recreate characters from my favorite cartoons, but I know my art can be so much more expressive. There are so many ways to work out emotions beyond what I do and I want to learn whatever I can to make art therapy a more effective stress relief tool in my life.