Try Something New: How art has benefited my life

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Hanna Kryhina

I find that FaceTiming a friend while catching up and painting is a great creative outlet while stuck at home.

A head made of clay.

Dozens of landscapes and portraits.

A collage made from construction paper cutouts.

These were just a few of the art projects my classmates and I created while enrolled in the teens class at the Art School of SF Bay.

I continued exploring various art styles and techniques in the three years during which I took the class. At the time, I didn’t notice the tremendous impact that these classes had on me, but looking back, I see that they transformed my life. 

My appreciation for art expanded as I became familiar with different mediums and discovered masterpieces across cultures. Plus, I got to know people outside of school.

The teachers I had became adults I could trust, and most of my classmates became good friends of mine. I even met one of my current best friends in this class. 

During the weekly classes, my peers and I would distract ourselves from our stressful lives by ranting about school, sharing secrets, and channeling creativity into pieces of art.

Even after I moved away from the art studio, I continued to use the life skills that I had gained in the class; not only did I know how to get paint out of clothes, but I could also draw for school projects.

Since the beginning of the shelter-in-place due to COVID-19, art has been popping up everywhere. There is chalk art on sidewalks, political cartoons in online publications, relatable comics on social media, and more.

Feeling inspired by the art world and overwhelmed by the seemingly never-ending stay-at-home order, I thought that I’d try to recreate an art class with one of my former classmates. I had just the friend in mind.

We FaceTimed and painted while exchanging bits about the past few months in our lives. Our afternoon together took me on a trip down memory lane. I reminisced about the paint-specked room, my classmates’ warm personalities, and the motivating instructors I had.   

Having someone to talk to, being able to create something, and remembering the good times helped lift my mood and relieved some of my stress.

So, whether you have a friend to share the experience with or not, I would say that art is the perfect outlet for at-home creativity.

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