10 Ways to Make Art Even If You Can’t Draw

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Dear P,

Though you have never been the greatest of draughtswomen, I consider you to be an artist. I always enjoy looking at your journals, your writing is vibrant and your handwriting is precise and beautiful.

Art like yours is not just for walls. The catharsis of expressing yourself is a reason to make art all on it’s own, but you can put your creations to many uses. This is especially true during the holidays, when many gifts are needed of varying expense and thoughtfulness.

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(I got this pic here)

1. Terrariums

Over Thanksgiving, my aunt and I made several terrariums of plastic Christmas trees with glitter snow. We set these up on the mantle, where they glittered.

Whether you need Christmas ornaments, a place to put small plants, or a reason to use plastic dinosaurs, junk looks more tranquil in a glass case. And placing the objects in the container is relaxing in itself.

2. Collages

Collages are quick and easy. Each collage holds the stamp of the media it was collected from, the person who made it, and the times they were created in. Your journals (and this one I particularly like) are filled with lovely collages, but this can be used for more than just journaling.

You can use collages to make a personalized card for someone you love. For example, last year I made our friend S a postcard of a picture we had taken together. I cut out flowers and made them into a flower crown for S and had more floral patterns going on in the background. You can make treasured gift-wrapping paper out of collages. Add some funny quotes or anecdotes for added personality.

You can even make poetry from collage, like my friend Austin Kleon:

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3. Letters

Emails are not art. Letters are. Through letters, you convey yourself not only through your words, but through your handwriting, your signature, and even doodles. It’s another form of body language. If you want someone to know you care, tell it to them in a letter. It doesn’t have to be long, and you can add photos or inside jokes if just pen and paper feels too Mr. Darcy-ish to you.

4. Make Beautiful Snapchats

Snapchat has proved an interesting medium in 2013. IM is my favorite snapchatter, as well as the queen of unconventional art:

5. Decorate Cookies

There is so much inspiration on the Internet, especially Pintrest, for creating interesting cookies, hor d’oeuvres, and really anything delicious you could ever want. “Harry Potter-themed Christmas Cookie Decorating Party”? Check.

6. Have a Party

As you read this, P, I am probably obessesively planning the post-New-Year’s “Black and White Ball” I want to host with you. Hosting a party is a balancing act in every way. You must have the perfect mix of food, festivities, and decorations, or else things get awkward quickly. I am planning my party based on the iconic party Truman Capote threw in 1966.

7. Iphone Photography

Instagram and other iPhone has capitalized on the halfway-decent camera in ways that nobody could have imagined. I recommend the apps VSCO cam and Camera+. Through these apps and others, you can turn precious moments from your everyday life into colorful little illustrations.

8. Alter Your Clothing

Sew interesting patches of fabric as frockets, elbow patches, and the edges of sleeves or skirts. Use a bleach pen to write words on simple shirts. Tie-dye or mock-tie-dye your shirts, socks, or sports bras. Dye a thrifted denim jacket, or anything else. Write in sharpie on a pair of shoes, like IM did for my birthday:

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9. Wear a Perfect Outfit

Since you are the queen of dressing like you have a date with destiny every day, P, I do not need to go into this one.

10. Write on Your Mirror

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(I found this pic here)

Lipstick works well. Write nice notes to yourself. “You’re beautiful” is a classic.

Stay creative,

E

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