Tikuli Dogra: I Use Art To Stay Sane

use art to stay sane

Each person has their own way to cope with the challenges of everyday living. For me, it was words that helped me deal with the hurdles of life.

Words came as a healing tool in dark periods of time when I needed to let out the emotions that constricted me emotionally and mentally. They helped me tremendously for years but lately, I noticed the strain these very words were causing. I was beginning to lose my creative process and words would walk away when I needed them the most. As a writer, this troubled me to no end.

Was I losing my abilities as a writer and poet? Is this the end of my creativity? These questions began to haunt me day and night, adding to my already existing stress and anxiety.

With various health and personal issues looming over me, I was unable to quiet my inner chatter which would lead to panic attacks (among other things).

At this point, my elder son, an artist, introduced me to digital art. I was fascinated and took it up eagerly. Creating abstract works of art helped me on some level but something was still amiss. My mind was still not at rest.

I regressed back to my anxious fretting self till I picked up watercolors – and they changed my life completely.

I began to watch painting and sketching tutorials on YouTube and Instagram and connected with artists. When I spoke to my son about my growing interest in watercolor, he suggested I begin painting. And so I did.

Drawing mandalas, brushing Ensos, painting landscapes, flowers and abstracts helped me slow down and unplug from all the inner and outside chatter temporarily. I was finally able to reconnect with myself. Like any creative process, I found that painting was meditative and engaging at the same time. This combination is what created the mind-body connection I was looking for. My deep longing to create was back and I felt colors were helping me to not just write poetry, but with other passions too.

I began looking at my city with a different eye. I felt more patient, positive and whole as a person. As a daily riyaz or practice, I began to paint whatever inspired me that day. I made it a habit to explore new ideas and techniques and let the colors work their magic.

The constant war inside my head was a thing of the past and I began to feel purpose in my otherwise drab life. Art set me on the right path.

I found that even a little splash of color was enough to silence my mind. Sometimes, balance is as simple as finding your linchpin and I am glad I found mine in painting.

Today, I use art to stay sane. It is a safe space where I can mess up, create, meditate, get silly, experiment and explore without being judged.

Painting by hand lets me express all my anger, pain and anxiety and not feel frowned upon. My everyday painting ritual has helped me focus and gather loose ends to some extent. I won’t say it is the mother of all cures but it certainly is a grounding process for me. Creativity does wonderful positive things to the mind, body, and soul if you let it.

Whenever I feel the pressure of a deadline or any mental/emotional/physical block, I create some physical art. I paint a picture.

It may not be good art but that’s not always the point. The point is to fight back and release the stagnant flow from within, to feel the joy that life is – even with all the challenges it brings. Art has made me shapeshift into a complete, confident person and has helped me discover my inner potential. And for that, I am truly grateful.

1 thought on “Tikuli Dogra: I Use Art To Stay Sane”

  1. Pingback: Art, Flowers And Conversations | Spinning a Yarn Of Life

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