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27 Ways to Get Yourself Into Art When You Don't Know How

Updated: Nov 21, 2022

If art doesn't come easy to you, then don't worry! Let's discuss some ways to incorporate art into your life. Fortunately the definition of "art" is quite broad, so as long as you're creating something, you're on the right track!

A lot of people are told in elementary school whether they're talented in art or not. It's an unfortunate mindset that shouldn't be perpetuated. While outside appreciate can help with motivation, it shouldn't set your personal expectations for what you can and can't do. So let's hopefully dive into something new!

More Typical Studio Arts— Drawing, Painting, Clay

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Let's start with drawing. Many get into the mindset that drawings have to be photo-realistic. But do they?

  • Try charcoal— charcoal pencils are exceedingly useful, as you can draw something, then wipe it off without an eraser! It helps when you're trying to practice steadying your hand, and it produces a pretty smokey effect no matter what you do with it. Here are some ideas (with tutorials) to get you started!

  • Sketch a cartoon version of an animal— With any medium, this helps for creating something relatively simple without holding yourself to photo-realistic expectations. I suggest searching up "cartoon" or "kawaii" versions of your favorite animals and see where you go from there.

  • Trace... sparingly— People admonish tracing because it's "cheating," but when you're learning to match to correct dimensions, it can be helpful. Just try not to do it too long if you're hoping to eventually produce your own ideas. (It's kind of like staying on crutches too long when you're trying to heal a sprained ankle— it just weakens the ankle)

  • Color by number or coloring books This is perfect if you don't want the stress of building a drawing template but want the satisfaction of seeing a fully colored in picture

Painting fortunately has a flow to it that doesn't require a steady hand, although it could be helpful, depending on the look you're going for.

  • Put blobs of different color paint on a canvas, spread the paint from there— this results in you playfully experimenting with color more than focusing on a form you want. Possibly, you could leave an easy form blank (such as a box) and have the color spiral out from that form to give the painting more of a visual guidance.

  • Paint by number— If you just want the satisfaction of painting, but not the stress of having to compose the whole idea on your own, paint by numbers are definitely helpful for this!

  • Paint your hands/arms— It may seem a little unusual, but there's a satisfaction to feeling the paint on your hands. It also can result in some neat looks.

Clay sculpture can be a bit intimidating and hard to do, especially since most people don't have a kiln in their house. But if you want to start small, here are some ideas!

  • Play with non-permanent clay basically, clay that will keep its shape but will also be able to change to something else if you want it to. This helps you get used to using your hands to create a 3D idea.

  • Oven-dry clay— If you want a more permanent structure, there are plenty of packs of clay that don't need a kiln to maintain its structure! Try creating a small guardian statue for your garden.

  • Make your own beads— Wanting to work with jewelry but want to create your own beads? Try experimenting with clay on this! Then you can string them together and call it your own.

Less Typical Studio Arts— Sculpture, Comics, Digital Art

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  • Jewelry making— No need for any serious metalworking materials, just some pliers, chains, and beads of your choice! You can opt out of the metal part and string together beads with string instead. The world is your oyster, so start working with some pearls.

  • Recycled materials— Have some excess soda cans or bottle caps? Try repurposing them! Make a painting with the different colors of the bottle caps, or use the metal from soda cans to make a sculpture (be sure to WEAR GLOVES).

  • Make a photo frame— If you have some wood, a ruler, a saw, and some wood glue, you can practice some simple woodwork and find a home for that photo you wanted framed.

  • Comics/Webcomics— Ever wanted to try out making your own story through comics? Perhaps start with a couple of simple character designs and show them going through daily life. No need for a complicated story or design unless you want to expand to that.

  • Play with a still digital image— Have an image you'd like to edit a bit? Input it to a digital editing application, then try changing the lighting, adding a streak of color, or whatever those buttons you feel like pressing do.

  • Play with animation— if you can put multiple images together, whether that's photos you took or a character you drew, try putting them in an online animator, or even a sticky-note animation.

  • Make a music video— Ever want to see yourself lip-sync to a powerful song? Take a few minutes to dress up, set up a tripod, put the recording in an editor, add in some neat stock footage or your own story footage between your lip-syncing, and watch. Alternatively, you can take a ton of images of an event or people you like being around and pair those with music. Even though its some work, it can be quite rewarding.

Creating/Decorating Household Objects— Soap to Jeans

There's a wide range of things for this category— more than I can write. But here's a start.

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  • Make some soap— You know those expensive soaps in those gift baskets you look at, smell a bit, then walk away from? Making your own soap means you can customize the colors and smell of soaps that you get to keep without paying! Don't tell me you're not tempted.

  • Sew a pillowcase, then stuff it— Fortunately, pillow cases are relatively easy to sew together! If you're looking for a decoration piece you can comfortably sit/lie on, this is a good option.

  • Sew a tote bag for shopping— It's pretty easy to make your own shopping bag. All you need is some fabric, thread, and a sewing machine. One shopping bag can save a ton of plastic grocery bags, resulting in saving the planet a bit more.

  • Make a simple stuffed animal— Have some extra fabric? Try looking up an easy pattern to practice your sewing skills with! Then you can keep an adorable creation!

  • Crochet some washcloths or scarves— You don't have to stop at washcloths or scarves, but those are pretty easy to learn, as they're primarily one pattern repeated. If you'd like to step up your game, think about something you'd like crocheted (gloves, a hat, a shirt, etc) and learn how to do it.

  • Marker up some coffee mugs— some paints will work too, but make sure that anything you use to decorate is food safe! From there, just have fun.

  • Paint a plant pot— Giving your plant a home you had a hand in making nicer is quite appreciated by the plant. Don't worry, you can't tell, but the plant is sending good vibes your way.

  • Embroider a hole in your jeans— While holes can be stylish, so can embroidered designs! All you need is some embroidery floss, an idea, and some patience.

Friendly Arts— With Others, For Others

Art can be more fun when you involve other people.

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  • Make a meme out of friendly photos— have a fun/funny picture of a friend/family member? Have an idea for a tagline with it? Perhaps you can take 5 minutes to edit those together on your computer, then you can send it in chats they're involved in. It's more fun when there's more than one person with memes floating around, so don't just hone in on one person. (And use with caution— it should be in good fun rather than an embarrassing reminder)

  • Make a card for someone— Have a birthday, graduation, holiday —or any other event where a card would be ordinarily used— coming up? Instead of going out to buy a card, if you have the time, try making your own! The homemade feel often goes appreciated. There are even programs where you can make cards for people you don't know, including veterans, hospitalized kids, etc.

Whatever artsy thing you decide to do, have fun with it! It might take a bit of time, but it's worth the effort and energy.