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One Good Thing - Facebook videos stir creativity

I’m sure you’ve seen them if you use Facebook, but lately my feed has been overwhelmed with tons of crafty videos.

It started with one or two, but now every other post from my family and friends is dotted with videos that show people doing a wide range of creative craft. I’ve found myself watching every one that comes up, be it resin work or acrylic painting techniques and everything in between. I assume the algorithm has decided this is the content that I want and, as such, I see more videos of this material than I do of posts from my friends and family… Oops!

The things that people have learned to do are incredible. I’ve picked up so many tips and tricks from the techniques they use and I’ve actually begun applying it in some ways to my digital art. The two mediums differ widely, distinguished mostly by the lack of undo button in physical media and the infinite source of ink and paint available to you on a computer or iPad, but there’s some layering and painting techniques that translate pretty well.

Using those techniques, I decided to work on a looser and less detail-oriented painterly style that isn’t as nitpicky and anxiety inducing as some of my more detailed works can be. I’ve found that I fuss a lot over what I’m working on and feel as though every piece has to be “the next best thing” but I’m trying to move away from that and let my style find into its own roots before I demand it grow.

For some time, I’ve had so much tension built up about not doing anything creative and, as a result, I’ve kind of lost my style. Pieces I did years ago feel so foreign to me and I find that I struggle to replicate them, or even create something that holds a candle to them. Couple that frustration with the lingering tension and it’s enough to make you put away the iPad or tablet for months and months.

That’s where the Facebook videos come in. Seeing these people effortlessly layer paint and tape off shapes and find unique ways to articulate scenery was enough to get the rusty wheels turning and I’m happy to say that I’ve been having a MUCH easier time painting scenery, a subject I struggled greatly with for pretty much the entire time I’ve made art. The way that some of the people in the videos seem to deconstruct objects I fumbled with – like trees, water and other organic structures – really helped me wrap my head around it.

I am incredibly appreciative of some of the things social media can do, like sharing these creative works via these videos. While I haven’t grown to a point where I can claim I create masterpieces, I can say I’m settling into what “my” style looks like and that sounds like progress to me.

Nikki Childers is a Standard reporter. She can be reached at 473-2191.