What Can Art Sharing Teach Us?

what can art sharing teach us
Ineke, Devika and Joanna present their artworks.

For some time now, we run a Facebook group Daily Acts of Self-Care (a former WhatsApp group) dedicated to daily art practices. In this community, we make art and share it on a regular basis. Our activities are easy and fun. We experiment a lot and constantly search for new ways of expression. This time, we decided to make little art pieces and share them in public spaces. As always, art surprised us. New discoveries and meanings came along.

Making art enriches us and leads to more self-awareness. We become sensitive to the world around and we respond to it with greater attention. Art touches us deeply. It brings beauty and positive energy into our lives. It puts things in motion too. But what happens when we resolve to give it away? The effects can be pretty surprising!

what can art sharing teach us example
Tiny “Love” pieces by Lorilee.

In my own artistic practice, I am trained in giving artworks away. Maybe this is why I approached this challenge with tranquillity. The plan was to make a bunch of paintings and leave them in random places. Everything went smoothly until it came to the point of letting them go. I was surprised how hard it was to give my pieces away, especially because I didn’t know what would happen to them later. Would they get lost? Could someone damage them? Or maybe no one would even notice their presence? And does it all even matter? After all, this exercise was really about exploring the art of letting go in a safe and non-invasive way.

what can art sharing teach us example
A painting left on the street by Joanna.

Sadness filled my heart as I saw my little paintings drifting away behind the Sbahn windows. In that very moment, I also felt explicitly light and happy. Another surprise came with letting go: it was the joy of sharing and I wasn’t the only one experiencing such a shift.

“It was really hard leaving them… But in the end enjoyable too… and I decided to prepare older cards I made to give away as well… an exercise in letting go…” wrote Ineke, the Yohaku Art Collective founder and an expressive arts facilitator.

what can art sharing teach us example
Ineke’s piece already given away!

Another group member, Devika, was concerned more whether the pieces will be picked up by someone or not. On the other hand, she had no issues with giving them away.

Overall, this challenge brought to us many questions like is it easy for you to give away things you’ve made? What are your strategies of dealing with letting go of your own creations? Does sharing bring joy and meaning into your life? How does it feel for you when you have no control over what happens with your pieces? Finally, are you truly ready to share your unique creations and skills with the world?

what can art sharing teach us example
Art in public space by Niki.

Our answer is to start small, make little steps forward and enjoy sharing not only art, but also skills, resources, and love with others. Such activities certainly build more connection and compassion within family members, friends, groups, and communities.

If you would like to take part in one of our daily art challenges, please get in touch with us or follow us in social media! We invite you to experiment, have fun, and make a change through art.


What is Expressive Arts Therapy?

What Reality Are You Creating for Yourself?

Thich Nhat Hanh: The Art of Letting Go


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