Yes, me too!
Many years ago I was stuck doing a job I hated… a job most people hate! I was forced into becoming a Telemarketer due to a very tight job market and I needed to pay bills to keep a roof over mine and my daughter’s heads. I hated selling a product I felt was bogus, and which no one wanted or required.
To keep my sanity I needed to doodle. Doodling has proven to be very meditative and calming, so incorporating doodling into my daily work was very necessary to reduce the incredible stress I was feeling. (PS: Check out the Adult coloring books I’ve created on Amazon!)
Here’s a link to a great article I just came across relating to this… Psychologists Say Coloring Is The Best Alternative To Meditation
We weren’t allowed to keep any papers on our desks which weren’t work related, so bringing in any blank paper or art journal was out of the question. If we did, we risked our angry supervisor coming around and confiscating it and publicly throwing it in the trash… yes just like in school, except we were all grown adults.
The only thing available to me which was acceptable to have on my desk were the paper hand towels from the bathroom. I started with a couple which I started to doodle on.
Being an artist, I used the challenge of the long narrow shape to create some dynamic pieces. I kept the paper towel folded and used the bottom layer as a cushion to prevent the thin paper from splitting and shredding. My blue ball point pen was my only possible art medium, and so rather than fighting the constraints of my materials, I embraced them.
My angry boss came around and challenged me. “You’re not allowed to draw during work hours!” he began. I replied I was just doodling to help reduce my stress, and to keep my hands busy while I waited for the customers to answer the phone.
He let me know that I wasn’t allowed to create anything of value, to which I gestured to the paper toweling: it wasn’t being done on art paper… it was trash paper!
I took all my finished pieces home with me each evening… naturally!
Once I amassed a collection of these, and after I had stopped working for that company, I took another look at all the pieces I had created. I decided I was going to do something with all those doodles.
I wanted to take the scraps of a difficult time in my life and turn it into something viable. I didn’t want my efforts from that time to be wasted!
In keeping with the cheap, low cost materials I had used, I decided to use Sharpie Highlighters to color up the ink drawings. I layered and blended the colors to create the rich effects you see in the finished pieces. Then I carefully ripped the paper towels and glued them onto coordinating and contrasting colored art papers.
I just love the effect!
To see the complete collection you can view them all on my Fine Art America website! Tamara’s Paintings and Artwork on Fine Art America
Have you been faced with similar circumstances where you didn’t have any “real” art materials? What did you create? Was it related to a difficult or pivotal time of your life? What are the ways you’ve taken difficult circumstances and allowed the experience to evolve into something positive and productive?
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