The COVID-19 pandemic is having a huge effect on our mental health, changing how our lives function in very different ways than we are used to. With everyone spending more time at home doing remote work and learning, and having to regularly adapt to new situations, the isolation and uncertainty is causing extra anxiety and stress for many.
So we would like to encourage you to take some mental breaks and join us in a virtual challenge throughout October – ART-ober!
One way for people of all ages to support their mental health is by creating art, which has been shown to help by reducing stress, stimulating dopamine (the hormone that makes us feel happy), and boosting self-esteem from a sense of accomplishment, regardless of a person’s artistic ability or skill-level.
Another benefit? Art can easily be done from home with whatever supplies you have! In fact, every October there are several challenges that people around the world participate in, from Drawtober, where participants can use any anything from crayons to oil paints, to Inktober, where participants specifically try to make ink drawings throughout the month based on an official prompt list.
This is a season of taking some time to engage with others and use that right-side of your brain.
The Library’s Art-ober Challenge is designed to encourage daily (or regular) participation, which has many benefits: skill-building, habit creation, and making time in the day for art and its benefits. As this is a challenge done entirely on your own time, wherever and whenever works for you, the level of participation is entirely up to you.
Do the Inktober Challenge and try for an ink drawing every day of the month, or if that sounds intimidating, you could scale it back and instead do every other day or even just once a week.
This can be a personal challenge that you do on your own, or you could make it a house-hold activity and do it as a group after meal time, sharing your art with each other. All ages can participate and share their work, and we will even have some specific activities and programs for kids and teens. Keep an eye on this blog, as well as upcoming 1-2-3 Brain Breaks for kids and Study Breaks for Teens to get more information on our resources, tips and tricks, and hopefully some examples of the artwork being created.
No matter your artistic background and skill level, the library has many resources for aspiring artists – nonfiction books and eBooks on techniques, styles, and skills; videos and how-tos; plus our new eResource, Creativebug. (Creativebug did a whole Inktober course last year that you can look at!)
If you want to have a meditative or mindful drawing experience, look up “Zentangle” in the catalog.
Are your only supplies at home Bic pens? There is an eBook in Hoopla called How to Draw with a Ballpoint Pen.
Whether you are drawn to cartooning or Manga, multimedia art or paint, we have books on those subjects, and outside of nonfiction you can look at picture books, graphic novels and comic books for inspiration.
Library Art-ober Challenges
There are four so you can aim for one a week during the month and pick and choose which works for you!
- Challenge # 1: Create/Design your own bookmark
- Challenge # 2: Explore artistic meditation – do a Zentangle
- Challenge # 3: Plot Twist! Use an unexpected surface, medium, or tool to make your art
- Challenge # 4: Add/include a book in your drawing
We would love for you to share your art with us on Instagram – tag @poudrelibraries and use the #artober #librarychallenge hashtags.