Why do some people say “No” to taking an art break?
Transcript for Take an Art Break Podcast Episode
Not yet. Hello? <laugh>
Okay. Now we’re live. Hi everybody.
We’re back. <Laugh>. I’m back here to continue our ongoing organic ever-changing conversation about art. I was just talking to Lisa now. I’ll talk to all of you about our last conversation with Beth was so awesome. Thanks again, Beth, for being part of this conversation. And the last bit of the conversation, she mentioned something about giving people permission to make art and to take an art break, and that if they needed encouragement, they could contact her. I thought that was an awesome gesture, but also about me thinking about why people feel like they need permission to make art and to take an art break. And so the question I have today for Lisa, for myself, for all of you out there, is why do some people say no when we ask them to take an art break? And I just thought, Lisa, you could just, you know, we’ve had lots of experiences with offering, Hey, wanna take an art break? We’ve said that numerous times in our lives.
You know, if you could you tell me some of the most popular responses you’ve received over the years?
You know, I think we’ve done it almost tens of thousand times with Art Break Day being 10 years long. And then when we did community events in the Bay Area, you know, we’re in public, we’re, you know, we just kind of like, Hey, you wanna take an art break for free? I’ve heard people say, no, I’m an artist. That’s always like, what? Okay, <laugh>. They, they feel cuz of their art artist. They don’t need an heartbreak. So we can talk about that a little bit. They just say no and kind of flee. You know, they run with like <laugh>, like either like, I have no time, or what, why would somebody talk to me? I remember trying to hand out art in your pockets and in, in Venice on Heartbreak Day when I was there, and people were like, what? You know, they didn’t wanna take it. So there’s that fear of, you know, there’s also, there’s also the fear of people thinking that you want something from them. You know what I mean? When our program, our mission is we’re not, we, we just want you to create art and we want you to feel better. So I’ve heard people say that I’m not an artist you know, I haven’t done art forever, or I’m a bad artist, or I don’t know. What do you, what do you think, Lauren? What are your best ones?
Yeah, I think the biggest one I always hear it’s kind of tied, which is I can’t draw. Let’s the, and, and I think that’s interesting that the assumption is that I’m asking them to draw. So, so drawing equals making art, which I think is interesting. And another one is I don’t have, oh, I don’t have time. Right?
I’ve heard a lot of people say, oh, you don’t wanna see what I would make, which is that that inner critic, we talked a little bit about, we’ve talked about all the time, but in our last conversation, that’s the inner critic coming out, which is assuming that we care what the final product is. Right. and that, that it’s that an art, this is what I find interesting is for me, an heartbreak has nothing to do with what you create. It has everything to do with the experience you have while you’re creating mm-hmm. <Affirmative>. And I think when you ask people, Hey, you wanna take an art break? All they think about is that last, that last object. And you and I are not even talking about that. So that’s, that, that mis like, that misalignment of communication. And so I can’t draw, I don’t have time. You don’t wanna see what I make. And I don’t, I’ve never heard someone say this out loud, <laugh>, but I do think that some people think it’s a waste of time.
They don’t. Maybe that’s the, that’s the no thanks. Or the people who just completely ignore us. When we offer our
Kids, I thought of, I thought of one too, which is always like, oh, I’ll, I don’t, I don’t, I’ll have to get my kids. Like, they think it’s for kids only. Then you’re like, no, it’s for everybody. You know? That’s the joy of creating together, you know? That’s a big one. So that’s interesting. I’m just trying to think of the other ones that we’ve heard in our lives, you know? Yeah. Yeah.
Do people, why do people say no? And I think people are they’re sometimes they, they don’t wanna interact with anybody, you know what I mean? <Laugh>, that’s <laugh> that’s part of the saying. No, I mean, I think with our free art packets that we’re delivering right now to the little libraries it’s not like you, you have to be with anybody. So I think that’s part of it. It’s almost like a social phobic response. Do you know what I mean? Like, I don’t know, I wanna, would hang out with strangers. You know, there’s some <laugh>, right?
I de I definitely think there’s the, a fear of the unknown, right? The, the fear of like what, and that you’re, you were sort of alluding to that with when you were trying to hand out the art in your pockets that an heartbreak day. And it’s that fear of the like well, fear of the unknown and fear of the ulterior motive. Right? Right. That people think that we have some sort of, well, that we’re trying to sell ’em something maybe. And, and sure, maybe we’re trying to sell ’em something, but it’s not gonna cost them any money. But they, they don’t know that, you know we’re just trying to sell ’em on the notion of making art part of their daily life. But yeah, I think that people say no to art because I think it’s mostly, and we’ve talked about this a lot in the past, it’s about fear. Mm-Hmm. <Affirmative>. And it’s it’s, and in, in the social realm, when we do get a, a chance to do group events, it’s about judgment.
Where the, oh, well, you don’t wanna see what I’m going to, what I would create
Mm-Hmm. <Affirmative> or I don’t want anybody to see what I would create. Right. Yeah. Like I’m, yeah. That fear again. Yeah. Yeah.
What I find really interesting, and I don’t know if this has ever happened to you at some events, is that the, the person that sort of shies away and then their friends convince them to see the work that they create is usually phenomenal. They’re sort of, and I I I sort of call them like the hidden, the hidden artist. You
Know, it’s no closeted artist <laugh>. Yeah.
Maybe that’s what it’s, it’s like the, it’s like someone who can sing, but they can’t, they just can’t, they can’t perform in front of other people. They’re just, something is holding, holding them back.
Well, I have a beautiful story. Heartbreak Day, when last was this the last one that we did in person 2019, right? I was in Santa Monica. It really touched my heart, the story. This woman came in and she was looking, but she was really hesitant, you know what I mean? And I was with a group of people and they were like, sit down, take a hour break. And she’s like, kind of backing off. And she was probably in her sixties. And she’s like, no, no, no. And then, you know, we were like, two, two ladies at the table we’re like, come on, come on, sit down. And then finally she timidly sits down. And you know, she, it’s like she just to put the pen on the paper was, you know, you could see it was like, oh my God, what’s happening?
And all of a sudden she starts creating. And like you said, she was immersed. She started like talking and chatting with us, and she was producing this beautiful work. And then all she sudden she says, you know, I have to tell you something. And everybody at the table’s like, what? Yeah, we’d love to hear. And she said, this is one of those stories. She said that, you know, when I was in a, did I tell this story before I told you this story? But I was a freshman in high school and I, I took art class. I wanted to learn how to draw, and I really wanted to learn how to draw. So I took this art class, and the first day of the art class, the teacher said, draw a tree. She drew a tree. She loved her tree. Right? And the next day she comes in and the teacher calls her up to the, the desk and she says, you can’t be in this class.
And <laugh>. Right? So, I mean, it goes back to wounds, art wounds, which we’ve talked about before. And, you know, it’s just like, and so she was mortified. And from that moment on, she had never picked up a pencil or anything to draw with. So after she took the art break, she stood up. She was so vibrant. She was so alive, <laugh>. And she was like, oh my God, I have to thank you so much. I think she almost, it was almost like a re she was reborn or something. <Laugh>. So, I mean, that’s what, what happens when the no becomes a yes, I feel, because I think the nos I know no is very fascinating to us. Cause we’re, this is our mission. But I think the no is very layered. You know, it’s not like it’s, it’s like, and we respect the nos. Do you know what I mean? We respect that person because it’s, it’s, there’s some, you know, what is that quote by ju Cameron, Julia and Cameron Art clears up the closets of dust and the ats of dust and clutter. Do you know what I mean? So it’s almost like you gotta be willing to get rid of the clutter. And that’s what art does. And so that’s, yeah. You know, it’s, it’s, it’s, so it’s not, it’s, it is about permission, but it’s really about wanting to make the No. Yes. You know, that’s, that’s, that’s what I’m feeling.
Yeah. Well, and I think that Beth mentioned this is like, you’re, sometimes you’re just not ready. And when you are ready, then, then, then we’re here for you. And, and, and of course we’re in a, we’re like on of campaigns to make people aware of the benefits of what an heartbreak can do for them. And to make people realize that it’s, it’s not about that, that end product. That it’s about the experience that you have and what it does for you emotionally and mentally that matters. Uhhuh <affirmative>, yeah. To me is that, that’s the, that’s the, the onion that we’re trying to peel back because mm-hmm. <Affirmative>, we’re encountering huge walls of stigmas about an art not mattering. Mm-Hmm. <Affirmative> st stigmas about that you have to be an artist in order to make art. Mm-Hmm. <Affirmative> the opposite of that, which is, if I make art, I don’t need to take an art break. And you and I have talked about this before, the very big difference between making art and taking an art break and can elaborate on that in another conversation. Because I, I do think there’s a huge difference because I’m, I’m not even asking you to make art. When you take an art break, I’m asking you to have an experience because that experience will change you and it will change you for the good. But I will mention that some responses that I’ve received are, it’s not fun.
Art. Right. So I’m not gonna do it cuz I don’t have fun doing it.
Right. Right. It’s painful. It could be painful,
Right? Yeah. It’s painful, it’s anxiety inducing
For some people. And that to me is all those more layers that just slowly need to get opened up to become more comfortable. But those are, those are answers with assumptions, right. Because someone who’s like, well it’s, it’s not fun, is probably cuz they had a really bad experience once, right? So they’re just like, I’m done. I’m not even gonna do this. Right. And the anxiety inducing one is, is they, they have expectations. You are expecting me to do a certain thing that in my head is what art is. And I think you and I are so kind of let’s say out there <laugh> <laugh>, I think we can comfortably say that we’re out there. Yeah.
We’re out there <laugh>
In definition of what making art is, but specifically what taking an art break is, right. I wanna,
Yeah, I’m gonna add something to that. I think from our own experience of watch people, people doing art breaks, I think what it does is it really put, puts you in the present moment. If art is just about process and not about product, you’re not, you’re not freaking out by, oh, what am I gonna make? Am I gonna make the apple look like an apple or whatever, you know? Or is people gonna think my, you know, my heart looks like a butt or something like that. <Laugh>. Right. You know, so it’s like, I think what art does it really put art in its process in the present moment. And I think we as humans, I mean there’s a whole a movement of meditation about trying or breath work about trying to be in the present moment. So that’s really what an heartbreak is. It’s, it’s not about what am I doing or what did I, you know, do wrong. It’s really about being in the moment and savoring the moment. Because I feel even the heartbreaks that you suggest, like go for a walk, you know, find red in the, you know, on your walk that is around it, it puts you in the present moment and then you shift. And then one other point I thought of a really cool acronym. Acronym cause, so art is action for a <laugh> and R is relaxed and then T is transformation.
Ah, love it. Right? Yes. Yeah. So you take it, you take an action which enables you to relax.
And then through those two things combined, you can transform. I love that. Yes. That’s exactly, and I think that that’s what you and I are here and why we keep having this conversation. Right. And to me, it sounds like, to me, it feels like we’re having the same conversation over and over again. But I think we’re, we’re tackling little bits and pieces of it, right. For, to me, we need to speak about the language of what it means to take an heartbreak. And, and now I’m realizing that all of these no answers we’ve received is because they’re assuming we’re asking them to, to like paint the Melissa or Right. Or, or draw that thing that they tried to draw once. Like for me it was like figure drawing class <laugh>. That’s like torture for me because that’s where I had my professor just go who and wipe my three hour drawing just in, in like 10 seconds.
<Laugh> painful. Didn’t
Was just like, why would you do that? I already know that I can’t do this. I’m just trying to pass this class. Yeah. But it took me, you know, and I, and, and that’s, those are the thoughts that people are having. Like, oh gosh, you want me to fit into this box? And I think we just need to tell people more and more, like, no, please don’t fit into that box. You know, be free and, you know just, just really take a break. Right. Uhhuh, <affirmative> take, take a brain break. Yeah. Stop your brain from turning those same thoughts you have over and over and over and over again on a daily basis. Art will really help you do that. Right. That process of art will help you. Not like, this is my list. Oh, I gotta do the laundry, I gotta fill the, what am I gonna make for dinner? Oh, I gotta get to the kids to do this, da da da da. Right. And art and my kids and I take an art big together. Nope. Not thinking about any of that stuff. Right.
So it’s almost like a an heartbreak is a form of rebe rebellion against being in a box and a against actually, you know, being on automatic process, I think. Absolutely. Right. I mean, we live in a stressful society and, you know, everybody’s like, I gotta do this and that and that and this and this and this. And, and then at the end of the day, I’m just gonna sit on the couch and veg. Right?
Yeah. Cause I’m so tired. And
Then, and then, and then on next day you do rinse and repeat. Right? You just, it’s like that. And, and so what I’m suggesting, I think an heartbreak is like, do something totally different and act a rebellion. You know, take action, relax, <laugh>, and then transform and then see what happens. And
Yeah. Yeah. So I think that’s what we need to do. I think we need to keep having this conversation. I think we need those as those, those nos like those answers we’ve received and, and like hash them out a little bit and, and sort of also design like heartbreaks that people, like when people say, I can’t draw you, you know, saying like, it doesn’t matter how well or you draw can only go so far. It can, it can reach some people, but some people don’t even wanna pick up that pencil yet. So let’s, let’s find some heartbreaks for them. Let’s introduce some heartbreaks for them. I think, I think it’d be really cool if we just kind of start helping people out with these nos and, and turn those nos into yeses, like you were saying.
Yeah. And I love, I think, right, we need to empathize with those no people. And cuz you know, when you are in the public honest, to be honest with you, at heartbreaking day, and you get so many nos, you’re like, I’m just doing this for free. I just want you to feel, you know what I mean? It’s like, it’s it, it’s hard to be an activist, to be an advocate like on the street just saying, you know, we know this is gonna make you feel better. And then people are like, oh, no, no, no, no, no, no. But I think what we need to do is like, empathize with the nose and then write, I think we’ve spoke about this a little bit at our board meeting, is to develop projects for that I, I can’t pick up a pencil because, you know what I mean? Like, kind of like address the nos. And I think that’s a really beautiful solution for people because the nos need to become yeses because we are all stressed out and, and, and the world should not be stressed out. <Laugh>.
Yeah. And the, and and it’s one of those things, there’s, we can only say so much and we can only provide so much evidence cuz there is scientific evidence, but behind what we are telling everyone mm-hmm. <Affirmative>, but there’s only, there’s nothing more powerful than any experience itself. Right. Anyone who’s ever experienced what happens to you during an heartbreak, during an heartbreak that is for you specifically. Right. You have to find your heartbreak. And once you find that right, it’s, it’s, it’s w it’s transformational.
Ever changing. And so I think that’s what we can do. We can help people find the right art breaks so that they can join in on this awesomeness.
But it’s also, yeah. And it’s also, I’m thinking that the, it’s so cool. The no is also where the, the gold is the alchemy, right? So if you’re listening and you, you’re a no person or you’re, you know, I don’t wanna do, I don’t wanna take an art break, I would say, you know, think of it as that’s where your gold is. That’s where the nuggets is in the know. And you really can find so much about yourself through the process. So it’s like, it’s pretty, it’s like, oh, that, that’s the other point I was gonna make. I love that you said you need to find your own heartbreak, right? But what, when you do find your own heartbreak, then you become the flower you are. Do you know what I mean? It’s like there’s no two people that are alike, nor they should be alike. Right? We’re all beautiful, diverse, and we all have our own gifts and special thing that the world needs to see. And I think when you find your heartbreak, you will glue blossom like a flower. And you can show the world, like, you know, you know, I think there’s another quote by forgot, I, you know, an artist is living out loud, so you start living out loud, you start showing the world you your gift. That’s a beautiful thing.
Yeah. And the most amazing part mm-hmm. <Affirmative> is that when you share it, when you get to the point where you can share it with someone and you need to share the, the thing you made, but when you share your experience Yeah. Like, you can’t share the paper that you drew on. Cool. When you share your experience with someone else, you will have a positive impact on their life as well. That’s the amazing thing. It really does. I mean, that’s why we have a tagline that’s like, make art to make a better world because art makes you better. And, and when you’re better, then the world’s better. I mean, that, that’s easy math, right?
Yeah. You’re talking about the domino effect, right? So when you’re, when you feel bright and shiny because you’re in a good mood, <laugh> because you know, you know, you just took an art break, the next person that you meet, you’re gonna rub that off on them, right? And then they’re gonna be like, oh man, that’s so cool. And if you do tell them your experience, like, yeah, I took five minutes a day and I, I was really stressed out and then I made art and I thought, whoa, I was really stressed out, out and <laugh>, I need to do this more often and need to tell that person. And they’re like, oh, that sounds really cool. I wanna, I kinda like, I wanna get that, I wanna get that on that heartbreak on <laugh>.
Awesome. Alright, well, I mean, let’s do this. Let’s tackle these. No, let’s help the nose find their way towards Yes.
And I would say if you, if you have experienced any people, say no, please come in and tell us what the most interesting, no <laugh> no, I can’t do art or No, no to art or no to you know,
Mean, I would you mean?
Yeah, I’d love to hear all the nos so that we can kind of address them one by one. Because once we do that, then there will be no reason not to.
Right. There’ll be no there, there’ll be no nos. There’ll
Be no nos <laugh>.
It’ll be, it’ll be a yes. It’ll be like, it’ll be like that movie with Jim Carey. Remember some, did you see that? Yes, man.
Oh yes. Say yes to everything.
Oh, awesome. Thanks everybody.
We’ll talk to you
Soon. All right. Next time.