Jul 08

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Bad Art. REALLY Bad Art.

In last week’s Juicy Tip For Miraculous Living, I issued this challenge:

“…at some point in the next 7 days, set aside 30 minutes to let yourself make BAD ART.  I’ll show you mine if you’ll show me yours… ;-)”

I’m happy to say that on Independence Day, I spent an absolutely delightful couple of hours with my friend Becky who inspired that particular Tip. We made – you guessed it! – really BAD ART!

We had a great time.  There was chocolate involved.

We each brought the random artsy sort of supplies we had lying around.  She had some Cray-Pas and some other sort of colored charcoal-y things that I don’t know the name of.  I contributed some finger paints and markers.

I wasn’t sure how one starts making Bad Art, so Becky jumped in with a great suggestion – choose one thing (the blue marker or the purple Cray-Pa or the yellow finger paint) and make some type of mark on the paper.  Then we switched papers.  And we chose a different implement and did the same thing.  We kept switching back and forth until some arbitrary moment when we said, “Three more switches.”  And then our art was done.

Several interesting things happened as we were playing.  I noticed that I thought everything Becky did was brilliant and everything I did was crap. Once I said it out loud to her, it got a little better.  Even in that space of intentionally making Bad Art, my critical mind was still being…critical.

I was very careful to stay away from anything she done… until she smudged, smeared and altered enough of my stuff that I finally took a risk and altered something she’d put in.  She looked at it and said with great delight, “OH!  That’s exactly what that needed!!” It was also WAY more fun than trying to be so careful.

I had some very particular patterns that I kept going back to.  I’d like to try letting myself be more free, but I’m not sure how to do that yet.  It will probably take some more practice.

I still want to let myself get dirty.  Every time my fingers got messy, I diligently cleaned them up so I wouldn’t “mess up” our art pieces.  Becky just let herself get messy and anything that got on the page became part of the art.

Immediately upon finishing our first two pieces, I looked at them and thought, “Oh, these are BAD!!!!  These aren’t even good Bad Art, they’re just HIDEOUS.”  But after sitting and looking at them for a little while (a break during which said chocolate was consumed) they grew on me.  No one is going to pay thousands of dollars for them, but there’s something about them that appeals to me.  Perhaps it’s simply that they came out of my own hand and I don’t need to be ashamed of them.

To Becky – thank you for the idea and thanks for being such a great Bad Art partner!

If you haven’t made any Bad Art yet, I highly suggest making a date with a friend and swapping papers back and forth. Here’s the link to the original Juicy Tip if you want to learn more about why this is such a good idea.

Here is a picture of Becky with our masterpieces:

I quite like the top two now. The bottom two - well, they're just really BAD Bad Art!

Don’t know what I’m talking about when I say “Juicy Tips For Miraculous Living”?  It’s my weekly newsletter that I send out on Tuesdays.  Click here to sign up!  Last week’s Tip was called “Quieting The Inner Critic” and was about making Bad Art.


I’ve started a fun new project! A few times a week I’ll make images from stuff on The Miracle Journal to share.  If you haven’t followed The Miracle Journal on Facebook yet, do it now!  I’ll also post them on Flickr and Pinterest.  Please share the ones you like!  I posted the first two over the weekend.  You can see them by clicking here.

About the author

Leah Carey

Leah Carey is the Chief Miracle Officer of The Miracle Journal, where she writes about the large and small miracles that happen in her life every day. She is a life coach, speaker, journalist, freelance writer, and lover of life. In all of those pursuits, she works with people to identify what’s already right in your life so you can build an even more joyful and fulfilling daily experience from that foundation. You can find her on Facebook, , Twitter, and YouTube.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.leahcarey.com/themiraclejournal/2012/07/08/bad-art-really-bad-art/


  1. Eileen

    Love it! You two are amazing!!

  2. Kathy

    My friend Eileen and I had a bad art morning a few weeks ago. It was a great reunion, a fun day to play with the things we had brought with us and very relaxing. Thanks for the suggestion!

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