How Art Can Keep You Sane, According to Kenesha Sneed
Self-care isn’t just about face masks and Bikram classes—if you ask Kenesha Sneed of Tactile Matter, one of the best ways to soothe the mind is to let its creativity flow. And so what if you aren’t a pottery-, jewelry-, and print-making phenom like she is? Her four tips that follow will get you in the headspace to make some art, even if it’s just for yourself.
FEEL FREE TO DABBLE
"In times like these, it's more important than ever to find your own creative outlet. I’ve always been drawn to using different mediums as a way of expressing myself creatively, between clay, digital tools, and painting. Each one has its own way of translating ideas and approaches. Right now, illustrating is so therapeutic and in many ways keeps me sane, so that’s what I’ve been putting most of my energy into."
DON'T BE AFRAID TO KEEP IT LIGHT
"‘Feel-good’ and ‘carefree’ are words I wanted my new Of a Kind print to reflect the most. A lot of my inspiration right now come from my obsession with florals and plants, so I wanted to translate some of those ideas into a still life of sorts. Those are really organic, natural shapes, but in terms of the medium, I wanted to go the digital route to give this print a more graphic feel. I made a few different versions, and at the end of the process, this really warm palette was the one that connected the most.”
GET OUT MORE
"I’m constantly soaking up the world around me—it doesn't matter if it's a good or bad experience, there’s inspiration everywhere. Having conversations with friends, going on walks, sitting in the art section of bookstores for too long, and really just taking time for myself is the best way to bring out thoughts and ideas—and to find ways to work through things that might be more troubling. The stress of what’s going on around you never totally subsides, but that feeling can drive you, and it makes me want to create beautiful things as a way of expressing pain or sadness or whatever is going on. I don't just make pretty things to make pretty things—I make things like my prints because I want to shine a light on women of color and show them in a positive way. ”
TAKE A BREAK
"When I’m feeling like I can’t make choices, I’ll take that as a sign to take a pause and come back to a project when my mind feels more together because I know myself and my work will suffer from it. There's a few things I've been reading and listening to lately when I need a break. Phoebe Robinson's book You Can't Touch My Hair and her podcast Sooo Many White Guys are both great and really speak to me. And of course, Call Your Girlfriend and Another Round. I've also been listening a lot to Black Girl In Om, which is about wellness. I absolutely adore Alexandra Elle and her collection of books that are sort of a mix between beautifully written poetry and instructions for self-care. And there's a book of photography called Unknown, Wyoming by Armina Mussa that's full of great visuals. Allowing myself to take more of those self-care moments is the best way to clear my head and the only way I can feel creatively fulfilled. If I didn’t have a way to express myself through art...I don’t even want to imagine that!"