Trying Something New

I am not always the first to jump at trying out new things. I tend to get the same dish at my favorite restaurant every time I go or listen to the same 5 songs day after day. Why? It’s comfortable and I know that I like it but I wouldn’t have known this if I wouldn’t have tried it in the first place.

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Alright, here is little me. Cute, huh? Well as an eager 5th grader I had struggled in Art class. My teacher wasn’t too impressed by the set of skills that I had. Stick figures and eraser marks were a large part of my projects. I just felt like I wasn’t good at it so I wasn’t really willing to try out drawing or painting in my free time based on the negative concept I previously had of art.

Recently I read a post about the positive psychology behind painting. The post had a list of positive features that painting can provide:

Improves concentration

Sharpen fine motor skills

A good way to relax

Promotes knowledge of various cultures

Boosts creativity

Non-verbal communication skills

Critical thinking skills


Improved self-confidence 

Gives you a positive mindset 

Neural Network Pinpoints Artist by Examining a Painting's Brushstrokes |  NVIDIA Technical Blog
Top 10 Health Benefits of Painting

I had noticed that my roommates had done some painting and I was truly impressed by their talents. I decided that I was going to give painting a try for a class project that requested “doing something out of your comfort zone.” Luckily my roommates had the brushes and paint; all that was left was for me to make a quick trip to the store to find something to paint on.

I bought a white “M” wooden letter (Michaels) and was ready to see the possibilities. I squeezed out a selection of colors onto a paper towel and started swiping the brush onto the empty letter. I went for more of an abstract and loose look instead of trying my hand at stick figures. I really liked the finished product and my friend even painted her sign which made this an interactive activity for the two of us.

I had come to the realization that the other part of the “M” was blank and I wanted to make the other side something that related to me. A large part of my life currently revolves around Drake University; I have built friendships, learned important lessons, and have countless memories in the making. I decided to put my Drake stickers to use and add a little color to the back of the sign.

Obviously, I’m nowhere near some of the talents that many artistically inclined individuals have but I have found something fun to do that I was once nervous to try. I think that it is good to get out of your comfort zone, no matter how large or how small that might be. What are you going to try?

Good Luck,

Mariah Pagel

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