This Felt Good

A few days ago I shared “Red Lady” — my first creative project in months. I liked her because I did feel a creative spark as I first scribbled and then transformed those scribbles into something. I’m discovering that transformation is an important aspect of the artwork I’ll be doing in the coming weeks. It’s a process, and I can tell you right now that it’s not going to be an easy one. I’m finding a lot of emotions that I’ve buried, and bringing them to the surface has been a bit painful. But those emotions will wait for another time and another post.

Today I’m only sharing two emotions — anger and sadness. These were the emotions that came to mind as I wrestled with a second project from “Art Therapy Activities for Kids“. When I read through the project instructions, I shook my head and almost skipped over it. It really seemed silly and insignificant to me. The project is based on “mixing emotions” and using emojis — you know, those little happy face, sad face, winking face, whatever face illustrations that we scatter around through our online communications. 

How Are You Feeling Today?

OK, here’s the deal. I’m not much of an emoji person. Sure, I use little happy faces, but there’s not really any connection in my brain between an emoji and art. Is there supposed to be? Probably not. Anyway, the idea of drawing emojis of any sort sounded pointless. 

But these projects aren’t really about art. They’re more about emotions, and as I’ve said, I’ve been going through a lot of emotions. So why not just play along with this little therapy exercise? All right. Fine! 

The idea, however, isn’t to simply draw an emoji, but to recognize that we can have different feelings at the same time. I guess having these mixed emotions can sometimes make it difficult for us to understand how we really feel, and the overall purpose here is to recognize that we can have different feelings. 

What two emotions do I sometimes feel together? I gave it a little thought and realized that, for me, anger and sadness often go hand in hand. If I were to give this “mixed emotion” a name — as the project suggests — I could call it “being sadangry” I suppose. 

And what would it look like? 

I went through a few illustrations of emojis, and then I put together this “Sadangry” face:

My first thought as I began was “Oh, my goodness. I know an emoji is simple, but can I actually draw one?” Obviously my artistic confidence is not high. It’s been a long, long time since I’ve attempted to draw anything! But I wasn’t creating a work of art, remember? I was doing a little emoji. It wasn’t meant to be a masterpiece. 

So, after mentally encouraging myself a bit, I picked up the first drawing tool I saw — which I thought was a pencil. It turned out to be an ink pen, and that was fine. It surprised me a bit when I realized it was ink, but, oh, well. I kept drawing. 

And as I started making marks — that’s what drawing is all about, you know — it felt so good! I loved feeling the ink going onto the paper. I loved how it felt to move the pen in my hand. I loved making my Sadangry little emoji. I thought about adding a bit of watercolor — and maybe later I will. For now, though, I like Sadangry just the way it is.

The lesson here, I guess, is that sometimes the simplest things can bring the most unexpected pleasure, especially when we’re just getting started with an activity, or when we’re returning to an activity after a long absence. 

Drawing should be fun, and this was fun for me. No worries about doing the right thing. No concerns about how it would turn out. No fretting and fussing about proportions, shading, perspective or any of those other artistic elements we worry about. Just a simple little emoji — or, no, actually a somewhat complex emoji, one representing two different emotions. 

Yes, I had fun creating this. It felt good, and I’m looking forward to re-acquainting myself now with lots of other art supplies. Be forewarned, though. A lot of emotions are lurking under the surface. What comes forth won’t always be pretty.



  1. I enjoying feeling you processing through this one and I do get it! I was right with you, Judith. I love the little sadangry face – and I know just how that feels too. For me the sadangry is an intense but sudden disappointment feeling.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, intense and sudden… for me, “sadangry” sort of switches back and forth. I’ll feel sad, and then the anger hits, and then the sadness comes again. I especially like that I can now give a name to those feelings!

      Liked by 1 person

I'd Love to Hear Your Thoughts!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s