‘Painting for joy’ with Jessica Zoob


Keep Creativity Going


Jessica Zoob, an acclaimed contemporary British Artist, is launching her ‘Painting for Joy’ competition.  Jessica details below how we can use art as a medium to both express our emotions and creativity but also lift our spirits during this difficult time.

It is so hard to know what to do or say in these strange and frightening times, but I know that whenever I have been in a dark place or struggling I have found painting to be my life line. Strangely it heals me and then often people who see  those paintings say it heals them too which is wonderful. I suppose I would just love to share that method of escape with as many people as possible so please do enter my competition. There are no rules, you can paint on any surface with any paint.

Why should we be ‘Painting for Joy’?

I know this is an incredibly strange and upsetting time for most of us but painting has always got me through my dark days so I am hoping this competition might help you find some distraction! Creativity for me is a way of completely stepping outside of the constraints of reality and allowing myself to inhabit a magical world where anything is possible. It is an escape hatch.

Neurobiologists have found that creating and viewing art results in the release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that controls the brain’s pleasure and reward centres. Isolation and stress caused by coronavirus has made many of us feel down, detached and lethargic, painting can calm the body to help you feel more grounded and clear in this confusing and overwhelming time. Psychologists have also found that creating and observing art can reduce cortisol, known as the ‘stress hormone’, at the same time creativity releases endorphins and can even increase open-mindedness and heighten your ability to problem solve!

So, try to create a painting which you would like to call ‘Joy’, and most importantly enjoy the process! Play your happiest music, dance around and remember what it felt like to paint when you were a child. For the sheer pleasure of it with no judgement!! If you need some inspiration, just think about what brings you joy with a pen and paper in hand. You could write it down, or just see what your hand doodles as you think about it. Taking photographs can be a great place to start and Pinterest is full of incredible art, ideas and photographs. You can see my works in progress, and art that inspires me here.

Even if you haven’t picked up a paintbrush since you were a child please have a go! You never know, you might discover a passion, or at the very least have a fun distraction for a few hours!