Emotional drawings ideas

Drawing Ideas When Sad – Improve Drawing

Drawing Depression When You’re Sad?

When you ask artists or art enthusiasts this question, they will tell you they use whatever pops in their mind for their subject. It is easy for them to express their sadness in their drawing because they use symbols and colors to emphasize the subject that they opt to work with.

Below are some drawing ideas when sad. Also, each is often used as a subject by a sad person when they draw.

* It can be their loved one.

* Their favorite place

* The person they most admire

* A person who is alone

* An individual weeping and seemingly asking for help.

* A crowded place with a person alone in a corner

* An individual who appears injured

* A headless person, not seeing where they are heading

* An individual crying blood

* Somebody alone, in a dark room with a look of hopelessness.

How to Draw Depression

Sad doodle can help a person process emotions and make sense of what they are feeling. You can express your sadness by using doodle art.

Doodle art has no rules, and you can use abstract or any pattern you prefer. You can choose any color, size, and shape.

People use it when they want to put their feelings into the paper as it lessens their unease. When they are sad, they also have the paper ready to doodle whatever comes to mind. A pen is used in making doodles and often uses colors as it eases someone’s sadness once they see various colors. It calms them and provides peace to their sad thoughts.

Sad doodle is also one way for someone to relieve distressing thoughts, grant a distraction from the troubling ideas, and provide mental tranquility after.

There are no rules in doodle art and sad doodle, and anyone who can draw even with just lines and circles can do this art. Sad doodle is a well-known distraction from stress, anxiety, and melancholic thoughts.

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How to Draw Depression

Keep an Art Journal or Sketchbook

An art journal contains drawings and words of how the artists feel while doing the artwork. It can contain distinct art styles and is often a tool when experimenting to show creativity. There is no need to be perfect, and it is alright to make mistakes cause this is how you will learn and be better with the help of your art journal.

An art journal can also help you see your improvement as you continuously make an art piece, or you can also have a copy of the artwork with the various moods you are in a while doing your art. It can serve as a witness to how your art develops through the years as well.

A sketchbook is also a tool for you to practice by sketching or drafting your artwork. It can contain various collections of sketches and quick drawings with a few corrections to be made. Sketchbook can help an artist draw their ideas when it pops into their head and when they want to capture it for the time being.

When you are sad, a sketchbook can be an ally. As an artist, you can use it anytime you need it and anywhere you may be.

Nowadays, some artists use a digital sketchbook, and others are still using the traditional paper version. Both are valuable because of how it helps hold your feelings and inspiration daily by the drawings and sketches you make.

It is not just something that holds how you feel one moment, but it also helps hone your craft. Sketchbooks may be used daily, weekly, or with every strike of inspiration. There is no rule, no boundaries with every page, and no judgment.

Express Your Feeling Through Your Drawings

Express Your Feeling Through Your Drawings

It is believed that a person who has so much going on in their life has more inspiration when they draw.

Because it is in drawing where one is free to express how they feel. One can also experiment or create stories using different subjects and characters in their drawing.

When you feel counteractive, you can use drawing as an outlet to let out that negativity. You don’t have to keep the trouble, anxiety, agony, or stress inside because by drawing, you can divert that feeling and make it into something wonderful.

When happy or ecstatic, you also have so much inspiration because of overflowing emotions. You have a clear head; you see the beauty around you, and everything is colorful. Positive emotion can be your way to create an exceptional drawing.

A drawing can be an outlet for you when you want to communicate something that you cannot say aloud. Drawing is the best form of self-expression, specifically for people who have issues about voicing out their feelings and when all they know is suppressing it.

Please look at this drawing and sketching video course I have createdUse this link.

Draw Subjects That Will Lift Your Mood

Drawing can express negative or positive emotions, and it can be an antidote to a foul mood. When you draw something that you feel happy about, it can change your outlook or distract the current feelings you have. It can improve your mood and soothe emotions.

It can be your favorite item, an animal, food, a place, or a drawing of a person you love.

There are endless subjects that a person may find so much meaning. What could be meaningful to someone may be nonsense to others.

Drawing can be a distraction as it redirects your feelings of frustration, sadness, or even anger and helps you create something astonishing and beautiful.

How to Create a Sad Drawing of Someone

How Do You Draw Someone Sad

If you need to make someone look sad in a drawing, you must emphasize the following details.

* By using a frown and pout lips

* Use crinkled-up eyebrows

* Draw droopy shoulders

* Furrowed brows show frustration and displeasure.

* A person in anguish and pain can also cry heavily.

* Head hanging low with lip pouting,

Why Do I Draw Better When I’m Sad?

Drawing is like an outlet to most people, and when you are sad, you also feel the urge to draw, especially if you are good at it or have vast knowledge.

When you draw, you are helping yourself forget what you are feeling and focus on your work. You are also channeling the negativity instead of oppressing your sad thoughts.

And this helps in making you draw better every time you feel sad cause drawing is like a meditative practice. As you see your creation slowly developing into something impressive and outstanding, this calms you.

The sad feeling you have also lessened, and even the negative emotions slowly decline.

Is Drawing Good For Depression?

Creative activities can lessen someone’s depression. Drawing is one creative activity that helps someone cope with depression. As your mind is focused on your drawing, your mind releases creative energy instead, which helps you to recover from depression.

Conflicting emotions can cause depression, and some people, don’t know how to handle such feelings that can lead to self-destruction.

Others will have an outlet for such and use their drawing skills instead to combat such feelings. It can be a feeling of hopelessness, feeling loss, or excessive feeling of despair. It is not easy to avoid such emotions for some people since they also cannot understand why they have such negative and conflicting emotions.

Drawing can help the mind relax, get busy and not think negative thoughts, but focus on the artwork.

Ideas You Can Express Through Your Drawing:

You can express several ideas through drawing, and it is thought of as a healthy outlet for anyone to show what they feel. Some who are angry may display their anger differently and can even hurt themselves or other people.

Then some anxious individuals don’t know how to handle their anxiety, which makes them seem half-alive. People who feel fear in their life may not live their life fully, always thinking about things that may not have a chance of happening, but they are thinking about it, and it is not making them live as they should.

Drawing is a different way of facing your emotions cause you can convey them without harming yourself. There is a higher satisfaction when you reveal your feelings through art as you see the end result of your artwork.

Sad Drawing Ideas: Ideas You Can Express Through Drawing:

Sad Drawing

Drawing or art therapy can help an individual slow down and manage their depression. Drawing engages the mind and challenges it instead of letting it wallow in anxiety, stress, and depressing thoughts.

When you are depressed, there are hundreds of things that worry you, and you can’t find the strength to resist its clout on you that it is already affecting your daily activity and how you face other people.

If you use drawing, your mind will focus on being creative in that it helps the body releases dopamine, which is a natural anti-depressant. When you draw, your body is meditating, and the calming effect will help promote psychological health.

Drawing ideas for depression includes a person without a face looking in front of the mirror. The color is dark, and the mirror appears rusty and old.

A woman entering her bedroom removes a mask with every step, and the room gets darker and appears ominous.

Lost Hope

When you feel like all hope is lost, you can also use drawing as an outlet.

There are symbols of hopelessness, a deserted road, dark and dismal backgrounds, and gloomy shadows.

Depressing things to draw can be a desolate and abandoned road that a person is about to pass through, and no light is in sight. The removal of light indicates that the person has no one to help him with his journey and is feeling hopeless.


There are so many ideas when you want to draw about friendship. It is something that evokes such a heartwarming feeling in any artist.

Friendship ideas can be intertwined, symbolizing that two people agree, have the same outlook, and support each other, which is what friendship offers.

Another idea of friendship is having someone with you while waiting for the sunset or people laughing together heartily.

Sad Things to Draw When You’re Lost

When you are lost, you don’t know how to arrive at the right decision.

When feeling lost, the most symbolic drawing to use is a crossroads. When one is at a crossroads, one does not know the right way.

Some symbol of feeling lost is being in the middle of a tornado and not knowing how to get out or escape. You are lost, and there seems to be no way out.

Misunderstood Ideas

When you are misjudged, there is also a feeling of hopelessness and being alone or depressed. You want people to be there to support and listen to you, but you feel misunderstood.

Drawing ideas when you are misunderstood can be a person with a shadow bigger than himself as if it will consume him.

Another is a drawing of someone staying in one corner with a hovering dark cloud above him. Other people around him are all conversing and having the best time. The person may feel as if nobody understands him, and the feeling is slowly eating him up.

Drawing About Love

When the subject is love, ideas may be endless. The most common drawing idea for love is two people getting married. They can be in their wedding ensemble looking at the sunrise as it symbolizes a new beginning for them.

It can be as simple as two people in love holding each other’s soft and smooth hands when they are still young and when their hands are all wrinkly, filled with lines and spots.

What is Art Therapy?

Art therapy is the application of visual and creative arts to help heal and provide health benefits. It is believed that art therapy assists in treating anxiety, depression, as well as, a post-traumatic stress disorder.

Art Therapy may or may not include a therapist to assist you in healing, and you can do the activity at home.

When art therapy is mentioned, it includes sketching, collage making, sculpting, drawing, painting, art journaling, sketching.

Art therapy allows someone to hone their creativity and helps improve people’s mental health with anxiety, depression, trauma, attention disorders, and more.

Some Known Benefits of Art Therapy Are:

Stress Alleviation

Art therapy helps eliminate the stress you feel and will relax and also calm your mind. It will help you focus on the art instead of concentrating on making you anxious, depressed, and stressed.

Art therapy is a great way to relieve stress and other mental strain.

Emotional Expression

When you are doing art, it helps you divert your emotions to it. Art therapy will let you release the fear and help you express anger or sadness in your drawing, which can benefit your emotional health.

Some people cannot express what they are feeling in words cause they are used to keeping their feelings inside, and with the help of Art Therapy, they now have an outlet.

Mood Improvement

When people are creative, they don’t have time to feel the negativity within themselves. They are focused on the artwork instead of certain emotions that do not motivate them or help them achieve the life they deserve.

When they are not focusing on doubt, their mood improves.

Increase Self-Esteem

Instead of wallowing in the negativity that one feels, they can now help increase their self-esteem by accomplishing an artwork. It will then improve confidence, lessen self-criticism, and inspire self-love.

Learning About Oneself

When you have pent-up feelings and don’t understand your emotions, you have difficulty expressing them. With art therapy, you can discover your true self. With the help of art, you can recognize emotions and acknowledge them at the same time.

A Cure For Stress

When a person is stressed, anxious, or has emotional trauma, art therapy will slowly ease such stresses in their life. It will instead repose the mind and the body that will lead to decompressing the mind. It will also help the person leave the stress and depression behind.

Heighten Happiness

With the help of art therapy, anyone who lacks the brain chemical dopamine can feel motivated, which leads to finishing artwork and elevating happiness.

The lack of dopamine causes some people to feel depressed and hopeless, as if they have nothing to look forward to and find no reason to be happy. Art therapy can help these people to feel alive and find a purpose in life.

Who Is The Best Candidate For Art Therapy?

All groups, individuals, couples, or even those who don’t have any issues with their emotions or self-expression can benefit. Nearly everyone can gain from this therapy, and even if you have no talent for the art, you can still attain something as the value is in the result and what difference or change it will bring to your life.

Create Art With My Favourite Drawing Resources

General Drawing Courses. I like Udemy if you want to develop your knowledge of drawing techniques. Udemy is an excellent choice due to its wide range of creative courses and excellent refund policy. They often have monthly discounts for new customers, which you can check here. Use my link.

Sketching and Collage. Take a look at this sketching resource I have created. Use this link.

Proko. Is one of my favorite teachers who surpasses in the teaching of Anatomy and Figure drawing. Prokos course breaks down the drawing of the human body into easy-to-follow components aiding the beginner to make rapid progress. For this, I really like Proko.

Art Easels. One of my favorite ways to draw is by using a drawing easel, which develops the skill of drawing on a vertical surface. The H frame easel is an excellent vertical way to add variety to the style and type of marks you create when using a drawing board.

To see all of my most up-to-date recommendations, check out this resource I made for you.

100 Art Therapy Exercises - The Updated and Improved List

"The healthiest form of projection is art."  

~ Fritz Perlz 

I have researched current links that reflect the most inspiring art therapy directives on the internet today.


Shelley Klammer 


Deal with emotions like anger and sadness through these helpful exercises.

  1. Draw or paint your emotions. In this exercise, you'll focus entirely on painting what you're feeling.
  2. Create an emotion wheel. Using color, this activity will have you thinking critically about your emotions.
  3. Make a meditative painting. Looking for a creative way to relax?  Have trouble sitting still to meditate?  Meditative painting might be just the thing you're looking for.  No painting skill or experience necessary - only a desire to relax and become more creative.
  4. Put together a journal.  Journals don't have to just be based around words. You can make an art journal as well, that lets you visually express your emotions.
  5. Explore puppet therapy. Puppets aren't just for kids. Make your own and have them act out scenes that make you upset.
  6. Use line art. Line is one of the simplest and most basic aspects of art, but it can also contain a lot of emotion. Use simple line art to demonstrate visually how you're feeling.
  7. Design a postcard you will never send. Are you still angry or upset with someone in your life? Create a postcard that expresses this, though you don't have to ever send it.
  8. Create a family sculpture.  For this activity, you makes a clay representation of each family member-- mother, father, siblings, and any other close or influential family members to explore emotional dynamics and roles within your family.
  9. Paint a mountain and a valley. The mountain can represent a time where you were happy, the valley, when you were sad. Add elements that reflect specific events as well.
  10. Attach a drawing or message to a balloon. Send away negative emotions or spread positive ones by attaching a note or drawing to a balloon and setting it free.
  11. Draw Your Heart. Draw your feelings in a heart formation.

Remix This

Art therapy can be a great way to relax. Consider these exercises if you're looking to feel a little more laid back.

  1. Paint to music. Letting your creativity flow in response to music is a great way to let out feelings and just relax.
  2. Make a scribble drawing. With this activity, you'll turn a simple scribble into something beautiful, using line, color and your creativity.
  3. Finger paint. Finger painting isn't just fun for kids– adults can enjoy it as well. Get your hands messy and really have fun spreading the paint around.
  4. Make a mandala. Whether you use the traditional sand or draw one on your own, this meditative symbol can easily help you to loosen up.
  5. Draw with your eyes closed. Not being able to see what you are drawing intensifies fluidity, intuition, touch and sensitivity.
  6. Draw something HUGE. Getting your body involved and moving around can help release emotion as you're drawing.
  7. Use color blocks. Colors often come with a lot of emotions attached. Choose several paint chips to work with and collage, paint and glue until you've created a colorful masterpiece.
  8. Let yourself be free. Don't allow yourself to judge your work. If you think your paintings are too tight and controlled, this collection of tips and techniques to try should help you work in a looser style.  
  9. Only use colors that calm you. Create a drawing or a painting using only colors that you find calming.
  10. Draw in sand. Like a Zen garden, this activity will have you drawing shapes and scenes in the sand, which can be immensely relaxing and a great way to clear your mind.
  11. Make a zentangle. These fun little drawings are a great tool for letting go and helping reduce stress.
  12. Color in a design. Sometimes, the simple act of coloring can be a great way to relax. Find a coloring book or use this mandala for coloring.
  13. Draw outside.  Working en plein air can be a fun way to relax and get in touch with nature while you're working on art.

Remix ThisHappiness

Art can not only help you deal with the bad stuff, but also help you appreciate and focus on the good. Check out these activities all about reflecting on your personal happiness.

  1. Collage your vision of a perfect day.Think about what constitutes a perfect day to you and collage it. What about this collage can you make happen today?
  2. Take photographs of things you think are beautiful. No one else has to like them but you. Print and frame them to have constant reminders of the beautiful things in life.
  3. Make a collage related to a quote you like. Take the words of wisdom from someone else and turn them into something visually inspiring.
  4. Create a drawing that represents freedom. The Surrealists embraced automatic drawing as way to incorporate randomness and the subconscious into their drawings, and to free themselves from artistic conventions and everyday thinking.
  5. Document a spiritual experience. Have you ever had a spiritual experience in your life? Paint what it felt like intuitively.
  6. Make a stuffed animal. Soft, cuddly objects can be very comforting. This project could be used to create an imaginary animal from your intuitive drawings.
  7. Work on a softness project. Using only soft or comforting objects, create a work of art.
  8. Build a "home." What does home mean to you? This activity will have you create a safe, warm place that feels like home to you.
  9. Document an experience where you did something you didn't think you could do. We all have to do things that we're scared or unsure of sometimes. Use this activity as a chance to commemorate one instance in your life.
  10. Think up a wild invention.  This invention should do something that can help make you happier– no matter what that is.
  11. Make a prayer flag. Send your prayers for yourself or those around you out into the universe with this project.

Remix This

Often, a great way to get to know yourself and your relationships with others is through portraits.

  1. Create a past, present and future self-portrait. This drawing or painting should reflect where you have been, who you are today, and how see yourself in the future.
  2. Draw a bag self-portrait. On the outside of a paper bag, you'll create a self-portrait. On the inside, you'll fill it with things that represent who you are.
  3. Choose the people who matter most to you in life and create unique art for each.This is a great way to acknowledge what really matters to you and express your gratitude.
  4.  "I am" Collage. Create an intuitive collage and discover more about yourself.
  5. Create an expressive self-portrait. Paint in expressive colors. Select colors for emotional impact.
  6. Draw yourself as a warrior. Start thinking about yourself as a strong, capable person by drawing yourself as a warrior in this activity.
  7. Create a transformational portrait series.  Transform your perceptions about yourself with this list of self-portrait ideas.
  8. Imitate Giuseppe Arcimboldo. Using objects that have meaning to you, create a portrait of yourself.
  9. Create a body image sketch. Practice life drawing to fall in love with all of the varieties of the human body, including your own.
  10. Draw a mirror self-portrait. This activity is based around a Piet Mondrian quote: "The purer the artist's mirror is, the more true reality reflects in it." 
  11. Draw yourself as a superhero. Many people like superhero stories. We resonate with the themes in the stories, with the dilemmas and problems that superheroes face, and we aspire to their noble impulses and heroic acts.

Remix This
Trauma and Loss

These activities will ask you to face some unpleasant aspects of life, but with the goal of overcoming them.

  1. Draw a place where you feel safe. An art therapy directive for finding your safe place.
  2. Create a mini-diorama. A diorama can showcase an important moment in your life or something from your imagination.
  3. Collage Your Worries Away. Toss your worries away and begin tearing, cutting, shreddingand  layering,
  4. Draw something that scares you.  Everyone is frightened of something and in this project you'll get a chance to bring that fear to light and hopefully work towards facing it.
  5. Turn your illness into art. Struggling with a potentially terminal illness? Process your feelings about your illness.
  6. Art journal through a loss in your life. If you've lost someone you love, process it in your art journal.
  7. Make art that is ephemeral. Sand painting is practiced in many cultures, usually for healing purposes. Create beautiful patterns with sand on canvas.


If you prefer to cut and paste rather than draw or paint, these projects are for you.

  1. Create a motivational collage. Collage a vision board. Fill it with images you find motivating.
  2. Create a face collage on a mask. We all wear masks of some sort. This project lets you showcase what's in your mask and the face you put on for the world.
  3. Create a clutter collage. Are there things cluttering up your life? In this project, use words and pictures to show the clutter in your way.
  4. Create a calming collage. Choose images that you find soothing, calming or even meditative and combine them to create a collage to help you to relax.
  5. Collage a painting.  Incorporate collage symbolism in a painting.

Remix This

Examine aspects if who you are and how you see the world through these art projects.

  1. Draw images of your good traits. Creating drawings of your good traits will help you to become more positive and build a better self-image.
  2. Draw yourself as an animal. Is there an animal that you have a special interest in or feel like is a kindred spirit? Draw yourself as that animal.
  3. Create a timeline journal. Timeline the most important moments of your life through this writing therapy exercise.
  4. Put together a jungle animal collage. Choose jungle animals that you find the most interesting, draw them, and then reflect on why you've chosen these specific animals.
  5. Sculpt your ideal self. If you could make yourself into the perfect person, what would you look like?
  6. Paint different sides of yourself. Explore your many emotions through painting.
  7. Make art with your fingerprints. Your fingerprints are as unique as you are. Use ink and paint to make art that uses your fingerprints.
  8. Draw yourself as a tree. Your roots will be loaded with descriptions of things that give you strength and your good qualities, while your leaves can be the things that you're trying to change.
  9. Design a fragments box. In this project, you'll put fragments of yourself into a box, helping construct a whole and happier you.
  10. Paint an important childhood memory. What was a pivotal memory in your childhood? This activity asks you to document it and try to understand why it was so important to you.
  11. Write and illustrate a fairy tale about yourself. If you could put yourself into a happily ever after situation, what role would you play and how would the story go? Create a book that tells the tale.
  12. Design a visual autobiography. This creative project asks you to make a visual representation of your life.
  13. Create your own coat of arms. Choose symbols that represent your strengths to build your own special coat of arms.
  14. Draw a comic strip. Enjoy a moment of levity with this exercise that will focus in on a comical event that happened to you.
  15. Build your own website. Websites are very versatile ways to express yourself. Build your own to express what's most important about you.
  16. Create a box of values.  First, collage or paint a box the represents you. Then, place items inside the box that represent the things you value the most.

Remix This

Here you'll find a collection of projects that will help you be happy about what you have and express your gratitude for it.

  1. Document your gratitude visually.What things are you grateful for in your life? Paint or collage a work that represents these things.
  2. Create a family tree of strength. This exercise honors those around you who support you. Paint those close to you who offer you the strength you need.
  3. Make something for someone else.  Making something for someone else can be a great way to feel good and help someone else do so as well.
  4. Make anchor art. Who are the anchors in your life? In this project, you'll make an anchor and decorate it with the people and things that provide you stability and strength.
  5. Draw all the positive things in your life. Everyone has at least one good thing in life, so sit down and figure out what makes you happy– then draw it.
  6. Sculpt your hand in plaster. Explore the symbolism of hand casting.
  7. Paint a rock. Paint rocks for relaxation and fun.
  8. Create a gratitude tree.  What are you grateful for? This clay project asks you to write those things on leaves to construct a tree.
  9. Create a life map. A Life Map helps you discover what you want for yourself and your life
  10. Create a snowflake out of paper. Write ideas about how you are unique on the snowflake.
  11. Build a personal altar. This is a highly personal project that will help connect you with your spiritual side and honor your resilience.

Inside the Mind

Take a look inside your mind to see what's going on with these projects.

  1. Create blot art.  Like a classic Rorschach test, fold paper in half with paint or ink in the middle and describe what you see.
  2. Mind Mapping. Make a visual representation of your thoughts to figure out how your mind works.
  3. Make a dreamcatcher. Having bad dreams? Create this age-old tool for catching your dreams with a few simple tools.
  4. Draw your dreams. You can learn a lot from what goes on in your dreams, so keep a dream journal and use it for inspiration to draw or paint.

Remix This

If you're still looking for something to empower, help or soothe you, these projects may fit the bill.

  1. Use natural materials. Leaves, sticks, dirt, clay and other natural materials can help you get in touch with the natural world and the more primal side of yourself.
  2. Explore archetypes. Study the archetypes to help you explore how you see and create your world. 
  3. Use your body as a canvas. You don't need paper when you have your body. Paint on your hands and feet or anywhere else to feel more in touch with yourself.
  4. Sculpt spirit figures. Connect with those that have passed on or your own spiritual essence using these sculpted figures.
  5. Make art out of recycled items. You can reuse old items that have meaning to you or just re-purpose something you have laying around. Either way, you'll get insights into how you can reshape and reevaluate your own life.
  6. Collage with old photographs. If you're uncomfortable using old photos you can make copies. Explore these mixed media techniques with your old photos.
  7. Create your own interpretation of a famous work of art. How would you have painted the Mona Lisa? Using a famous work as your inspiration, create your own work. It could help reveal more about your lens on the world.
  8. Work collaboratively.  Art can be better when two work at it together, so find a partner and collaborate on just about anything.
  9. Use a found or made object as a paintbrush. Whether it's something sharp or something soft, make your own artistic tool and use it to express what you're feeling.
  10. Make crayon stained glass. Reflect upon your spiritual side with this project that lets you create your own stained glass window.
  11. Paint a window. Windows let you see in and see out. Paint yours with things you want to hide or show to the world.


100 drawing ideas

Tags: #developingfantasy, #drawing

Drawing with children

Do you want to draw something, but inspiration never comes? No problem! This collection of tasks will help you unleash your creativity and keep you entertained. Simple, more complex - everyone will find something for themselves. Take our ideas as a basis, change and supplement them at your discretion - you give creativity and a flight of fancy! You can even arrange for yourself and your child an art challenge “100 days of drawing”, let the young artist add bright colors to everyday life! nine0003

Simple tasks

  1. Landscape outside the window.
  2. House in the forest.
  3. Pink flamingo.
  4. Self portrait.
  5. Vase with a bouquet of flowers.
  6. Your hand.
  7. Fruit in a basket.
  8. Bathroom shelf.
  9. Rainbow.
  10. Dinosaur.
  11. Favorite food.
  12. Ship at sea.
  13. Palm tree with coconuts.
  14. Favorite book character. nine0014
  15. Family.
  16. Jungle.
  17. A flock of migratory birds.
  18. Chair.
  19. Pet.
  20. An apple on a branch.
  21. Cup of tea.
  22. Bookshelf.
  23. Facade of the school.
  24. Geometric shapes.
  25. Man in full growth.
  26. Drawing in the style of abstract art.
  27. Window.
  28. Any food from the refrigerator.
  29. nine0013 Lake with reeds.
  30. Clock.
  31. A bee on a flower.

More difficult tasks

  1. Summer.
  2. Medusa.
  3. Running horse.
  4. Dream room interior.
  5. Zoo.
  6. Anthill.
  7. Amusement park.
  8. Sunset Mountains.
  9. Illustration for a favorite book.
  10. Cacti on the window.
  11. nine0013 Camel.
  12. Walk with friends.
  13. City of the future.
  14. Lion on the hunt.
  15. Flower bed.
  16. Tree in summer, autumn, spring and winter.
  17. Picnic in nature.
  18. Tit.
  19. Mushroom.
  20. Best friend.
  21. Crane.
  22. Labyrinth.
  23. Mouse in a mink.
  24. Cyclist.
  25. Sunrise.
  26. nine0013 Reflection in the water.
  27. Fish underwater.
  28. Open door.

Tasks with an asterisk

  1. A scene from a cartoon.
  2. Sadness.
  3. Precious stones.
  4. Happiness.
  5. Winter patterns on the window.
  6. Imaginary animal.
  7. Picture in picture.
  8. Your mood.
  9. Joyful moment.
  10. Any emotion. nine0014
  11. Face in the form of a set of figures.
  12. Three-picture comic.
  13. Movement.
  14. Trip with parents.
  15. Hare reading a book.
  16. A person who hears everything very well.
  17. A person who sees everything very well.
  18. Ursa Major next to Ursa Minor.
  19. 100 items in one.
  20. Love.
  21. Favorite picture in the form of geometric shapes. nine0014
  22. Wool on end.
  23. A person who does not understand anything.
  24. A landscape in which all colors are mixed up.
  25. Map of the area where you live.
  26. Ice floe.
  27. Favorite song.
  28. Your house with transparent walls.
  29. Your home in 100 years.
  30. Underground treasure.
  31. Dinosaur skeleton.
  32. Endless staircase.
  33. Cover of "Class magazine". nine0014
  34. Harmful hamster.
  35. Cheerful story.
  36. New alphabet letter.
  37. A mystery shrouded in darkness.
  38. Moonless night.
  39. Landscape from circles.
  40. The first thing you see in the morning.
  41. Same item for 1 minute, 10 minutes and 30 minutes.

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What is emotional intelligence and why your child needs it
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"Art helps a person to clarify their own emotions" • Arzamas

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  • History
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  • Anthropology

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Anthropology, Art

On February 14, the exhibition "Playing with Masterpieces: from Henri Matisse to Marina Abramovich" opens at the Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center. Exhibition curator Alexei Munipov talked with Andrey Zorin about what the history of emotions is and whether it is possible to learn to feel art

What does modern science think about emotions?

- I will not undertake to speak on behalf of all modern science, especially since it thinks differently. Let's say, when I became interested in the topic of emotions, I was not very interested in neurophysiology, but meanwhile, today it is neuroscientists who set the tone for the study of emotions. My research is related to the cultural-historical approach. As a historian, I am interested in the impact of the cultural environment, the history of the formation of cultural stereotypes and norms in the field of feelings. How should one perceive certain events, how do you understand and evaluate them, what types of reactions are expected to them. We are talking about the cultural mechanics of the formation of a person's emotional experience, about the norms that regulate emotions within certain groups of people that Barbara Rosenwein Barbara Rosenwein (b. 1945) is a medieval historian, professor at Loyola Catholic University (Chicago), a specialist in the history of emotions. called "emotional communities".

But there are other approaches to the emotional world of a person. Now we know much more about the physiology of the brain, very interesting research is taking place at the intersection of humanitarian and neurophysiological approaches. In general, the study of emotions is a rapidly developing field, it is only 30-40 years old. The entire behavioral economics is focused on the study of emotional, subconscious human behavior. And not only it, but a lot of different disciplines. There was even such a term as "emotional turn", referring to the study of the inner world, emotions, experiences. nine0003

Science is so actively engaged in this, because the topic of emotions seems to us as a society more valuable than before?

- Partly yes, and this is due to the revision of the idea that a person is a rational being: he makes deliberate decisions, guided by rational interests. Moreover, this turn took place precisely in the scientific environment, the inhabitants never considered that a person is rationally arranged. And they were always interested in emotions, it was simply assumed that this topic was not for science. Writers, directors, artists have always turned to the emotional world of man, but historians were not allowed to make assumptions about the emotions of people of the past, this was considered tabloid. A novelist can, but a historian can't. The man died long ago - how do you know how he felt? But the techniques of analysis are being improved, and now we are cautious, with a due degree of skepticism, but we can say something about this. nine0003

- There is a popular theory that people in all times and cultures experience the same basic emotions. Of these, six or seven are usually distinguished: fear, joy, sadness, anger, surprise, disgust, sometimes even contempt. What do you think about this? Basic human emotions. Engraving from the book of Georges-Louis Leclerc de Buffon "General and private natural history". 1749 Art.com

- There is a radical way to say this - and a neat one. To put it bluntly, the theory of basic emotions, which was formulated and promoted by the American psychologist Paul Ekman, has nothing to do with serious science. I can carefully note that I belong to a different scientific school, which does not adhere to the point of view about the existence of basic emotions. From my point of view, there are no basic emotions. Every real human emotion is an infinitely complex combination. nine0003

Of course, you always want to reduce the complex to the simple, decompose it into elements, highlight the components. This is a normal analytical procedure. There is nothing wrong with trying to break down any emotional reaction or experience into its components: a little delight, combined with embarrassment or surprise. The bad begins where we assume that the basic emotions are indeed found in nature: pure surprise, pure delight, or pure fear.

- As far as I understand, two scientific schools have formed in the dispute around human emotions: one claims that emotions are universal, because they are caused by human physiology, and the other that they are shaped by culture and therefore they are different in each society. Is the theory about basic emotions what universalists stand for?

- That's a different question. Talking about whether emotions are universal or culturally determined is not the same as talking about whether emotions are reducible to basics. The answer to the second question is very simple: no, they are not reducible. And in the debate about what shapes our emotions, each school has its own strong arguments. nine0003

I think we are dealing with a complex combination of the universal and the socially constructive. Well, do we somehow understand another person, despite cultural and social barriers? These barriers always exist and between everyone, not only when we speak of a resident of another country or a person from the 14th century. And some reactions that are universal for all probably exist. Of course, our understanding of the other is always incomplete and incorrect, but if we dealt with social constructions in their pure form, then it would be impossible at all. nine0003

Therefore, the suggestion that there is an element of universality in human emotions does not strike me as absurd. The question is which is more important. An active study of historical and cultural emotions began with anthropology: researchers found that the people they studied not only think, but also feel differently. And it was a completely unexpected discovery!

It was the supporters of historical and cultural anthropology who wrote back in the 1970s that part of the universal nature of man is his incompleteness. That is, a person is not born ready, he is completed in the process, and it is the completion of construction that is part of his biological nature, which distinguishes him from any other creatures. We receive a system of norms, taboos and prescriptions from the outside, from culture. nine0003

Of all living beings, humans are the least determined by genetic factors. Due to the cultural mechanism of differentiation, we are very different. And it was the ability to assimilate culture, to be guided by it, that provided man with his amazing bioevolutionary triumph. Once upon a time, a handful of naked, insignificant, defenseless and poorly adapted creatures roamed the East Asian desert, and now we are the masters of at least the globe. There are more than 7 billion of us, and we decide the fate of all other living beings on the planet. nine0003

It turned out that culture is the most important of the possible mechanisms that provide man as a biological being with dominance on Earth. Therefore, I do not see an insurmountable contradiction between the universal and social constructivist approaches. There is no discussion here between science and charlatanism, this is a discussion between schools that place emphasis in different ways.

Perhaps the basic emotion theory is so popular because it resonates with the popular notion that people don't change? We can understand Shakespeare and Ovid, because people have always rejoiced, fell in love and fought - in general, they felt the same as now. nine0247 Henry Fuseli. Lady Macbeth takes the daggers. Around 1812 Tate

- If a person is thrown out of an airplane, then he will be scared. There is almost no cultural component in this fear - pure physiology. Everyone will be scared, even the cat. There are instincts - reproduction, saturation, avoidance of death. They unite us with our animal ancestors, but the essence of man is that these absolute universals take real form only in a cultural context. nine0003

Take any sphere. Satisfying hunger? The sphere of food has always been regulated and is regulated by systems of taboos, norms and regulations. Satisfaction of sexual needs? Let's not even start. Fear of death? Many cultures have developed relatively effective mechanisms to mitigate or block it.

We do not have an analytical scalpel with which to separate in a person what is inherent in nature and what is invented by culture. Because culture is part of human nature. Culture in a broad sense is a mechanism of non-genetic transmission of norms, taboos, prescriptions, rules from generation to generation. And it is impossible to separate it from the natural. nine0003

This is remarkably demonstrated by researchers who study humans in extreme situations. Read Lydia Ginzburg's book about besieged Leningrad: people are on the verge of survival, starvation is near, but they stubbornly write scientific papers and worry about how they are perceived by their colleagues. That is, the mechanism of self-affirmation continues to work even in this situation. Moreover, such a well-known cultural phenomenon as a death fast indicates that even the basic universal instinct “to eat so as not to die” is not compulsory for a person. A person may choose to starve himself to death. nine0003

Is the desire to continue working during the blockade just self-affirmation, and not a way of psychological protection in an unbearable situation?

Self-affirmation is a way of psychological protection. The desire to be recognized and appreciated by others. Ginzburg has a striking aphorism: a person, of course, wants to be better than others, but this is not enough for him, the main thing is to be no worse than others. It's amazingly accurate and very deep. The mechanism of self-realization in the environment, the feeling of being part of the human society are the most important things that to a large extent are able to block even such a fundamental thing as hunger. And it's not just self-defense in an unbearable situation, because then we might assume that as soon as the unbearable situation ends, these mechanisms will weaken. But nothing of the kind happens. nine0003

- Can we say that our emotional spectrum is steadily expanding over time? Boredom is a relatively new emotion, isn't it?

My colleague Vera Sergeevna Dubina once dealt with boredom, this is a very interesting topic. For centuries, man has been completely absorbed in survival. Finally, people defeated nature relatively late, 200-300 years ago, when it became clear that natural disasters would not destroy humanity (more precisely, when such an illusion arose and became stronger). The idea was immediately born that nature should be protected, protected and loved. Rousseauism arises, talk about a return to nature, and this is an unmistakable symptom that nature has ceased to be an enemy, it has been defeated. And then you can idealize it, admire it, condemn the separation from it, and so on. nine0003

Of course, the love of nature is part of a refined urban civilization. Outside of it, nature is not idealized: everyone knows that it is dangerous, insidious, hostile to man, that it must be fought. But at a certain stage in the development of urban civilization, people have a new emotion - love for nature.

It can be assumed that boredom is also a historical emotion, arising when a person is freed from the need to continuously search for ways to survive. Then there is a need to somehow spend time, but boredom is connected precisely with the passage of time: how to kill it, to occupy it. In addition, a person always has an instinct to search for something new, changes, the whole development of science and civilization is based on this. I think boredom is generated by an imbalance between the ordinary and the new, the predominance of the familiar and the lack of the unknown. nine0003

- Many languages ​​have specific names for various complex emotions that others do not have, from the Portuguese "saudade" to the Russian "longing". Can we experience an emotion if there is no name for it in our language? Lucas Cranach the Elder. Melancholy. First half of the 16th century Christie's

- This is a famous discussion, there are entire scientific schools that study the linguistic nature of emotions. The answer is more or less clear: yes, of course, a person can feel an emotion, even if it is not called in any way in his language. In addition, even if an emotion is called not by one label word, but by two or three, this does not mean that this emotion is blocked in culture. nine0003

But, of course, the presence in the language of a special word indicates that behind the emotion expressed by it there is a certain cultural norm and it is broadcast and dictated in one way or another. The presence of such a word forms expectations, creates a representable visual image, so that this thing is significant, although not unconditionally defining.

On the other hand, two people will not understand a single word in the same way, even native speakers of the same language. And I'm not talking about such complex and dimensionless concepts as love, but about seemingly obvious joy or anxiety. Even speaking in our native language, we always translate the interlocutor into our personal language - what does he mean, but how does he understand it? It is a continuous process of interpreting other people's statements. nine0003

And how does art work from the point of view of the researcher of emotions?

- I started by saying that science began to study emotions quite recently, and art has been working with this topic since its inception. Artists have always known that man is not a rational being. That the appeal to the emotional life of a person is always stronger than to the intellect - to rationally conscious skills and interests. It took science centuries to come to this idea. nine0003

Even before I got into emotions, I studied ideology, and I was often asked: why do I say that decisions are made on the basis of political metaphors, because people always proceed from their own interests? Yes, but in order to proceed from interests, you must have a clear idea of ​​\u200b\u200bwhat they are, and this is a deeply irrational thing.

If you are a statesman, then your interest may be to expand the territory of your country, or maybe it is to improve the welfare of its inhabitants or implement some ideas, etc. And someone else's interest - in immediately drinking and falling. Or in saving a lot of money. Each person understands his interest in accordance with his own cultural ideas. In particular, art helps us to realize, understand and feel our interests. nine0003

Of course, it exists for more than just that. Any important thing is multifunctional, even from an ordinary glass you can drink water, or you can punch your neighbor in the head with it - what can we say about art. But one of the most important functions of art is that it helps a person to clarify his own emotions. It provides a mirror through which our emotions become clearer to us. We get images of the feelings we experience, we see how they can be experienced, what is regulated and what is not, what is good and what is bad. We can evaluate ourselves and see our emotional world from the outside. And for this you need to look into the emotional world of another person, in which we are looking for reflections, parallels to ourselves. People who know how to go into their own world to a great depth get the opportunity to say something to another about his world. Due to this, the most important artistic effect arises - identifying oneself with a character, hero, author, projecting oneself into the world of a work of art, allowing one to perceive certain emotions that are contained there. nine0003 Gustave Courbet. Despair (Self-portrait). 1843–1845 BNP Paribas

If we perceive art as a language through which we are taught to feel and understand ourselves, then it is obvious that this language should be understood by the viewer. But contemporary art seems to many to be hermetic, completely incomprehensible language. How does it work in this case?

First, of course, contemporary art works for a certain circle of those who understand it. It leaves behind a significant part of those who will not perceive it, and creates an institutional layer of interpreters. In addition, contemporary art, starting with modernism, has a romantic idea that the creator goes ahead of the consumer: what today is not clear to anyone but an artistic genius, tomorrow becomes clear to many, and the day after tomorrow - to everyone. And if you look at how much Van Gogh and other unrecognized art used to cost and how much it costs now, it turns out that in the end these social mechanisms worked. nine0003

Now we see another type of art. Modern artists often strive to make their art as clear as possible. Graffiti, actionism, instant, quickly readable art - all this is a reaction to the modernist cult of artistic genius, to the notion of a genius-medium, extracting from the depths of the subconscious meanings that are incomprehensible today, but someday will become the property of mankind.

Our exhibition is built on the assumption that modernist art is not necessarily understood. It can be felt, because it primarily refers not to the intellect, but to the emotional sphere, and many modernists, from Picasso and Matisse to Rothko and Pollock, have said this directly. nine0247

I am not an art historian, but for me this hypothesis is quite convincing. Modernist art is characterized by the rejection of narrative, figurativeness. Instead, it is proposed to appeal to the deep emotional layer of a person, which does not require rationalization. Expressionism is all about this, it is a visual expression of the power of feeling that unites the creator and the viewer in a single emotional field. So I would agree with your interpretation, unless we are trying to reduce this emotional charge to a well-understood formula, to the notorious basic emotion: this picture expresses fear, this one expresses anxiety, this one expresses delight. nine0003

We are always dealing with a very complex emotion that can be experienced, read into it. Of course, a person cannot experience someone else's emotion. But he can imagine the emotional state that this work gave rise to, that is, go from the text to the reflected emotion. Of course, this will be your personal emotion, since the author's emotion could be completely different, but due to these mechanisms of translation and mutual understanding, you will be able to put yourself in the place of the author.

In the process of working on the exhibition, at some point we tried to sort the works by emotions, that is, to literally collect a hall of joy, sadness, fear ... And, of course, we were faced with the fact that art does not work like that. There are no paintings that evoke only one bright emotion, it is always a complex spectrum. And for everyone he is his own.

- Of course, art doesn't work like that, because human experience is a constellation of complex experiences. As Tolstoy said, there is not enough ink in the world to describe the impressions of one day. If the proverbial basic emotions really existed, why create new works of art? These basic emotions would have been reflected a hundred times already, and all their combinations too - and it would be possible to close the shop. But each time we are dealing with an absolutely unique alloy. Of course, the author has his own, and the viewer has his own. But the viewer can get into resonance, react to something, feel something stronger, and something weaker. nine0003

If this system of conveying emotions is so complex and unpredictable, how exactly does an artist convey what he wants to convey?

There is art, and there is a lot of it, which is designed to replicate ready-made emotional models. It does not produce something new, but works with ready-made stamps that are already in the culture. This is not just epigonism, it is a necessary component of the artistic process: people have always had and will need such models. Techniques, emotional prompts, ready-made sensual repertoire. It is important for people to live in such an environment, to know that your emotional patterns are sanctioned, recognized, reproducible. Therefore, everyone loves Hollywood films so much, which broadcast a fairly standard emotional set. nine0003

But at some point you feel that this is not enough, that it does not convey the full complexity of your emotional experience, that it is more complex, more difficult, more incomprehensible and does not fit into common patterns at all. Hence the need arises for something absolutely specific, unique, new, because only in someone else's uniqueness can you recognize your own uniqueness. Your own unique problems and experiences.

- You are studying how emotional patterns are conveyed in literature. And there are clear mechanisms for this - the hero, the plot, the author's explanations. And how does this system work in art and, in particular, in painting? nine0247

- Good question. I am not an art historian and really analyze only narrative tools - stories, plots. It is obvious, however, that in a huge number of paintings there is also an easily understandable plot. How does, say, a historical canvas work? It selects the main moments from the story and broadcasts to the viewer how to react to them correctly. This method has advantages and disadvantages. The advantage is that you immediately get a visual image - this is more than what the text has to offer. And the downside is that the presence of a visual image blocks or at least limits the mechanisms of implantation. In the book it is easy to imagine yourself in the place of the main character, but in the picture he is already drawn, and this is obviously not you. nine0003

And genres without a clear plot can also be analyzed. Take, say, a landscape. It is clear that it is easy to read the meaning into it: eternal rest or Russian space there. Or a portrait - there is also no plot, but the life lived by this person, ideas about his character are read. Art is always suggestive. Even a story told in detail never tells everything: you have to think of something, set it up, reincarnate.

Kazimir Malevich. Three figures in the field. 1928–1930 Collection of Valery Dudakov and Marina Kashuro

But the situation when visual art completely breaks away from the narrative series and appeals directly to the emotional layer is a fairly new phenomenon. Maybe modernist, abstract art affects us so strongly precisely because it destroys the distance of alienation. I cannot identify myself with the drawn person, because he is not me. Or I can, but with great difficulty. And when you look at an abstract picture, you begin to imagine the creator absent from the canvas or that image of feeling that they are trying to convey to you and which somehow corresponds to your feelings. And there is the possibility of direct contact. nine0003

After all, communication is not only linguistic. It is transmitted through visual images, through sound, through gestures. When one person pats another on the shoulder, he tactilely conveys an emotion to him, that is, he seeks to evoke an understandable emotion of another person. And language comes relatively late, it's one of the most complicated ways, there's too much of everything: words have their own meanings that can be manipulated, there are grammatical norms, and so on.

Even seemingly primitive drawings of cavemen have a very powerful emotional charge. We don't know anything about these people, but we definitely feel something. nine0247

- Yes, we certainly feel something, it is only important to get rid of the idea that we feel the same way they do. It's impossible!

- But we were brought up in the idea of ​​the universality of art: we can feel the Scandinavian saga or the ancient Chinese landscape, feel what the artist felt.

- No, we can't. But we can imagine the world of this person, then imagine ourselves and try to understand what emotion I could experience if I were in the place of the author. This is a complex and sophisticated procedure, but it happens quickly and almost unconsciously. nine0003

Even Adam Smith, who lived in the 18th century, emphasized that our sympathy for another person does not mean that we feel the same as him. Our ability to emotionally imagine ourselves in his place is at the heart of art. But we cannot literally feel what he felt. I myself have spent many years trying to get closer to the world of feelings of long-dead people, so, obviously, I do not consider this activity completely meaningless. But Lotman also noticed that even if in some incredible way we learn everything that a person of another time knew, we still won’t be able to forget everything that he didn’t know, which means we won’t be able to relive his feelings. nine0003

A complete understanding of a foreign world is impossible: we still bring ourselves there. We are immersed in a world invented or described by someone, without ceasing to be ourselves. And if we could completely stop being ourselves and become someone else, the whole procedure would be absolutely useless. What for? What will it give us?

Viktor Pivovarov. Dedication to Pasha. 2004 © Viktor Pivovarov
Does the perception of contemporary art differ between a child and an adult? Is it possible to say that a child, for example, looks more directly? nine0247

- The meaning of the word "directly" is not very clear to me. A child is just as loaded with cultural clichés as any other person of any age. By the time the child begins to read books and go to museums, mom and dad have already given him a lot of things. No, there is no unmediated feeling.

Of course, children and adults have different cultural experiences. The child saw less, does not know so well that all people are different, but on the other hand, he is much more ready to find out, this is part of his bioevolutionary program - to learn, to master new things. The mechanisms are different, I just wouldn't use the word "directly". nine0003

- But perhaps they haven't really taught him how to react properly yet, and that's why it's easier for him?

- They might not be in time, but still he saw some pictures, and the reaction of adults or other children to them, that is, he has some idea. Yes, many adults have not been taught either. I would say that most adults have not been taught how to react to a work of art. It's just that they already often think that they know what art should look like, so they have a feeling of confusion when they see something different. But the child does not yet have this feeling, he does not yet know that portraits, landscapes and still lifes should be shown in the museum, and he should be surprised or indignant if he stumbles upon something else. nine0003

By the way, many modern artists are happy to work with this deception of expectations. So you came to the museum, you have to look and not touch anything with your hands. And then again, an installation that you can climb into, ring the bell, twist the handle and hit the board. Of course, children are delighted, but many adults also like it.

Maurizio Cattelan. Untitled. 2000 © Maurizio Cattelan / Private collection / Maurizio Cattelan Archive

You might say that this turns an adult into a child, but in fact we are offered a different type of communication with art. Previously, you were taught that in a museum you look only with your eyes, and all your other senses - hearing, smell, touch - have nothing to do with this. It is not so easy to get rid of this knowledge, and, having climbed into a modern installation, you will still look around all the time to see if they are going to arrest you. And the child has fewer of these stereotypes, although they are absorbed instantly. If he was yelled at at least once in the museum, he will be just as afraid of everything. nine0003

Is it possible to learn to feel art?

Of course you can! And this is done in the same way that a person learns everything else - by continuous use. The only thing it takes is motivation.

A person masters his native language unconsciously, because he needs to understand those around him. But learning a foreign language requires will, effort and understanding why you are doing it. Grammar helps, textbooks help, but the best way to learn anything, in particular a language you don't know, is to use it continuously around native speakers. nine0003

Art is no exception. To master the language of art, you need to use it continuously: draw something yourself, produce something, live in this environment. If your parents are artists and you are immersed in conversations about art from birth, then you will simply absorb it with mother's milk. This does not mean that you will love it - on the contrary, you can hate it, but it will happen as if by itself. If not, then you need to spend some effort and time - if you think that this will make your life richer. Why else? Life is short, we don't have much time and energy. You can spend them on something else. nine0003

- In one of your lectures, you told how your student told you that she did not understand the meaning of the word "love": for her generation, this word is too abstract, there are many different models of relationships, and they just can't fit in her head in one box labeled "love". That is, we are talking about the fact that "big" emotions are fragmented, become more special, and they may have new names. How to talk about emotions with a modern viewer, if even the most familiar words are no longer clear to him what they mean? nine0247

- In the modern world, instead of one "love", many different ones appear, and it is obvious that emotions will be much more diverse, fractional, variable, helping a person understand how to feel correctly in completely different situations - and designed for a much shorter life span. The authors who previously wrote about love proceeded from the idea that love is unchanged in all eras. Of course, we can conduct a historical analysis, figure out who, from what and when this image was assembled: these are very different feelings that were once tied into one bag and written on top: “Love”. The creators of the love we are accustomed to once invented exactly what it was, although they themselves felt themselves not inventors, but pioneers; people who described a continent that has always existed. nine0003

The creators of the current models understand in advance that these are temporary structures and the period of their use is limited, they are not designed for centuries. At the same time, they are much more diverse, there are more of them. It is clear that even a small fraction of them is enough for one human life. But due to the much lesser durability of these models, our emotional repertoire has expanded incredibly.

The emotions themselves change, the attitude towards them changes. Entire blocks of emotions soldered together are destroyed. For example, romantics came up with a model of childhood as an ideal time when you feel the absolute fullness of existence. A person once lost this fullness due to original sin and can approach it only in childhood and later, when he falls in love. And, for example, the most important feeling of nostalgia for culture began precisely as nostalgia for childhood. This whole complex - nostalgia, longing for childhood, growing up, the search for love, the thirst to find the fullness of being in it - is now greatly undermined. nine0003

What about the emergence of such a term as "emotional intelligence"? Now business coaches are teaching that being smart, that is, having a high IQ, is not enough: you need to feel people, train empathy, otherwise you will not be successful.

- This is what William Reddy, in Navigating the Feelings, called emotional management. Emotional intelligence is the ability to control and properly organize one's own emotional world. How was it considered before? A person controls everything with the intellect and, of course, must pacify his feelings. But real feelings are not controlled by the mind. This is a sign of their authenticity. You are overcome by rage, love or compassion, passion boils up like a wave, and the mind turns off. nine0003

Actually, the idea of ​​the need to manage emotions appeared at the same time when people lost faith in the model of rational behavior. The idea of ​​emotional intelligence is based precisely on the rejection of these ideas. It turned out that our behavior is always a complex combination of the conscious and the unconscious. And you can only manage your emotions to a certain extent. This is a complex art, and it is not clear whether one should strive for this at all. Because there is more to lose than to gain. Emotional intelligence in a person may turn out to be more rational, some things are much easier to feel than to understand. nine0003

- You are researching the cultural history of emotions. And how often are you aware of your own emotions?

- Good question. I’ll note aside that I don’t plan to deal with this topic anymore, I can’t drill one hole for a long time: when I get to something, I immediately want to turn off the equipment, go to another place and start working there. But studies of this kind help to avoid the naturalization of one's own feelings and experiences, that is, the idea that they are such by nature and there are no others. This is a very important intellectual skill, because without it you cannot understand other people. My scientific activity helped me to some extent. Of course, this problem cannot be completely solved. You still measure people by yourself; to expect that it is possible to get rid of it would be arrogant. But at least a little distance from your loved one is possible. nine0003

On the other hand, the study of a person's emotional world always involves an outside perspective. It is impossible to qualitatively explore your own emotional world, just as it is impossible to see your own head without a mirror. But it is possible to ask yourself some questions. After all, I am also subject to various emotional matrices, but where did I get them from? This is an interesting intellectual exercise. I would not print a study on this topic, but you can occupy yourself with it before going to bed or while traveling in transport. nine0003 Ulai and Marina Abramovich. AAA-AAA. 15-minute performance for television. Liège (Belgium), 1978 © Ulay / Marina Abramović; Courtesy of the Marina Abramović Archives

For example, in conversations with my granddaughters, I often find myself in the role of an old curmudgeon, muttering: “Well, the youth has gone!” And this, of course, is a venerable cultural model with a long history. One of its important components is nostalgia (I was young too), as well as envy, the burden of life experience - well, of course. But God forbid you try to divide this model into basic emotions: it is too complex and at the same time lives for centuries. Everyone knows this beautiful quote: “Today’s youth are accustomed to luxury, have bad manners, scorn authority, have no respect for elders, children argue with adults, greedily swallow food, harass teachers.” As if it was said yesterday - either it's my grandfather talking, or I myself, and this is Socrates. Each next generation says something similar about the previous one, and this should mean that humanity is degrading endlessly. But it seems that this is still not the case. So doing science helps us to be a little more modest and not to absolutize our own experience. nine0003

And, probably, to understand not only others, but also yourself?

- To a certain extent. I try to work without anger and passion, but you cannot treat yourself impartially. Well, how is it? Impossible! Obviously, it is much easier to understand another than oneself, precisely because of a certain distance. Especially if this is not your loved one, but some person of the 18th century.

This is also true of one's own culture and history. How to remove yourself from it? You can and should try to understand everyone, but am I ready to dispassionately read books where such an understanding is manifested in relation to fascists or Stalinists? Yes, not very much! I just seethe with rage. That is, a moral assessment overshadows everything else. I'm afraid that it takes a thousand years for the shed blood of the slain to stop standing before our eyes and we begin to understand what happened to us. We can already talk calmly about the Egyptian pyramids, although we know how many lives their construction cost. nine0003

Once I was writing a script for a historical documentary, and my friend, the director, called me for a voiceover. It was about Venice of the 18th century, the actor read the text with all the actor's clichés, and the director all the time had to remind: "Calm down, calm down, everyone died a long time ago!" It didn’t help, but I remember the phrase, I often remember it. Recently I even saw a history book with an epigraph: “History is when everyone died.” Professor Zorin. So, until everyone is dead, we can hardly impartially evaluate ourselves and others. nine0003

At the attraction exhibition for children and adults, you can see the works of Kazimir Malevich and Francis Bacon, Roy Lichtenstein and Viktor Pivovarov, Natalia Goncharova and Marina Abramovich, Alberto Giacometti and Bridget Riley, Anselm Kiefer and Niko Pirosmani. The Masterpiece Game: From Henri Matisse to Marina Abramović will be open from February 14 to April 14.

Images: Thomas Rowlandson. Exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts. Around 1815
Yale Center for British Art nine0003




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