What Color is Stress?

I’m about two weeks into the Emotiblob project and it’s really opening a lot of windows in my mind. Relating emotions to color is harder than anticipated. A lot of this has to do with hues and tones. What color is stress? What color is pain? Can the same color be indicative of both?

Ideally I had imagined Emotiblobs as a more private journal, like my previous art journals. I had envisioned looking at the Emotiblobs later and being able to easily identify what things I was feeling on each specific day. This expectation seems to be thwarted with the realization of how many colors and emotions overlap. Red is associated with pain but also love. A cadet greyish blue is associated with tiredness, but a similar shade of blue with calm. Is a tiny additional dash of grey to indicate tiredness vs calm something I’ll be able to identify later? So far the answer is no. Does it matter? I’m not sure. Maybe what makes the Emotiblobs special and interesting is how many different ways they can be interpreted by each individual.

There’s still the struggle of wanting each blob to be aesthetically pleasing vs wanting them to be emotionally accurate. I recently had a great day where a close friend brought me belated flowers (all I wanted was flowers for my birthday but wanted them without asking, I was surprised and happy this friend nailed it), however at the same brunch I found out another dear friend had been very sick in the hospital and I was unaware. A yellow/orange blob of happiness quickly accumulated a black line around it (the first time I’ve ever used pure black in a blob). I was hesitant to add the line, but it was so significant, a prime example of aesthetic vs true emotion.

I honestly hate the aesthetics of most of the blobs so far, but I think it’s important for the project to evolve organically and not be forced, so I am sticking to it. I am also trying to learn how to use photoshop more quickly so I can put the blobs on a pure white background. A friend did this for me and the blob stands out more and looks much more beautiful. Hopefully, I can figure this out eventually and re-post the blobs on white backgrounds so you can really see the vibrant colors used.

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About tamarahala

Tamara is currently living in Petaluma, CA as an intern at Green String Institute! She is a mixed media artist, student aerialist, and former neuroscientist.

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