By: Farah Messan, SFU Student
At the height of pandemic restrictions in 2020, I had become consumed by loneliness and felt an insatiable thirst for excitement and exploration — all of which seemed, at the time, impossible within the confinements of my four walls. Being isolated and miles away from my family had taken a toll on my mental health. I searched for comfort on Netflix and YouTube, but quickly grew bored. I decided to seek it elsewhere and that was when I remembered my passion for creating art.
Though drawing and painting in particular had never been my forte, upon coming across a 10-second acrylic pour video on my Instagram discovery feed, the simplicity and beauty of the pouring process intrigued me. While it seemed expressive, it also seemed feasible (as a novice painter). I quickly watched several tutorials on YouTube to better understand this form of art and get myself started: The ones that helped me most were beginner guides from the channels Tiktus color Art and Kristen // K.becca.
Without hesitation, I ransacked my room for materials. The only items I needed were small tubes of acrylic paint, small cups to hold the paint in, 10×10 size canvas, and a tray to pour the paint over, all of which I had purchased at a dollar store.
My very first project was a red and white flower over a black canvas, followed by an abstract multi-coloured pour. Since then, I have made other acrylic pours as gifts for my friends and family, but I keep my very first ones hanging in my living room, as mementos of having found light during a dark time.
For the floral pour art, I started by painting the entire canvas black. Then, I made a tiny string out of some worn-out clothes and dipped it into the white paint, before carefully placing it on the painted canvas in an “S” shape and pulling it downwards to create a floral shape. I repeated this step for a variety of colours. For the abstract art piece, I chose five acrylic paint colours and collected them into the cups. I placed them on top of the canvas in a quick motion, one after the other, and removed the cup from above the canvas. Once all the paint was poured onto the canvas, I simply moved around the canvas to ensure it was completely covered in paint. The best part about this technique is how “messy” yet beautiful the outcome is. Not to mention, it’s extremely fun to play around with paint!
The joy I felt after my first pour was reminiscent of what I felt during my high school days when I used writing as an outlet for my feelings and emotions. Looking back, I realized my coping mechanisms largely revolved around creating art. Whether it was through journaling or writing short stories on Wattpad, pouring out my emotion in a creative way is a form of escapism for me. I always found that letting my feelings out of my head and into art gave me more clarity and level-headedness, which in turn allowed me to better address situations I was going through. Needless to say, I remembered at last how journaling and writing short stories were a tremendous help during rougher periods of my life and acrylic pour helped me reignite that side of me.