We’re all a little anxious these days, right? Aside from the obvious, we’ve got all of our own things to—exams, instagram drama, grad school—we’re just one person! Well the gospel of Bob Ross and I are here to help. Or perhaps I am the gospel of Bob Ross, not to have an inflated ego or anything.

But what I’m trying to get across to you, reader of the Matchbox blog, is that there is a way to not be anxious, for at least half an hour. You, my friend, are going to paint things! Don’t give me that look. I don’t paint well; no one paints well except for people who already knew painting is a good activity, and you all don’t need me so shoo. But what I DO do well, is churn out “art” to decorate my house with (thank you, supportive housemates, for allowing me to hang my toilet painting in the bathroom).

All you need is literally any paper, but you can get fancy with canvas if you like, and whatever kind of paint strikes your fancy. You can get a pretty big tube of paint for about two dollars at Palace on Pacific Street here in Santa Cruz, so I just bought the primary colors, white, and black. You can even go in on it with an equally anxious friend! My housemate bought herself some watercolors, and now we have a beautiful on-fire mermaid next to our stairs.

The next thing you do is look around your living space, or the internet, or pictures on your phone, and decide what you’d like to paint. I promise it doesn’t matter how good it turns out; people will literally just think it’s neat you actually sat down and painted something.

And then, my anxious friend, you put brush (or finger, I’m not going to stop you) to paper and breathe in some mild fumes (it’s fine, they’re probably non-toxic), and revel in the feeling of swooping across the paper and maKING SOMETHING OMG YOU MADE THAT?? Hold it out, look at it—that came from you, buddy, and I bet you were so focused on not making of fool of yourself that you forgot the world is ending!

And if you’re still having trouble, please consult my lord and savior Bob Ross, who, if you’re not into his soothing voice and gentle brush strokes, also raises baby squirrels and has them on camera sometimes. And then submit your masterpiece to matchboxmagazine@gmail.com *finger guns*

Sara Schulke | UC Outreach Coordinator