The 12 Minute Art Practice is a simple experience in color and movement. This practice is best used daily for consistent mental health and wellness.

Creating with colored pencil, crayon, paint or marker for a short span of 12 minutes allows the brain time to reframe the days events. The brain will automatically move into a “flow” state if allowed.

Why 12 Minutes?

The span of more than 12 minutes of creating time allows the inner critic opportunity to voice negative thoughts, interrupt flow state and basically just rear its stinky little head. Less than 12 minutes is not sufficient time for the brain to “detox” from dealing with daily life. The brain needs time to become quiet and “breathe”. This quiet breathing space then encourages “flow” state.

Experience VS Product

This is an experience practice not a product practice. 12 Minute Art is process art. This practice is not intended to teach art principles or techniques, it is purely experiential in nature. The 12 Minute Art example videos are to be viewed as just that… examples. The videos share other types of art materials that can be used, give options and prompts for how to use the supplies and help ease you into the creative process. Movement and interaction with color, enhancing brain function and entering “flow” state are the desired outcomes from these videos and the process. Composition, color harmony/theory or technique mastery are not important or necessary. 

First Steps

12 Minute Art is one of the first steps in exploring art as healing with Blackbird Trace. The video content is here to explore and adapt for your own practice. This truly is the simplest way to begin.

  • Choose supplies to work with such as colored pencils or crayons.
  • A sheet of copy paper will work just fine with crayons, markers or colored pencils.
  • Use your phone or a timer to set for 12 minutes.
  • Start with making easy circles or ovals. Anything to begin moving on the page.
  • You may want to scribble nonsense words or fill circles with lines.
  • Simple doodling is also very comforting.

You may have trouble putting crayon to paper at all. This is perfectly normal. Go ahead and pull out the supplies. Watch a couple of the videos. You don’t have to do anything to start. Many times the best way to start is just by watching the videos. This is not a time to push yourself. You can go slow. Instead of pushing yourself, choose to watch a couple videos everyday. Slowly form a habit of only watching. You’re building your self confidence. You’re allowing your brain to catch glimpses of the process without judgement. Start here if you like. The time will come when you will pick up a crayon or colored pencil without thinking and begin to create.


The video content is free to view. Please do not share the videos without proper credit being given. Please participate at whatever level and with whatever supplies you choose. All supplies are suggestions only. There is no need to purchase expensive materials to experience art and healing.