Art Words Around The World: Terms To Create And Craft In Other Tongues- Babbel- Nisha Designs

Art jargon is highly nuanced. It can be hard to decipher the meaning of so many words, especially if you’re a native English speaker and the words come from a language other than your mother tongue. Add to that the fact that a lot of people see the world of art appreciation as inaccessible, elitist or snobby, and it’s easy to see how learning art words, terms and expressions can be a formidable task.

But art is truly one of the world’s universal languages, so it shouldn’t be hard to talk about! With a little primer on important art words and movements, you can be ready to talk about sculptures and sketches, paintings and pictures, and everything in between! Here are 10 of some of the world’s most popular art words from other languages and what they mean.

Art Words And Expressions From Around The World

chiaroscuro — this Italian word literally means “light-dark” (from chiaro, “light,” and oscuro, “dark”), and it refers to the balance and contrast between light and shadow in a work of art to convey a sense of movement and volume. It was a favorite stylistic device of Baroque artists of the late 16th and early 17th centuries like Caravaggio, who often recreated religious narratives with dramatic energy and heightened emotional tension.

Renaissance — this French word translates to “rebirth” (naissance just means “birth”) and refers to the post-medieval period in Europe, concentrated in the Italian Peninsula, that placed an emphasis on humanism and the resurgence of classical Greek philosophy and ideals. Some of its most famous leaders included Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci.

Bauhaus — founded in Weimar, Germany and operating from 1919 to 1933, Bauhaus was perhaps one of the most influential modernist art schools of the 20th century, shaping the development of artistic style in Europe and the United States in the interwar period and onwards. Fusing art and the industrial design of manufacturing, the artists of the Bauhaus school sought to bring a sort of social and artistic relevance into an otherwise soulless aspect of functional creation.

Dada — founded in Switzerland in the throes of World War I and continuing in its immediate aftermath, the Dada movement (or “Dadaism”) highlighted the chaos, horrors and disillusionment of war by focusing on scattered, unconventional and nonsensical elements that conveyed the artists’ disgust with the existing sociopolitical order and how it gave rise to such catastrophic human conflict. The name’s etymology is unclear. Some claim it’s just nonsense syllables chosen at random, others say it comes from the French word for a child’s hobbyhorse (dada) and still others think it comes from two of the Romanian artists’ way of saying “yes, yes” (da, da) in their language.

De Stijl — also known as “Neoplasticism,” de Stijl (literally “The Style”) was a Dutch art movement of the early 20th century led by artists Piet Mondrian and Theo van Doesburg. As a reaction to the highly decorative Art Deco movement and the horrors of World War I, de Stijl focused on basic geometric forms and solid, often primary colors meant to represent a more spiritualized, utopian view of art and the world, as well as to combine form and function effortlessly.

graffiti — this word has been adopted into English to refer to often informal (but sometimes very intentional), stylized street art typically spray-painted onto walls or other public surfaces. It comes from the plural of the Italian word graffito, which refers to a scribbling or scratch in a surface (and which is the diminutive form of the word graffio, “a scratch”). Since the 1970s, graffiti has become an integral part of urban and hip-hop culture, but it’s existed as a concept since at least the time of the ancient Romans.

Gutai — one of the most influential art movements of post-World War II Japan, this association of artists placed a heavy emphasis on individualism in response to the pre-war totalitarian regime. The Japanese word “gutai” translates to “concreteness,” and it focused on the physical connection between the human spirit and a whole range of materials. In response to the isolationism that had defined their nation’s position in the world, Gutai artists mastered cross-cultural networking, spreading their ideas across the globe.

memento mori — this term goes all the way back to get its name from the Latin of antiquity. This term, one of the most famous art words from Latin, translates to “remember you must die,” and it refers to motifs (in artwork, but also in life in general) that remind viewers of their own mortality and the ephemeral nature of life itself — items like skulls and hourglasses, for example.

Tropicália — this Brazilian art form emerged in the 1960s as a way to give contemporary art a Brazilian flair distinct from the heavily European cultural domination of the era. A movement that sought to shake up the status quo, it became a sort of rallying movement for the country’s progressives and rebels, and it touched all aspects of the artistic world, from visual arts to music to literature.

bodegón — the Spanish word for “still life,” this type of visual artwork — usually in painting form — gets its name from the Spanish word bodega, meaning “storeroom” or “tavern.” This genre of works — many of which were revolutionary in their time (around the early and mid-17th century) for their intense naturalism, displays compositions of inanimate objects — frequently depicts food and drink, jewelry, dishes, art supplies, flowers or other everyday items. The austerity of the bodegones is meant to convey a powerful moral message about the fleeting, sometimes tragic, nature of life.Practice the art of language learning.


5 Fun Christmas Arts and Crafts to Make With Your Family- Milan Art Institute- Nisha Designs

Photo caption: Using vintage greeting cards in your holiday crafts adds a nostalgic touch. Image by ArtMew from Pixabay.

Few things go together as the Christmas season and arts and crafts projects. Call it a perfect storm if you will. (Literally.) Cold, blustery weather shuts us indoors for weeks and Christmas inspires creativity and fun. 

It’s the perfect time for family fun in the form of Christmas arts and crafts projects. What’s more, these projects allow you and yours to add some personal touches to your holiday: These projects make unique holiday decor items or even personalized holiday gifts for friends and family. 

We’ve split this blog up into two sections. The first section offers you some suggestions for the different types of art materials you can use for your projects. The second section covers some of the art projects you can make with the recommended supplies list.

Cheap Art Supplies for Christmas Projects With Your Kids

While it’s certainly possible to make some higher-end Christmas arts and crafts projects, you don’t have to use expensive materials. You may have many supplies around the house already. 

If not, your local dollar store has tons of cheapie art supplies that you can buy for your Christmas arts and crafts projects. Depending on where you live, your local dollar store may have miniature art canvases, acrylic paints, wooden ornaments, floral craft supplies and more. 

Another option you have is to check out your local second-hand market. There you can find cool frames, ceramic bowls and mugs and more. 

Finally, it is also worth your time to check out some art stores in your local area, because they may be having a sale on supplies. We have some suggestions for types of art supplies, too.

With no further ado, here are some lists of items you can use to create your DIY Christmas arts and crafts projects.

Surfaces to Paint On

  • cardboard
  • paper
  • cloth
  • wood
  • metals
  • shelving paper or wallpaper
  • newspapers
  • old books
  • old greeting cards 
  • T-shirts and other clothing
  • homemade flour and salt clay
  • old dishes and coffee mugs
  • old framed art
  • glass jars
  • Brown paper bags

Fun Art Supplies You Might Have Around the House

  • house paint/ paint samples
  • spray paints
  • acrylic paints
  • markers
  • T-shirt paint
  • crayons
  • paint brushes and sponges
  • pencils
  • pens
  • inks
  • colored pencils
  • glue
  • paper
  • stencils
  • instant coffee
  • paper towels
  • crepe paper
  • pine cones
  • flour, salt and water for salt dough clay
  • glitter
  • ribbons

Palette Options

  • cardboard
  • paper plates
  • wax paper

Holiday Arts and Crafts Project Ideas

Here are five Christmas arts and crafts ideas to get you started.

1. Create an Abstract Piece of Christmas Art

Many people love abstract art, because it’s easy to incorporate into their home decor. The thing about making Christmas-themed abstract art is that you can use many of the supplies above, supplies you probably already have, to create your holiday-themed art.

And if you choose colors, like red and green or blue and silver, you’ll create works of art that go with the season. However, if these colors also match your decor, then you won’t have to take them down once the holidays are over.

Here’s one more tip: If you create your “canvas” from materials, like cardboard, consider cutting it down to framable sizes. For example, if you found a large box that you’ve cut down to make a surface to paint on, then cut it in standard sizes, like 8” X 10”, 9” X 11” or 18” X 24.” 

These sizes represent standard frame sizes, so it’ll be easy to find frames for your works of art once you’re done. If your Christmas arts and crafts project turns out to be stunning – and we know it will be – you’ll have art that you can easily frame in standard-sized frames.

If you’d like some tips for creating some abstract art with your kids, check out our abstract painting course. It’s a great gift for the artists in your life. 

2. Christmas Ornaments and Other Tree Crafts

Many families like to collect a new ornament for their tree every year. While it’s fun to collect ornaments that are part of collections by famous artists or companies, it’s also really fun to make your own ornaments. 

If you choose to do the latter, there are several options available to you for making these holiday-themed trinkets. Below, you’ll find a list of suggested ways to make Christmas ornaments for your holiday tree.

3. Holiday Cocoa Set

This Christmas arts and crafts project is super simple to make and is an excellent gift to give on its own or to accompany a gift basket filled with artsy items, like art supplies

To make it, you need:

  • A jar with a lid
  • Items to decorate it with, like paint, ribbons, glitter and other holiday-themed goodies
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Cocoa packets and marshmallows

To Make This Christmas Cocoa Gift: 

  1. Choose a jar with a lid. Clean it up if it’s not brand new. Mason jars work well for this, and many people have them in their homes.
  2. Decorate the jar with a Christmas theme using your various art supplies. 
  3. Once the glue is dry, pour the cocoa powder and marshmallows into the jar and close the lid. Make sure that the inside of the jar is completely dry and clean before adding the cocoa. Otherwise, the cocoa will clump.

4. Christmas Gift Bags

Who knew that your brown paper lunch bags could become the foundation for a cool artsy project? This is a pretty simple project in principle. Essentially, you’re going to decorate some brown bags with holiday-themed decorations. 

Once the bags are done, you can use them to “wrap” Christmas gifts in. They’re a great way to add a personal touch to the gifts you give to friends and family.

5. Artsy Christmas Table Napkins

Your T-Shirt paint decorates more than your favorite shirts and jackets. It’s the perfect thing to use to make some Christmas-themed table napkins. 

These are fun projects to do free-hand if you want your holiday art project to be a bit more loose and free. Use Christmas-themed stencils if you’d like a more unified look. 

Fun art supplies to use on this project include:

  • T-shirt paint
  • Stencils
  • Faux rhinestones or sequins
  • Ribbons
  • Waterproof markers

Touch of Magick- Cave Painting- Nisha Designs

Touch of Magick: Cave Painting: “These cave paintings are of prehistoric origin, to some dating around 40,000 years ago (around 38,000 BCE), and have been found in both Asia and Europe. Paleolithic cave painting in Dordogne, France was believed to depict early shamanic practices. There I believe we find the beginning of when humanity was first able to tap into the source and find that by connecting to an object that represented what they wanted they could have some control over the outcome of their interaction with it. This then is one branch of the history of magick- Ravenhawks Magazine/Ravenhawks Academy

Hands are the antennas of our Soul- Elena Bernabe the wall of SanArte- Nisha Designs

′′ Grandma, how do you face pain?”

With your hands, baby. If you do it with your mind, instead of relieving pain, it gets even harder.

With the hands grandma?

Yes, our hands are the antennas of our soul.

If you move them by knitting, cooking, painting, playing or sinking them into the earth, you send signs of care to the deepest part of you. And your soul lights up, because you’re paying attention to it.

Then signs of pain will no longer be necessary.

Are hands really that important?

If my daughter, think of babies, they begin to know the world, thanks to the touch of their little hands.

If you look at the hands of old people, they tell you more about their life than any other part of the body.

Everything that is done by hand, is said to be made with the soul. Because it’s really like that, hands and soul are connected.

Think of lovers, when they touch hands, they make love in a sublime way.

My hands grandma… Long time haven’t worn them like this…

Move them my love, start creating with them and everything inside you will move.

The pain won’t pass.

And instead whatever you do with them, it will become the most beautiful masterpiece.

And it won’t hurt anymore.

Because you’ve been able to transform their essence.

Elena Bernabe
of the wall of SanArte


Walking the labyrinth- Art, Voyage and Soul- Nisha Designs

Art is a voyage, a discovery of ones inner muse.To understand and believe in my own art, my own style I had to first understand me, believe in me and to believe and understand me I had to know my muse, the soul that I am.

And through this voyage and discovery of my muse, soul; every painting, design, story becomes a masterpiece of creation, a magickal gift- Walking the labyrinth- Nisha Desai

DIY: How to Dye Fabric with Food Scraps and Flowers — Life & Soul Magazine

Items found in nature – plants, vegetables, fruits, flowers, barks and leaves – have been used for centuries as a natural dye for fabrics. From onion skins, safflowers to black walnuts, the below video shows you how to make natural and chemical-free dyes to stain fabrics. Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. She […]

DIY: How to Dye Fabric with Food Scraps and Flowers — Life & Soul Magazine

H.E.R.B.S. Installation: Dutch designer Nienke Hoogvliet investigates if herbs have a medicinal effect when used as a textile dye — Life & Soul Magazine

The H.E.R.B.S. Project, an initiative by Dutch designer Nienke Hoogvliet, investigates if herbs, when used as a textile dye, can have the medicinal properties they are renowned for when worn on skin. The textile industry has a huge impact on nature and the workers in the industry, because of all the chemicals that are used […]

H.E.R.B.S. Installation: Dutch designer Nienke Hoogvliet investigates if herbs have a medicinal effect when used as a textile dye — Life & Soul Magazine

Storytelling- L’Atelier Du Pastel and Colors- Artist Within- Nisha Designs

This video reminded me of an interesting project that was given to me to work on. A time when I moved from South Carolina to California back in 2003/2004 to start a new job. Young and filled with possibilities took a leap of faith and joined a high end designer in California to design his textile collection. He had an array of rich textiles from all over the world. It had been about 2 years since my graduation from Savannah College of Art and Design, very eager and excited to learn my way through the shades of textiles.

He had a screen printing facility in house. And back in time hand screen printing, making your own screens, huge printing tables were a big thing. Still maybe alive but not as much as it used to be back in the days. And my first assignment was to create 2 complete set of Pantone swatches with the screen printing pigment dyes on fabric. Kinda creating a fabric Pantone book/ binder for his library. Ha! Yup it was quite a task on hand. There were 2000 colors I had to create and print on a fabric and note the values of how I got that color. All I could think to myself is “what”? You want me to create these 2000 colors? My monkey mind got real busy with all kinds of stupid negative thoughts. But I was excited to be there and learn so I did not let my monkey mind override the truth. And the truth was I loved the opportunity given to me and if this is how it starts then so be it. Pulled myself together and got back on mixing colors. And it was a beautiful project. Easy, effortless and fun. In the beginning it was slow but as I started to understand the medium and the craft of making colors the task became fun, play and meditative.

Everyday from morning to evening for quite many months all I did was mix colors, until I reached a point to perfect the art of knowing colors and when and how much to add or subtract to get the desired shade or tint.

This practice, knowledge gave me insight into color and color making. The reason I share this as it has taught me a very valuable lesson. Lesson of being persistent and consistent, not to loose hope or to give up just because of what you think you should be doing or not doing in your mind. No job is small or big. No matter at that moment and time you don’t realize the value it is bringing you but hang on and walk through that project. You will be grateful for this task you were given to do. Every job/ task has a meaning, purpose. And it is given to you because only you could do it. And there is no one like you. Even though at first it looked like a huge task but if it wasn’t for this exercise I would have missed learning the importance of colors and it’s journey.

By the time I was done I did of course truly enjoyed the joy of colors. It was meditative, fun, soothing and healing for me. Every color has its own magickal presence, Vibration, vitality, strength and personality.

Matter of fact every task, job that I was given no matter how hard or easy the boss was or the task was it led me to connecting me to my trueself. My artist within. It is an opportunity for you to grow and know yourself within.

Gouache Banana Still life Art- Art and Magick- Custom Art- Nisha Designs

As we were having our morning breakfast we chose to paint what we were eating this morning. Everything we see around us in nature has a purpose, symbolic meaning and has its own magick. It’s how we choose to perceive our world. If you just eating a banana for health that’s great but look beyond to know what all it has to offer you spiritually. When we get our spiritual world in balance is when our physical world comes to be in balance also. Use bananas for being open to change in order to become resilient, romance, money, and more!
Our custom Art by Nisha Designs are always painted with intention and purpose. Having a banana painting in your home will offer you it’s energy and Magick to what you need in your life.
For custom Art DM, Call or Email Nisha Desai

Magickal Benefits.
. Resilience through change: Make yourself comfortable with change and able to pivot quickly by working with bananas!
. Wealth + Increased Money: Not only is the banana nice to your wallet, but its energy can be nice to your bank account, too!
. Increased luck: Plant a banana plant around your house in order to inspire good luck in your household.
. Increased your spirituality: Eat bananas before embarking on a new spiritual quest to connect your energy to the universe, or carry a banana charm on your person.
. Increased sexual stamina in men: Once upon a time, bananas were only allowed to be eaten by men, and these phallic fruits worked wonders on increasing lust. Simply eat a banana to increase the libido.
. Symbol for the God: The phallic shape of bananas supplies incredible masculine energy to the space.

Magickal Correspondences of Bananas | Banana Materia Magicka

Latin name

  • Musa (many hybrids and variants exist under this genus. The outdated scientific name is Musa sapientum.)

Folk Name

  • Mai’a (Hawaiian name)

Gender of Banana

  • Masculine Energy

Elements that Rule Banana

  • Air

Planets that Rule Banana

  • Mars

Signs that Rule Banana

  • Leo

Deities that Rule Banana

  • Buddha
  • The God

Chakras that work with Banana

  • Sacral
  • Solar Plexus

Magickal Properties information via:

10 Years With Hayao Miyazaki: Four-part documentary chronicling the Japanese animator’s creative process available to stream for free — Life & Soul Magazine

Fans of Studio Ghibli and its celebrated co-founder and animator Hayao Miyazaki can watch a four-part documentary series chronicling the creative process of the legendary Japanese filmmaker, which Japanese broadcaster NHK has made available online for free. The documentary series, 10 Years with Hayao Miyazaki, chronicles Hayao Miyazaki’s work on projects such as Ponyo, The Wind Rises, and From […]

10 Years With Hayao Miyazaki: Four-part documentary chronicling the Japanese animator’s creative process available to stream for free — Life & Soul Magazine

Visual artist David Alabo teams up with streetwear label Daily Paper to create “Afro-surrealist” inspired Tarot Card Capsule Collection — Life & Soul Magazine

Ghanaian-Moroccan visual artist David Alabo – who is known for his “Afro-surrealism” artworks – has created a series of T-shirts adorning tarot card designs, which is part of streetwear label Daily Paper’s Spring/Summer 2020 collection. The Tarot Card Capsule Collection from the Amsterdam-based Daily Paper features David Alabo’s interpretation of The Magician, The High Priestess, […]

Visual artist David Alabo teams up with streetwear label Daily Paper to create “Afro-surrealist” inspired Tarot Card Capsule Collection — Life & Soul Magazine

The compass of a world called Intuition- A synthesis of Design, Tarot and Gestalt Psychology. Created byMatteo di PascaleIntùiti- Nisha Designs

Intùiti is a pack of 78 cards that really helps you dive into your deepest creative process.

It was born as a project of the Polytechnic University of Milan and it represents a new way of living the subject of creativity, an issue that is often superficially tackled. Instead of forcing the user to find an idea, as it happens with some techniques like brainstorming or the mind map, Intùiti invites to sit calmly and to feel what one has to give, remembering that creating must be a source of joy and satisfaction. 

Intùiti proposes pointed suggestions, obtained from the analysis of classic tarots, that are a rich collection of archetypes. It has no divination purpose: each card is related to a thinking model that belongs to our culture, a powerful incentive that can put in motion creative and inspirational processes.

Intùiti is a synthesis of Design, Tarots, Numerology and Gestalt Psychology. It is both a serious game and a powerful tool that brings out the brightest side of creativity without employing rigid schemes.

Visual incentives and Tales

In the pack you will find two series of pictures: the primary intùitiand the secondary intùiti. The first ones are extensive inspirations; the second ones are more specific. To each picture corresponds an evocative tale that intensifies its sensation.

Each card represents a powerful incentive and is designed using Gestalt principles so you can recognize emotionally the related archetype.

You can play as you see fit. There are no main rules. It’s a tool for creative thinking based on visual and imaginary associations, so you just have to shuffle the deck, pick a card, and “let it speak”.

Give it a look: these cards are truly gorgeous!


It took over one year of study and development and then other 6 months for enhancement. All the drawings are handmade and later digitalized for the industrial production.

Foto di Attilio Marasco

Intùiti is not an answer!

People often want to find the solution to their “creative problems” in a tool or in method; they would like to have an equation, an algorithm able to solve the real issue of Creativity: to create something new. But using a “recipe” for writing a novel means to have produced something, not to have invented something.

It’s important to reiterate: Intùiti is not an algorithmic function that can “make people creative”, or a scientific method able to produce thousands of brilliant ideas. It’s an inspirational tool: it’s not an answer, but a continuos question.