Calm In Art

Whenever I need to relieve stress, or just settle down after a long day, I turn to my sketchbook. For some reason, drawing and sketching brings me to a calm state of mind that I often get lost in for hours. I don’t know why this is- Maybe it is the strokes of the pen or the monotony and repetition of lines being made, but it is nice knowing that I can always fall back on my sketchbook when all else fails.

I did some research to try and find out more on why art is able to bring such a calm feeling to me, and possibly others as well.

I found out that there is an “activity” referred to as art therapy, which is actually very beneficial on many different aspects. It’s roots come from the theories of Freud, who believed in the power of imagery to tap into the thoughts, memories, and feelings of a person. He worked with symbolism in dreams to help his clients uncover their unconscious thoughts and feelings. Then, when the early 1900’s rolled around, an educator, Margaret Naumburg, believed that “the symbolic communication of art would access feelings quicker than language”, and she then was able to develop art therapy into a recognized profession.

The practice of art therapy is proven to prompt an individual to express their deep feelings and provide a release of emotions when they often can’t find words to do so. A more clear definition of art therapy and how it relates to being calm would be “it is about getting feelings out in a creative manner without the filter of words. Art provides as safe place to explore feelings such as anger, fear, or sadness, that might be viewed as ‘not okay’ to talk about or feel”. For me personally, when I draw, it’s almost as if all of these bad feelings are released and I just get lost in the artwork, even if the art i’m doing isn’t that serious. “Art therapy is not concerned with how artistic or how well a person can draw, paint, or work with clay. It is about the process of self-expression, not the product”. The way the art relates to the feelings an individual is experiencing is through the right brain, which is being used when working with imagery. This is also where emotions reside, as opposed to the more analytical left side of the brain.

Art therapy is actually used in hospitals, clinics, rehab facilities, schools, private practice, and senior centers. There really is no limit in regards to the type of person, or the age of the person who is participating in art therapy.

“Taking part in art-making helps decrease anxiety, stress and depression and increase self-awareness, self-esteem and promote insight into ones’ life”. Although I am not officially practicing art therapy, by creating art out of my own will I am decreasing the bad feelings and increasing my level of calm.

“Before there were anti-depressants there was poetry and, before there was language, there were cave drawings.” -Unknown

 

Sources:

http://allhealthcare.monster.com/training/articles/3485-mending-the-heart–calming-the-mind-with-art-therapy

http://ih2.redbubble.net/image.8868675.4411/flat,550×550,075,f.jpg

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1 Comment

  1. Allie:
    You have some feedback on this blogpost!!
    You need to EDIT: “…if the art i’m doing isn’t that serious.” Capitalize “I”
    Who says? “Art therapy is not concerned with how artistic or how well a person can draw, paint, or work with clay. It is about the process of self-expression, not the product”
    Credit within the post.
    RUBRIC:
    deeply reflective;synthesizes learned content and constructs new meaning; well organized
    written in an interesting style and voice; words used are carefully chosen, memorable, and bring the content to life;
    sentence fluency is smooth and naturally expressive
    all words spelled correctly; some grammar errors; formatting makes the post more interesting and easier to read
    multimedia adds new information or perspective to post; several links to places that add to readers understanding; links are relevant and “flow” within the content; post is fully categorized and tagged

    Reply

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