Did you know that both viewing and creating expressive art can do healthful things for your mind, body, and soul? It’s called art therapy.
It’s true, and it’s part of the reason that everyone should be enjoying expressive art. It’s the reason for art museums, art in school, and adult art classes. It’s the reason why breweries and wineries have adopted art and drinking nights. It’s the reason art therapy exists as well.
I want to start by telling you a little about myself, so you can understand what makes me someone you should listen to when it comes to the healing power of expressive art. Not only am I an artist, and all around creative person, but I also hold a degree in Holistic Life Coaching. Art therapy fits snugly into holistic therapy.
Viewing Expressive Art Can Change Your Life
Art and art therapy is part of visualization, which is a form of meditation. For some visualization techniques you make things up in your head, but in others, you look at something to see what you want or need to see within. Ink blot tests are one of the most basic examples of this. However, viewing any and all expressive art can have an amazing effect on your health.
When was the last time you went to an art gallery or an art museum? If you’re reading this blog it’s likely it wasn’t that long ago. As you walked through and perused the art how did you feel? Did different pieces give you different feelings? Did even the more dark and macabre art give you a warm feeling?
Everyone feels something different when they view a piece of expressive art, and it’s likely that your feelings are different than those of the person that made the art as well. It’s not about the point of the piece but about what it does for you. If you find a piece that makes you smile when you’re sad then you should find a way to make that art a part of your life. Art can make you feel calm, happy, motivated, invoke memories, and more.
Using Art Therapy Can Be Therapeutic
Take those feelings home with you when you walk out of the gallery and find a way to integrate that art into your life, even if you make some of your own art. When you make expressive art at home it doesn’t need to be something fancy that you’ll put in a museum. All it needs to do is help you deal with your own feelings.
That’s what art therapy is about- finding a way to express feelings you have a problem expressing in any other way. If your demons include alcohol then you probably don’t want to partake in a night of wine or beer and painting, but you could opt to take an art class at the local tech center or a local art gallery.
You can also simply do art at home on your own. Paint, draw, write poetry, take some creative photos. Expressive art is an expansive thing that encompasses so many different creative fields. Find the area that makes you feel most relaxed or motivated and go with it. It’s about finding something to create that gives you the feeling you are long for, whether it’s relief from anxiety or to work on being more open. If you want to sell what you create or try to enter it in an art contest, go ahead. If you just want it to be therapeutic you can throw out your art when you’re done creating it or put it away.
Once you start making art part of your daily life you’ll notice that you see the world in a different way.