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Art-making for Healing

Oct 16, 2023

You don’t have to be a professional artist to create art. Tapping into your creativity can not only be fun, but it can be a healing process that is conducive to mental wellness, as well.

Art therapy is an integrative mental health treatment that many clients utilize as part of their care plan. People Incorporated offers art therapy through our Artability program. These free workshops are available in our residential and treatment programs as well as publicly through community workshops. The act of art-making improves cognitive and sensory-motor functions, fosters self-awareness, and builds a sense of calm and stabilization through the creative process.

“It’s therapeutic to create something out of nothing,” said Rajine Williams, an Artability teaching artist.

There are many ways you and your family can tap into your creativity at home, some involving very few supplies or items you may already have available. Home art projects are beneficial for all ages – adults, too! The next time you’re feeling stressed or anxious, consider one of these creative activities to benefit your mental health.

  • Color in a coloring book or draw doodles while listening to music. Try letting the music dictate the colors you choose or the shapes you draw.
  • Find some old newspapers or magazines to create a collage. Simply cut out the images or phrases that inspire you and glue them together on a piece of paper to create a colorful and vibrant representation of your thoughts and feelings.
  • Write a journal entry. Writing is art, too! Jot down what you did that day or reflect on any anxious feelings you may be experiencing. This process helps to organize your thoughts and release any difficult feelings you may be holding on to.
  • Play with clay, slime, or Play-Doh. Much like a stress ball, the physical act of molding a material like Play-Doh can release excess energy, ease tension, focus, and help you express your emotions.
  • Register to view our Artability On-Demand videos! Artability On-Demand is a free online library of short art, music, and mindfulness videos. Simply fill out the short registration form on our website, and you’ll be granted access to the video library.

The most important thing to remember when creating art is that no one – and no art project – is perfect. The process of creation is what’s most important, and there are no rules.

“As I’m teaching, I hear a lot of people say, ‘I’m not good at this,’ but I can see that they’re still really proud of what they make,” said Rajine. “It can be ugly, it can be beautiful, but that’s all subjective.”

Since August, Rajine has offered once-monthly, free, child- and family-focused art workshops at the Square, which is a venue space near George Floyd Square at 3736 Chicago Avenue. This month’s workshop, which took place on November 2, was all about Dadaist Poems, which allowed participants to create their own visual poems using collages and cut-up words, phrases, and images. To register for future workshops, visit our Eventbrite and sign up to secure your spot.

People Incorporated’s other regular Artability programming pauses during November and December, but it will begin again in early January and workshop registration will become available at that time. All materials and instructions are provided, and all are welcome.

Source used in this article: American Art Therapy Association, https://arttherapy.org/.