ART. THERAPY

  • •Me:Say something.
  • •Anxiety:What if you sound stupid? You don't have anything to say. You'll just come across obnoxious.
  • •Person:Hi!
  • •Me:*mumbles* H...Hi.
  • •Anxiety:Great, see how standoffish you look. They hate you. You could have said it a little nicer.
  • •Band Director:Ok, let's here you play.
  • •Me:Oh my god, I didn't practice, I am literally the worst human in existence. What am I going to do they're waiting.
  • •Parents:You never do anything. You should get out more.
  • •Me:Um... I don't really have any friends.
  • •Parents:You're just shy. You'll grow out of it.
  • •Me:Yea....sure, I hope.

Okay REAL TALK here’s what I gotta do by Friday:

-6 paintings (at least) for my thesis

-a 1000 word analysis of two Islamic tiles in comparison to the style of the dome of the Great Mosque of Cordoba for my art history class

-at least 20 good (edited) photographs for my photography class

-6 2-page write ups for my art therapy class

-edit/write my thesis presentation for my review/critique on friday

Then by Tuesday I gotta do:

-a 10-page write up on an art exhibition for my modern art class

-4 2-page “art event”/”artist talk” write ups for my photography class

then i get to study for finals and I’m done with college

Questions are closed until such a time as I’m ready to reopen this blog. Don’t know when that would be. Maybe never. Probably eventually though. I am sorry. I know a lot of people appreciated this blog. But I’m a person, y’know? And anyone following this blog likely understands that people go through things and they need breaks from certain things. I’m in school for art therapy and I have my own clients and everything, and it’s so much mental health stuff at once, I just honestly couldn’t handle having this blog too. So I’m sorry. And no, I don’t have it in me to answer all the unanswered questions in my ask box that have accumulated over the last several months in my absence. 

As a side note: to contrast my overwhelming mental health related work/school life, i have thrown my personal life into fandom. Fiction over reality. It’s helped keep a lot of demons at bay…… so to speak, lol (my big fandom right now is Dragon Age, hahaha)

cinder-claws replied to your post:Ask me some questions, y’all? I’m in a good mood…

what are you studying?

I’m a psychology and english writing double major with minors in family studies, literature, and interdisciplinary honors. This quarter I’m taking an art history/western civ class, advanced fiction writing, senior assessment for writing, writing an undergrad thesis, and working an internship doing art therapy. And I just got accepted into the teaching major at cwu, so I’m going to study to be a middle school English teacher starting in fall. I like studying new things. I’m sort of considering getting a philosophy minor…

fililucis asked:

Hi, I'm a senior in high school who's been looking into a career in Art Therapy for a few years now. All of the research I've done so far led me to believe that four years in college was plenty for someone going into the field, but I just recently heard a professor say that a master's degree is necessary. How many years did you take? Also, what would you say about how the demand is more the career and how easy it was to find your job? (Feel free to answer privately if you'd prefer)

To become a licensed therapist in any field, you will need a Master’s degree – this is the standard education level for practicing as a counselor therapist, psychologist, etc. This is mainly due to reimbursement for insurance companies, as it is very difficult to find jobs at just the bachelor’s level. The minimum requirement to be an accredited art therapist is a Master’s degree. I did four years in undergrad, then two years of graduate school. Every program is different, and grad school is a little more flexible in how long it takes you to complete your degree. Some of my classmates only went part-time, taking them between three and four years to finish depending on their life circumstance.

As far as ease of finding a job, this really can depend on where you live and who you know. The therapy world, art therapy in particular, is fairly small compared to other professions, so it helps to be nice to everyone so that you don’t burn bridges. The most frustrating thing coming out of graduate school is that most jobs posted are for licensed professionals – someone with a license in counseling, social work, whatever – with several years of experience. There is a huge gap of available positions for new graduates without a license, but you can’t begin to accrue licensure hours until you begin working. After that it takes another two or three years to complete your hours for licensure (at least where I live, in some states it requires far fewer hours). It’s a catch-22, for sure, but if you look hard enough you can find something to get your foot in the door. Right after I graduated, when I was looking for a job, I sent out tons and tons of resumes – to jobs I wasn’t qualified for, to jobs I was overqualified for, and places that weren’t even hiring. You just never know when someone will take an interest in you.

Art therapy is definitely still growing – more and more states are creating separate licensure for art therapists and we’re getting a lot more recognition for the work we do. It’s still a challenge to show that our work has value, but it’s a great time to be coming into the field. There are lots of challenges involved, lots of paperwork, and lots of headaches, which can make it hard to remember the ultimate goal. If being an art therapist is something you really want to do, don’t let the challenges stand in your way. Go for it!

100 Excellent Art Therapy Exercises for Your Mind, Body, and Soul

Pablo Picasso once said, “Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.” It’s no surprise, then, that many people around the world use art as a means to deal with stress, trauma and unhappiness – or to just find greater peace and meaning in their lives. If you’re curious about what art therapy has to offer, you can try out some of these great solo exercises at home to help nurse your mind, body and soul back to health. If you like the experience, you can also seek out professional art therapy treatment in your area.

Emotions

Deal with emotions like anger and sadness through these helpful exercises.

  1. Draw or paint your emotionsIn this exercise, you’ll focus entirely on painting what you’re feeling.
  2. Create an emotion wheelUsing color, this activity will have you thinking critically about your emotions.
  3. Make a stress paintingChoose colors that represent your stress and jab, scribble and paint your problems away.
  4. Put together a journalJournals don’t have to just be based around words. You can make an art journal as well, that lets you visually express your emotions.
  5. Make sock puppetsSock puppets aren’t just for kids. Make your own and have them act out scenes that make you upset.
  6. Use line artLine is one of the simplest and most basic aspects of art, but it can also contain a lot of emotion. Use simple line art to demonstrate visually how you’re feeling.
  7. Design a postcard you will never sendAre you still angry or upset with someone in your life? Create a postcard that expresses this, though you don’t have to ever send it.
  8. Create a sculpture of your angerFor this activity, you’ll make a physical manifestation of the anger in your life.
  9. Paint a mountain and a valleyThe mountain can represent a time where you were happy, the valley, when you were sad. Add elements that reflect specific events as well.
  10. Attach a drawing or message to a balloonSend away negative emotions or spread positive ones by attaching a note or drawing to a balloon and setting it free.
  11. Paint inside a heartUsing a heart as a pattern, fill in different parts of the heart with the emotions you’re feeling right now.

Relaxation

Art therapy can be a great way to relax. Consider these exercises if you’re looking to feel a little more laid back.

  1. Paint to musicLetting your creativity flow in response to music is a great way to let out feelings and just relax.
  2. Make a scribble drawing. With this activity, you’ll turn a simple scribble into something beautiful, using line, color and your creativity.
  3. Finger paintFinger painting isn’t just fun for kids– adults can enjoy it as well. Get your hands messy and really have fun spreading paint around.
  4. Make a mandalaWhether you use the traditional sand or draw one on your own, this meditative symbol can easily help you to loosen up.
  5. Draw in the darkNot being able to judge what you’re drawing or having to worry about whether or not it’s “right” can be very liberating.
  6. Draw something HUGEThen something very small. Getting your body involved and moving around can help release stress as you’re drawing.
  7. Use color blocksColors often come with a lot of emotions attached. Choose several paint chips to work with and collage, paint and glue until you’ve created a colorful masterpiece.
  8. Let yourself be freeDon’t allow yourself to judge your work. After all, there’s no way to fail and no right way to make art. Just draw, paint or sculpt until your heart’s content.
  9. Only use colors that calm youCreate a drawing or a painting using only colors that you find calming.
  10. Draw in sandLike a Zen garden, this activity will have you drawing shapes and scenes in the sand, which can be immensely relaxing and a great way to clear your mind.
  11. Make a zentangleThese fun little drawings are a great tool for letting go and helping reduce stress.
  12. Color in a designSometimes, the simple act of coloring can be a great way to relax. Find a coloring book or use this mandala for coloring.
  13. Draw outsideWorking en plein air can be a fun way to relax and get in touch with nature while you’re working on art.

Happiness

Art can not only help you deal with the bad stuff, but also help you appreciate and focus on the good. Check out these activities all about reflecting on your personal happiness.

  1. Draw your vision of a perfect day.Think about what constitutes a perfect day to you and draw or paint it. What about this drawing can you make happen today?
  2. Take photographs of things you think are beautifulNo one else has to like them but you. Print and frame them to have constant reminders of the beautiful things in life.
  3. Make a drawing related to a quote you likeTake the words of wisdom from someone else and turn them into something visually inspiring.
  4. Create a drawing that represents freedomThis activity has you think about the concept of freedom and what it means to you, creating a work of art that showcases just what it means to you as an individual.
  5. Document a spiritual experienceHave you ever had a spiritual experience in your life? Draw or paint what it felt like.
  6. Make a stuffed animalSoft, cuddly objects can be very comforting. Use this project to create an animal that means something to you.
  7. Work on a softness projectUsing only soft or comforting objects, create a work of art.
  8. Build a “home.” What does home mean to you? This activity will have you create a safe, warm place– it doesn’t have to be practical– that feels like home to you.
  9. Document an experience where you did something you didn’t think you could do.We all have to do things that we’re scared or unsure of sometimes. Use this activity as a chance to commemorate one instance in your life.
  10. Think up a wild inventionThis invention should do something that can help make you happier– no matter what that is.
  11. Make a prayer flagSend your prayers for yourself or those around you out into the universe with this project.

Portraits

Often, a great way to get to know yourself and your relationships with others is through portraits.

  1. Create a future self-portraitThis drawing or painting should reflect where you see yourself in the future.
  2. Draw a bag self-portraitOn the outside of a paper bag, you’ll create a self-portrait. On the inside, you’ll fill it with things that represent who you are.
  3. Choose the people who matter most to you in life and create unique art for each.This is a great way to acknowledge what really matters to you and express your gratitude.
  4. Draw a portrait of someone who changed your lifeIf someone has ever helped change your path, for better or worse, draw this person.
  5. Create an image that represents how you think others see youThen, have someone in the class draw a portrait of you. Compare the results.
  6. Draw yourself as a warriorStart thinking about yourself as a strong, capable person by drawing yourself as a warrior in this activity.
  7. Create a transformational portrait seriesThis project will help you to see how you’ve changed over time and represent those changes visually.
  8. Imitate Giuseppe ArcimboldoUsing objects that have meaning to you, create a portrait of yourself.
  9. Create a body image sketchIf you have issues with your self-esteem and body image, this can be an interesting way to see how your perceptions match up with reality.
  10. Draw a mirror. This activity is based around a Piet Mondrian quote: “The purer the artist’s mirror is, the more true reality reflects in it.” You’ll need to figure out what is still cloudy in your own reflection of yourself, drawing a mirror and depicting those elements on paper.
  11. Draw yourself as a superheroIf you could have a superpower what would it be? This project asks you to depict your own image as a superhero with these powers.

Trauma and Unhappiness

These activities will ask you to face some unpleasant aspects of life, but with the goal of overcoming them.

  1. Draw a place where you feel safe.The world can be a scary place but in this project you’ll create a place, draw, painted or sculpted, that makes you feel safe.
  2. Create a mini-dioramaThis diorama can showcase an important moment in your life or some trauma that you’ve experienced.
  3. Create a collage of your worriesWhat worries you in your life? Cut out pictures from magazines to represent these worries.
  4. Draw something that scares youEveryone is frightened of something and in this project you’ll get a chance to bring that fear to light and hopefully work towards facing it.
  5. Turn your illness into artFacing a potentially terminal illness? Turn your illness into something beautiful by creating art about it.
  6. Paint a loss in your lifeIf you’ve lost someone you love or something, paint it. This will help you to remember but also to recover.
  7. Make art that is ephemeral. Sometimes we have a hard time letting go, but this project will teach you that it’s ok if something doesn’t last. Use materials like sand, chalk, paper or water to create art that you will destroy when it’s done.

Collaging

If you prefer to cut and paste rather than draw or paint, these projects are for you.

  1. Create a motivational collageYou can hang this collage somewhere you’ll see it everyday. Filled with images you find motivating, it’ll help you keep pushing on.
  2. Create a face collage on a maskWe all wear masks of some sort. This project lets you showcase what’s in your mask and the face you put on for the world.
  3. Create a clutter collageAre there things cluttering up your life? In this project, use words and pictures to show the clutter in your way.
  4. Create a calming collageChoose images that you find soothing, calming or even meditative and combine them to create an attractive collage that can help you to relax.
  5. Collage a paintingTo complete this exercise, you’ll first need to create a simple, abstract painting on paper. Then, tear this painting up and create another. Think about how you felt when you had to tear up the first painting and which you like more.

Self

Examine aspects if who you are and how you see the world through these amazing art projects.

  1. Draw images of your good traits. Creating drawings of your good traits will help you to become more positive and build a better self-image.
  2. Draw yourself as an animal. Is there an animal that you have a special interest in or feel like is a kindred spirit? Draw yourself as that animal.
  3. Create a timeline and draw the most significant moments in your life. This timeline will be the story of your life, with the most important moments highlighted visually.
  4. Put together a jungle animal collageChoose jungle animals that you find the most interesting, draw them, and then reflect on why you’ve chosen these specific animals.
  5. Sculpt your ideal self. If you could make yourself into the perfect person, what would you look like?
  6. Paint the different sides of yourself. In this project, you’ll paint the different aspects of your personality, giving each a visual representation. You might only have one or two, or maybe even twelve.
  7. Make art around your fingerprintsYour fingerprints are as unique as you are. Use ink and paint to make art that uses your fingerprints.
  8. Draw yourself as a treeYour roots will be loaded with descriptions of things that give you strength and your good qualities, while your leaves can be the things that you’re trying to change.
  9. Design a fragments boxIn this project, you’ll put fragments of yourself into a box, helping construct a whole and happier you.
  10. Paint an important childhood memoryWhat was a pivotal memory in your childhood? This activity asks you to document it and try to understand why it was so important to you.
  11. Write and illustrate a fairy tale about yourselfIf you could put yourself into a happily ever after situation, what role would you play and how would the story go? Create a book that tells the tale.
  12. Design a visual autobiographyThis creative journaling project asks you to look back at your life and make a visual representation of it.
  13. Create your own coat of armsChoose symbols that represent your strengths to build your own special coat of arms.
  14. Draw a comic strip about a funny moment in your lifeEnjoy a moment of levity with this exercise that will focus in on a comical even that happened to you.
  15. Build your own websiteWebsites are very versatile ways to express yourself. Build your own to express what’s most important about you.
  16. Create a box of valuesFirst, collage or paint a box the represents you. Then, place items inside the box that represent the things you value the most.

Gratitude

Here you’ll find a collection of projects that will help you be happy about what you have and express your gratitude for it.

  1. Document your gratitude visually.What things are you grateful for in your life? Paint or collage a work that represents these things.
  2. Create a family tree of strengthThis exercise honors those around you who support you. Paint those close to you who offer you the strength you need.
  3. Make something for someone elseMaking something for someone else can be a great way to feel good and help someone else do so as well.
  4. Make anchor artWho are the anchors in your life? In this project, you’ll make an anchor and decorate it with the people and things that provide you stability and strength.
  5. Draw all the positive things in your lifeEveryone has at least one good thing in life, so sit down and figure out what makes you happy– then draw it.
  6. Sculpt your hand in plasterOnce it’s dry, write all the good things you can do with it right onto the hand.
  7. Paint a rockThis project is meant to offer you strength. You can approach it in two ways. One option is to paint the rock with things that empower you. The other is to paint it with struggles you overcome.
  8. Write on leaves to create a gratitude treeWhat are you grateful for? This project asks you to write those things on leaves to construct a tree or banner of gratitude.
  9. Map out the connections in your lifeDraw yourself at the center of this project, then map out how you’re connected to everyone else in your life. It will help make you feel much less alone.
  10. Create a snowflake out of paperWrite ideas about how you are unique on the snowflake.
  11. Build a personal altarThis is a highly personal project that will help connect you with your spiritual side and honor your resilience.

Inside the Mind

Take a look inside your mind to see what’s going on with these projects.

  1. Create a blot artLike a classic Rorschach test, fold paper in half with paint or ink in the middle and describe what you see.
  2. Map your brainMake a visual representation of your thoughts to figure out how your mind works.
  3. Make a dreamcatcherHaving bad dreams? Create this age-old tool for catching your dreams with a few simple tools.
  4. Draw your dreamsYou can learn a lot from what goes on in your dreams, so keep a dream journal and use it for inspiration to draw or paint.

Miscellaneous

If you’re still looking for something to empower, help or soothe you, these projects may fit the bill.

  1. Use natural materialsLeaves, sticks, dirt, clay and other natural materials can help you get in touch with the natural world and the more primal side of yourself.
  2. Build an archetypeCheck out this series of projects to build a set of archetypes, or ideal examples, that can help you explore how you see the world.
  3. Use your body as a canvasYou don’t need paper when you have you body. Paint on your hands and feet or anywhere else to feel more in touch with yourself.
  4. Sculpt spirit figuresConnect with those that have passed on or your own spiritual essence using these sculpted figures.
  5. Make art out of recycled itemsYou can reuse old items that have meaning to you or just re-purpose something you have laying around. Either way, you’ll get insights into how you can reshape and reevaluate your own life.
  6. Collage or draw on top of old photographsIf you’re uncomfortable using old photos you can make copies, but with this project you’ll draw out one characteristic you see in the person in the photos.
  7. Create your own interpretation of a famous work of artHow would you have painted the Mona Lisa? Using a famous work as your inspiration, create your own work. It could help reveal more about your lens on the world.
  8. Work collaborativelyArt can be better when two work at it together, so find a partner and collaborate on just about anything.
  9. Use a found or made object as a paintbrushWhether it’s something sharp or something soft, make your own artistic tool and use it to express what you’re feeling.
  10. Make crayon stained glassReflect upon your spiritual side with this project that lets you create your own stained glass window.
  11. Paint a windowWindows let you see in and see out. Paint yours with things you want to hide or show to the world.
4

Bought myself an art therapy coloring book yesterday, and it’s perfect because it has stuff that’s in enchanted forests, hence the title. :) I love all the pages and started on one already. :D It will really help with stress and getting me to relax. ^_^ Here’s the link for it below on Amazon if you wanna buy one yourself. :)

Art Therapy: The Enchanted Forest by Marthe Mulkey

9

Altered-Book Poetry:  These poems are common in altered-book journals (see here).  It is often easier for people to take inspiration from the text on the page than to create their own poems from scratch.  It could be a cohesive poem or a mix of random words that have meaning or stand out.  Related art work is often incorporated into the page.

100 art therapy exercises to make your mind, body and spirit sing

While looking for some projects of my own to work on, I cam across with lovely sight, and thought that many of you would enjoy these options too! Have fun wth it! :)

Stuart at stuartcline.com

Pablo Picasso once said, “Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.” It’s no surprise, then, that many people around the world use art as a means to deal with stress, trauma and unhappiness – or to just find greater peace and meaning in their lives. If you’re curious about what art therapy has to offer, you can try out some of these great solo exercises at home to help nurse your mind, body and soul back to health. If you like the experience, you can also seek out professional art therapy treatment in your area.

Hello amazing creative people!

find more resources and blog articles at  stuartcline.com and pass it forward.

Emotions

Deal with emotions like anger and sadness through these helpful exercises.

  1. Draw or paint your emotionsIn this exercise, you’ll focus entirely on painting what you’re feeling.
  2. Create an emotion wheelUsing color, this activity will have you thinking critically about your emotions.
  3. Make a stress paintingChoose colors that represent your stress and jab, scribble and paint your problems away.
  4. Put together a journalJournals don’t have to just be based around words. You can make an art journal as well, that lets you visually express your emotions.
  5. Make sock puppetsSock puppets aren’t just for kids. Make your own and have them act out scenes that make you upset.
  6. Use line artLine is one of the simplest and most basic aspects of art, but it can also contain a lot of emotion. Use simple line art to demonstrate visually how you’re feeling.
  7. Design a postcard you will never sendAre you still angry or upset with someone in your life? Create a postcard that expresses this, though you don’t have to ever send it.
  8. Create a sculpture of your angerFor this activity, you’ll make a physical manifestation of the anger in your life.
  9. Paint a mountain and a valleyThe mountain can represent a time where you were happy, the valley, when you were sad. Add elements that reflect specific events as well.
  10. Attach a drawing or message to a balloonSend away negative emotions or spread positive ones by attaching a note or drawing to a balloon and setting it free.
  11. Paint inside a heartUsing a heart as a pattern, fill in different parts of the heart with the emotions you’re feeling right now.

Relaxation

Art therapy can be a great way to relax. Consider these exercises if you’re looking to feel a little more laid back. I have also created free audio’s and visualizations you can use for yourself and for clients. I recommend my clients go to mindaudio1.com. these audio’s are for people who want healing whither it is for addiction, chronic pain, sleep problems, health problems, racing thoughts, managing critical self and more. For free audio’s to help heal the mind, body and spirit go to mindaudio1.com  I use the healing visualization regularly as well.

  1. Paint to musicLetting your creativity flow in response to music is a great way to let out feelings and just relax.
  2. Make a scribble drawing. With this activity, you’ll turn a simple scribble into something beautiful, using line, color and your creativity.
  3. Finger paintFinger painting isn’t just fun for kids– adults can enjoy it as well. Get your hands messy and really have fun spreading paint around.
  4. Make a mandalaWhether you use the traditional sand or draw one on your own, this meditative symbol can easily help you to loosen up.
  5. Draw in the darkNot being able to judge what you’re drawing or having to worry about whether or not it’s “right” can be very liberating.
  6. Draw something HUGEThen something very small. Getting your body involved and moving around can help release stress as you’re drawing.
  7. Use color blocksColors often come with a lot of emotions attached. Choose several paint chips to work with and collage, paint and glue until you’ve created a colorful masterpiece.
  8. Let yourself be freeDon’t allow yourself to judge your work. After all, there’s no way to fail and no right way to make art. Just draw, paint or sculpt until your heart’s content.
  9. Only use colors that calm youCreate a drawing or a painting using only colors that you find calming.
  10. Draw in sandLike a Zen garden, this activity will have you drawing shapes and scenes in the sand, which can be immensely relaxing and a great way to clear your mind.
  11. Make a zentangleThese fun little drawings are a great tool for letting go and helping reduce stress.
  12. Color in a designSometimes, the simple act of coloring can be a great way to relax. Find a coloring book or use this mandala for coloring.
  13. Draw outsideWorking en plein air can be a fun way to relax and get in touch with nature while you’re working on art.

Happiness

Art can not only help you deal with the bad stuff, but also help you appreciate and focus on the good. Check out these activities all about reflecting on your personal happiness.

  1. Draw your vision of a perfect dayThink about what constitutes a perfect day to you and draw or paint it. What about this drawing can you make happen today?
  2. Take photographs of things you think are beautifulNo one else has to like them but you. Print and frame them to have constant reminders of the beautiful things in life.
  3. Make a drawing related to a quote you likeTake the words of wisdom from someone else and turn them into something visually inspiring.
  4. Create a drawing that represents freedomThis activity has you think about the concept of freedom and what it means to you, creating a work of art that showcases just what it means to you as an individual.
  5. Document a spiritual experienceHave you ever had a spiritual experience in your life? Draw or paint what it felt like.
  6. Make a stuffed animalSoft, cuddly objects can be very comforting. Use this project to create an animal that means something to you.
  7. Work on a softness projectUsing only soft or comforting objects, create a work of art.
  8. Build a “home.” What does home mean to you? This activity will have you create a safe, warm place– it doesn’t have to be practical– that feels like home to you.
  9. Document an experience where you did something you didn’t think you could doWe all have to do things that we’re scared or unsure of sometimes. Use this activity as a chance to commemorate one instance in your life.
  10. Think up a wild inventionThis invention should do something that can help make you happier– no matter what that is.
  11. Make a prayer flagSend your prayers for yourself or those around you out into the universe with this project. find more helpful blog articles at stuartcline.com

Portraits

Often, a great way to get to know yourself and your relationships with others is through portraits.

  1. Create a future self-portraitThis drawing or painting should reflect where you see yourself in the future.
  2. Draw a bag self-portraitOn the outside of a paper bag, you’ll create a self-portrait. On the inside, you’ll fill it with things that represent who you are.
  3. Choose the people who matter most to you in life and create unique art for each. This is a great way to acknowledge what really matters to you and express your gratitude.
  4. Draw a portrait of someone who changed your lifeIf someone has ever helped change your path, for better or worse, draw this person.
  5. Create an image that represents how you think others see youThen, have someone in the class draw a portrait of you. Compare the results.
  6. Draw yourself as a warriorStart thinking about yourself as a strong, capable person by drawing yourself as a warrior in this activity.
  7. Create a transformational portrait seriesThis project will help you to see how you’ve changed over time and represent those changes visually.
  8. Imitate Giuseppe ArcimboldoUsing objects that have meaning to you, create a portrait of yourself.
  9. Create a body image sketchIf you have issues with your self-esteem and body image, this can be an interesting way to see how your perceptions match up with reality.
  10. Draw a mirror. This activity is based around a Piet Mondrian quote: “The purer the artist’s mirror is, the more true reality reflects in it.” You’ll need to figure out what is still cloudy in your own reflection of yourself, drawing a mirror and depicting those elements on paper.
  11. Draw yourself as a superheroIf you could have a superpower what would it be? This project asks you to depict your own image as a superhero with these powers.

Trauma and Unhappiness

These activities will ask you to face some unpleasant aspects of life, but with the goal of overcoming them.

  1. Draw a place where you feel safeThe world can be a scary place but in this project you’ll create a place, draw, painted or sculpted, that makes you feel safe.
  2. Create a mini-dioramaThis diorama can showcase an important moment in your life or some trauma that you’ve experienced.
  3. Create a collage of your worriesWhat worries you in your life? Cut out pictures from magazines to represent these worries.
  4. Draw something that scares youEveryone is frightened of something and in this project you’ll get a chance to bring that fear to light and hopefully work towards facing it.
  5. Turn your illness into artFacing a potentially terminal illness? Turn your illness into something beautiful by creating art about it.
  6. Paint a loss in your lifeIf you’ve lost someone you love or something, paint it. This will help you to remember but also to recover.
  7. Make art that is ephemeral. Sometimes we have a hard time letting go, but this project will teach you that it’s ok if something doesn’t last. Use materials like sand, chalk, paper or water to create art that you will destroy when it’s done.

Collaging

If you prefer to cut and paste rather than draw or paint, these projects are for you.

  1. Create a motivational collageYou can hang this collage somewhere you’ll see it everyday. Filled with images you find motivating, it’ll help you keep pushing on.
  2. Create a face collage on a maskWe all wear masks of some sort. This project lets you showcase what’s in your mask and the face you put on for the world.
  3. Create a clutter collageAre there things cluttering up your life? In this project, use words and pictures to show the clutter in your way.
  4. Create a calming collageChoose images that you find soothing, calming or even meditative and combine them to create an attractive collage that can help you to relax.
  5. Collage a paintingTo complete this exercise, you’ll first need to create a simple, abstract painting on paper. Then, tear this painting up and create another. Think about how you felt when you had to tear up the first painting and which you like more.

Self

Examine aspects if who you are and how you see the world through these amazing art projects.

  1. Draw images of your good traits. Creating drawings of your good traits will help you to become more positive and build a better self-image.
  2. Draw yourself as an animal. Is there an animal that you have a special interest in or feel like is a kindred spirit? Draw yourself as that animal.
  3. Create a timeline and draw the most significant moments in your life. This timeline will be the story of your life, with the most important moments highlighted visually.
  4. Put together a jungle animal collageChoose jungle animals that you find the most interesting, draw them, and then reflect on why you’ve chosen these specific animals.
  5. Sculpt your ideal self. If you could make yourself into the perfect person, what would you look like?
  6. Paint the different sides of yourself. In this project, you’ll paint the different aspects of your personality, giving each a visual representation. You might only have one or two, or maybe even twelve.
  7. Make art around your fingerprintsYour fingerprints are as unique as you are. Use ink and paint to make art that uses your fingerprints.
  8. Draw yourself as a treeYour roots will be loaded with descriptions of things that give you strength and your good qualities, while your leaves can be the things that you’re trying to change.
  9. Design a fragments boxIn this project, you’ll put fragments of yourself into a box, helping construct a whole and happier you.
  10. Paint an important childhood memoryWhat was a pivotal memory in your childhood? This activity asks you to document it and try to understand why it was so important to you.
  11. Write and illustrate a fairy tale about yourselfIf you could put yourself into a happily ever after situation, what role would you play and how would the story go? Create a book that tells the tale.
  12. Design a visual autobiographyThis creative journaling project asks you to look back at your life and make a visual representation of it.
  13. Create your own coat of armsChoose symbols that represent your strengths to build your own special coat of arms.
  14. Draw a comic strip about a funny moment in your lifeEnjoy a moment of levity with this exercise that will focus in on a comical even that happened to you.
  15. Build your own websiteWebsites are very versatile ways to express yourself. Build your own to express what’s most important about you.
  16. Create a box of valuesFirst, collage or paint a box the represents you. Then, place items inside the box that represent the things you value the most. Stuartcline.com has a blog to help you find your top ten values.

Gratitude

Here you’ll find a collection of projects that will help you be happy about what you have and express your gratitude for it.

  1. Document your gratitude visuallyWhat things are you grateful for in your life? Paint or collage a work that represents these things.
  2. Create a family tree of strengthThis exercise honors those around you who support you. Paint those close to you who offer you the strength you need.
  3. Make something for someone elseMaking something for someone else can be a great way to feel good and help someone else do so as well.
  4. Make anchor artWho are the anchors in your life? In this project, you’ll make an anchor and decorate it with the people and things that provide you stability and strength.
  5. Draw all the positive things in your lifeEveryone has at least one good thing in life, so sit down and figure out what makes you happy– then draw it.
  6. Sculpt your hand in plasterOnce it’s dry, write all the good things you can do with it right onto the hand.
  7. Paint a rockThis project is meant to offer you strength. You can approach it in two ways. One option is to paint the rock with things that empower you. The other is to paint it with struggles you overcome.
  8. Write on leaves to create a gratitude treeWhat are you grateful for? This project asks you to write those things on leaves to construct a tree or banner of gratitude.
  9. Map out the connections in your lifeDraw yourself at the center of this project, then map out how you’re connected to everyone else in your life. It will help make you feel much less alone.
  10. Create a snowflake out of paperWrite ideas about how you are unique on the snowflake.
  11. Build a personal altarThis is a highly personal project that will help connect you with your spiritual side and honor your resilience.

Inside the Mind

Take a look inside your mind to see what’s going on with these projects.

  1. Create a blot artLike a classic Rorschach test, fold paper in half with paint or ink in the middle and describe what you see.
  2. Map your brainMake a visual representation of your thoughts to figure out how your mind works.
  3. Make a dreamcatcherHaving bad dreams? Create this age-old tool for catching your dreams with a few simple tools.
  4. Draw your dreamsYou can learn a lot from what goes on in your dreams, so keep a dream journal and use it for inspiration to draw or paint.

Miscellaneous

If you’re still looking for something to empower, help or soothe you, these projects may fit the bill.

  1. Use natural materialsLeaves, sticks, dirt, clay and other natural materials can help you get in touch with the natural world and the more primal side of yourself.
  2. Build an archetypeCheck out this series of projects to build a set of archetypes, or ideal examples, that can help you explore how you see the world.
  3. Use your body as a canvasYou don’t need paper when you have you body. Paint on your hands and feet or anywhere else to feel more in touch with yourself.
  4. Sculpt spirit figuresConnect with those that have passed on or your own spiritual essence using these sculpted figures.
  5. Make art out of recycled itemsYou can reuse old items that have meaning to you or just re-purpose something you have laying around. Either way, you’ll get insights into how you can reshape and reevaluate your own life.
  6. Collage or draw on top of old photographsIf you’re uncomfortable using old photos you can make copies, but with this project you’ll draw out one characteristic you see in the person in the photos.
  7. Create your own interpretation of a famous work of artHow would you have painted the Mona Lisa? Using a famous work as your inspiration, create your own work. It could help reveal more about your lens on the world.
  8. Work collaborativelyArt can be better when two work at it together, so find a partner and collaborate on just about anything.
  9. Use a found or made object as a paintbrushWhether it’s something sharp or something soft, make your own artistic tool and use it to express what you’re feeling.
  10. Make crayon stained glassReflect upon your spiritual side with this project that lets you create your own stained glass window.
  11. Paint a windowWindows let you see in and see out. Paint yours with things you want to hide or show to the world. Enjoy more blog articles at stuartcline.com

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy “DBT” House Instructions from Kim

Creating Your House Template:

  • Draw an outline of the house, including a floor, roof, door, chimney, 4 levels, and a billboard above the house. The house will be used to represent the participant’s life.  This can be done by the client or the therapist can make the template and have the client fill in the rest.  

Parts of the House:

  • Foundation- On the floor of the house, write the values that govern your life.
  • Walls- Along the walls, write anything or anyone who supports you.
  • Roof- On the roof, name the things or people that protect you.
  • Door- Write the things that you keep hidden from others
  • Chimney- Coming out of the chimney, write down ways in which you blow off steam.
  • Billboard- On the billboard, write the things that you are proud of and want others to see.

Levels of the House:

  • Level 1: List behaviors that you are trying to gain control of or areas of your life you want to change.
  • Level 2: List or draw emotions you want to experience more often, more fully, or in a more healthy way.
  • Level 3: List all the things you are happy about or want to feel happy about.
  • Level 4: List or draw what a “Life Worth Living” would look like for you.

This is an example drawn by follower Count Down To Health

100 Art Therapy Exercises, Pt. 2: Relaxation
Source: http://www.expressiveartworkshops.com

Art therapy can be a great way to relax. Consider these exercises if you’re looking to feel a little more laid back.

  1. Paint to music. Letting your creativity flow in response to music is a great way to let out feelings and just relax.
  2. Make a scribble drawing. With this activity, you’ll turn a simple scribble into something beautiful, using line, color and your creativity.
  3. Finger paint. Finger painting isn’t just fun for kids– adults can enjoy it as well. Get your hands messy and really have fun spreading paint around.
  4. Make a mandala. Whether you use the traditional sand or draw one on your own, this meditative symbol can easily help you to loosen up.
  5. Draw with your eyes closed. Not being able to see what you are drawing intensifies fluidity, intuition, touch and sensitivity.
  6. Draw something HUGE. Getting your body involved and moving around can help release emotion as you’re drawing.
  7. Use color blocks. Colors often come with a lot of emotions attached. Choose several paint chips to work with and collage, paint and glue until you’ve created a colorful masterpiece.
  8. Let yourself be free. Don’t allow yourself to judge your work. If you think your paintings are too tight and controlled, this collection of tips and techniques to try should help you work in a looser style. 
  9. Only use colors that calm you. Create a drawing or a painting using only colors that you find calming.
  10. Draw in sand. Like a Zen garden, this activity will have you drawing shapes and scenes in the sand, which can be immensely relaxing and a great way to clear your mind.
  11. Make a zentangle. These fun little drawings are a great tool for letting go and helping reduce stress.
  12. Color in a design. Sometimes, the simple act of coloring can be a great way to relax. Find a coloring book or use this mandala for coloring.
  13. Draw outside. Working en plein air can be a fun way to relax and get in touch with nature while you’re working on art.

See the rest here

Syrian Children Are Drawing to Heal the Trauma from War 

In an upscale district of Downtown Beirut, two pre-teen boys rapped in Arabic during an exhibit showcasing the artwork of Syrian refugee children. Ramzi, a 12-year-old originally from Daraa, Syria, beatboxed as his friend Ayham, who is also from Daraa, spit rhymes. Guests watched quietly, impressed, as the two boys recalled life before the uprising-turned-civil war wreaked havoc on their country.

This was part of an exhibit, called “Light Against Darkness,” the result of a three month art workshop that focused on helping children overcome the trauma of war through creative expression. Forty-three children produced about 166 works of drawings and clay sculptures, many of which depicted colorful renditions of schools, kids playing together, and families bonding.

Others, however, were not so cheery. Suha Wanous, a young girl originally from Latakia but who arrived to Lebanon from Damascus, the Syrian capital, drew a daughter holding her mother’s hand while a gun is pressed to her head point-blank. In the background of the picture, it’s raining and a helicopter is opening fire on a home while two small children lay on the grass bleeding, presumably dead. The organizers of the exhibit explained how Suha used to pass an army checkpoint daily before going to school back in Syria. She used to greet the soldiers Assalamu Alaykum (meaning “peace be upon you” in Arabic.)

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