You Don’t Have To Be Good At Art To Benefit From It
Did you know that even if you don’t consider yourself to be a creative or artistic person, that creativity actually plays a crucial role in your overall well-being?
Being able to express yourself through art when you can’t find the right words to say or when words simply won’t suffice can actually improve your mental health. That’s why it’s so important to recognize that you have an innate ability to create, whether or not you call yourself an artist!
Art therapy combines principles from both art and psychology and provides people with an extremely effective way to uncover their emotions. When you participate in art therapy, you’ll discover new and healthy ways of dealing with your emotions while gaining invaluable insights about yourself as well!
One of the nice things about the process is that you’ll reap the therapeutic benefits of art therapy whether or not you ever show anyone what you’ve created. If this sounds intriguing to you, here are some art forms to explore as you begin your exciting journey into the world of art therapy!
Mixed Media And Collage
Do you have stacks of old magazines, books and scrap paper laying around that you’re hesitant to throw out? If so, then incorporating them into creative collages may be the perfect way for you to put them to good use!
Collage is one of the easiest forms of mixed media art that you can do! One way to approach collage is to begin with a prompt like “What am I feeling today?”, then flip through your supplies and look for images that express what’s inside of you. Another way to jumpstart the creative process is to simply cut out images and scenes which you find striking. This method can help you unearth thoughts and feelings that you may be unaware of that are lurking in your subconscious.
Once you’ve collected your images, have fun experimenting with their placement before adhering them onto the paper. When you are finished, you will discover that you have created a truly unique and beautiful collage!
It doesn’t matter whether you have created artwork from scratch or from “found” pieces. Any process where you put your thoughts into images is good for your creativity and your mental health!
Drawing, Painting, and Designing
When was the last time you picked up a pen and drew? Perhaps you recall drawing in your childhood or taking art lessons in school, but current pastimes such as doodling in the margins of your paper and sketching on paper napkins count as well.
If you feel drawn to drawing and painting, here’s some good news: you don’t need to worry about making a mistake or getting graded on your artwork!
Getting started is easy: Simply pick up a small sketchbook and some art materials, then start drawing or painting how you feel! Don’t be afraid to use lots of colors and let your emotions flow onto the paper.
If you’re more tech-orientated, don’t worry – there are plenty of options to choose from as well! Today’s home computers and laptops are powerful enough to run professional level art and design software. There’s a computer program for every type of art and design you can think of (and many you probably had no idea existed), so it won’t take long for you to find something to get your creative juices going. You can even attach a drawing pad to your computer to make digital art as you would with a regular pencil or paintbrush.
By creating artwork on your computer, you’ll have the added bonus of having all of your creations secured in one place.
Do you prefer activities that are a little more hands-on? If so, then sculpting clay figures is a fantastic sensory approach to creating art! Clay is a self-soothing material that can be manipulated and formed any way you please. This tactile medium allows you to develop an idea organically and to literally build on an idea around making three-dimensional objects.
Engaging with the material also provides a natural form of meditation that allows you to disrupt negative thoughts. This medium is so popular that it has been adopted into its own subcategory of art therapy, as it allows individuals to direct all their energy into the subject at hand.
Enjoy The Creative Process
Art is an individual form of expression. There is no right or wrong way to go about it. When you’re ready to create, let yourself relax and get lost in the moment. Focus on what you are making. Let your creation speak for itself.
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“Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.” Picasso
Very nice post today!
Thanks Maggie – beautiful quote!
I wish we had some artistic talent here, we admire it so much. Artsy like painting that is, the Dad has a musical talent in that he can play most any instrument, but he sure can’t paint or draw worth a hoot.
How cool to learn that Dad is such a talented musician!
What’s his favorite instrument to play?
Ah……I loved this…having taught everything from Montessori to white-haired little old ladies arts, crafts, pottery, tole-painting, color theory, and ceramics, this post hit my heart. Last year I was dealing with a painful and long wait for surgery on a wrecked knee, and in July I picked up my brushes and watercolors and painted everyday. It saved my mind and let me escape for those couple of hours each day. Wonderful post, I will be pinning and subscribing to your blog for this!
Thanks for sharing your story – I’m so glad you enjoyed the article and I”m so glad that you were able to escape in your creative pursuits as part of your pain therapy protocol! 🙂
Lots of ways to be creative! Thanks so much for linking up with me at my #UnlimitedMonthlyLinkParty 14, open until July 26. All party entries shared if social media buttons installed.
This is so true! I’m featuring it at the TFT link party today. 🙂
Awesome Pam – thank you SO much! 🙂
These are all great ideas. Thank you for sharing this.
I find that when I am busy creating I am in the moment not worrying or thinking about problems.
Have a great week,
I’ve really benefited from sketching once I finally put aside my fears of failure and embrace the opportunity to express myself. It not only lifts my mood but I continually develop my skill with each sketch I venture to doodle. 😉
I have felt the benefits of art for me personally. I love creating and relaxing into a different kind of “work”. And I get all those benefits without being “good” at it. 🙂 Thanks for sharing!
Thank you for this post! I learned so much here. My husband has ADD and recently started watercolor painting. He says it feels so calming. He’s talented too!
So glad you enjoyed the article Mary – watercolor painting is a great way to relax! 🙂
I’ve taught art, ceramics, pottery, floral design and crafts to adults, art to pre-schoolers, art in primary and secondary levels…honestly, this is the most important…it isn’t the end result—it’s the joy in the process! HUGS, keep singing the song! Sandi
Yes, art and creativity bring us so much joy! 🙂
I love your article. I just finished a course on art therapy where they also mention writing, music and dance. It really isn’t about being good at something. It is the actual doing of it that is so good for us.
Thanks so much Angela – you are so right about it’s not the end result but the joy of the process that makes the difference!
My grandkids keep me involved with paint and clay, and I am grateful!
That’s so wonderful that you have them to enjoy art with Michele!
Its so easy to forget how much pleasure I derive in creating, whether it is jewelry or special cards. I had things I was going to make for Easter and totally spaced it. So easy to be distracted these days!
Stay well my friend, Happy Spring!!
I know what you mean Karren! I miss crafting but just haven’t had the time!
Maybe we will both get back to it one of these days!
Well here I am again a year later and you have reminded me of doing something relaxing, I love making mixed media cards, I was even in a grouped where we made and sent them and exchange we received fun art to other crafters. Hubby got ill and I quit. Need to get back to being creative.
It was great to revisit this post…and I heartedly agree…I would never make it without doing something with my hands, everyday! Whatever it is! Hugs, Sandi
Great post. The focus really takes you away from your problems too.
Enjoyed reading this post that I saw at Set Your Own Pace at the Hearth and Soul Party and will pin it to my stress reduction board. Hope you check out my post,
How to Prepare Tempeh to Make It Vegan Friendly, Flavorful, and Healthful
I used to love to sculpt jewelry using polymer clay – such a fun way to be creative! I still try to be creative as much as possible, it is a great self care activity for me.
That sounds awesome Jenna – hope you’ll share your creations at one of our weekly parties! 🙂
I have been doing some adult paint by numbers and it is really relaxing and really helps me wind down and takes my mind off things.
They are wonderful aren’t they? I have one sitting here I am looking forward to doing if ever I can find the time!
I craft every day and it’s so relaxing and stress releasing. It’s good for my health, for sure.
So glad to hear it Allyson – crafting definitely makes a difference in our lives!
What is your craft of choice?
I love your idea of collaging using old magazines. It sounds fun and relaxing and I have piles of old magazines I’ve been trying to reuse in some way.
Wonderful post! I have made magazine collages–it’s fun to do! It is so true that doing art is a great stress and anxiety reliever. I feel the same way about baking or making a new recipe as it is also creating something new and enjoyable. Our minds become occupied with the process and away from worry.
I agree Pat – collages are my fave!
Thanks for sharing this again! It’s all very true and I love the examples.
Thanks Bernadette – I love sharing this post as it’s resonated with so many people!
I can see how art can improve your health, I craft, and it eases my anxiety.
Visiting today from FF#28&29.