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  • Jessie Barton

Art can be THERAPY


There are some amazing things that can happen when you CREATE to express your deepest feelings. Art can be very therapeutic if you allow the process and give yourself space to try. You don't need skill to accomplish this, all you need are a few supplies and a feeling or emotion that you need or want to process. And of course, a desire to express it through art.


Art can also be a a motivator. If there is a goal or direction I'd like my life to take, I'll often create a piece that states that word or scripture or saying. Then when I look at it I am reminded of what I have been working on in my life. Looking back I realize I have told my story through art. The ups the downs the bla's, they all show up in my creations.


Another thing about art is it can be shared! It's amazing how many people can connect to that same hope, or emotion you are trying to express. These days we have social media which is a great way to share with friends. I also realize some expression should also be personal and not shared with the world, it's a matter of personal choice which creations we want to use to encourage others or help them to not feel alone in their struggle. If you have a song to sing, you don't often sing it in the closet. It can be the same with art.


Here are a few simple steps you can take to try creating as form of self love and therapy. I will be blogging more about this in the future as it's helped me so much in my life.


1. Have a few supplies on hand: If you don't have any art supplies a good place to start is with a journal and some colored pencils or markers. A piece of paper and a pencil will do also! Or, go further and buy a set of paints and a canvas! The sky is the limit with how you choose to create! Glue, paper, scissors, fabric, paint, charcoal, color, etc! The important thing is to let it flow. Have no expectations. DO NOT worry about what anyone will think of this, it's for you, for your heart to heal or grow in some way.


2. Think of one thing, positive or negative you would like to express:

Is there a scripture or saying or word that has been resonating with you lately? Is there a dream you have you'd like to get down on paper? A goal, a hurt, a hope?

Start there. You might write the word somewhere on the page then create around it. Add more words if you would like. Add little doodles. Draw something. Can't draw? Browse the stencils at a craft store and use those as a guide. Glue and paste things from magazines. scribble or make marks. Try to open your mind and heart and let it flow. If you have more supplies, use them! Paint it out I always say.


One popular activity is tracing your hands and creating one with words from the past, and the other with hopes for the future.

You don't always have to have a plan. Just let your art be intuitive and find it's own way. I realize for some this is tough and a plan is needed. But, remember it's ok for it not to end up where you thought it would! Most of my art is like this. I have a plan and it looks nothing like I thought in the end! And it's OK :)



3. If you like creating, try to do it often: Try a new thing every time. If you see art you like try to make something like it. Create freely and PLAY, like a child. Keep opening up that side of your brain until it gets easier to be a creative. Call yourself a creative, out loud. Let everything you do be creative. The way you cook, interact with the world, dress, think, share, live. It's amazing how joy and healing can come from this process. It gives another outlet for expression and hope. A way to tell the story of who you are and who you want to be.


I would love to see your creations! Let's grow together and live creatively!






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