This Art Therapy thing. I’m going to keep banging on about it for a little bit. Mainly because I just keep getting SO MANY students parents/guardians telling me how different their mini-artist is since they started doing weekly art lessons.
There’s so many benefits from art therapy – the stress relief, the lateral cognitive development, the fine motor skills exercising – but (I think) more important than all those reasons, is the confidence that students gain by exploring the thoughts that they may not have the words to express.
In my studio I watch shy children, turn into young artists with a voice.
I watch how they grow from trying to “blend in” with the motley group that frequents my studio, to realising there are so many different characters that they couldn’t blend in, no matter how hard they try, so they start beaming their own unique little (and sometimes big) personality through the already character-cluttered studio.
I watch as the parts of them they choose to show turn from “I’m too cool for that” to “watch this really silly thing I can do.” I hear them as they proclaim to the class that they are “oddball” and “not like everyone else” and then I watch them make friends with other self proclaimed weirdos, and in finding a place where no one is cool, they find a space to be authentic with themselves.
I think at least half of my students have at some point told me they aren’t like anyone else. Whether this is born from their own ability to see their uniqueness, or their parents encouragement to be themselves without defaulting to mimicking the social norms – it doesn’t matter. What matters to these kids is that they congregate with likeminds. That gives them a kind of confidence to be who they are in the studio, and gives them the confidence to face the world outside of the studio.
In my studio I see young artists turn their newfound skills into confidence, and surely that confidence they carry has the best therapeutic value of all.
So go ahead and put a paintbrush in your mini-artists hand. Give them a space to be messy. Give them a challenge to complete. Give them the opportunity to develop the express themselves freely – and if possible do it with others.
If you’re on facebook feel free to share your mini-artists work on the Artlis Studios page or join our Kids Art Sharing Group to connect with other guardians of creative mini’s. We love to see your work!!
Since I first started working with aspergers students, and hearing first hand from them how much they felt art was relaxing and helping them concentrate on life, I’ve had so many questions from parents in regards to how art therapy can help their child.
My mini-artist sessions (both one-on-one and group classes) now consist of kids with aspergers, anxiety, ADD, hyperactivity and some who are just downright shy! My classes are also filled with such a huge range of characters, some who have told me they “don’t fit in with the normal kids”, some who have a normally interactive social life, and some who use my art classes as a chance to let their “real self be set free because no one in here cares if you’re weird.” The resounding feeling in every session I teach is that mini-artists feel safe to be just whoever it makes them happiest to be when they are doing art, because art can be ANYTHING so why shouldn’t they?
This is important for all kids to feel, but more particularly for those mini-artists who have been through trauma, or living their life with a disability or disorder. An important step in overcoming these issues, is knowing there’s no expectation on them to repress any parts of their character that may not match up to social expectations.
Clinical therapies can be efficient for kids that have to deal with such things, but that might not be the best approach for them. In fact, many times the issue comes from communication and in that situation talking won’t really make things a lot easier. Creative therapies can offer a great supplement to clinical therapy and give the student another avenue of expression, where they can explore feelings that they may not have the verbal capacity or mental maturity to express.
What art therapy does is that it uses the power of psychotherapy in order to address a variety of issues that the child has. However, it does that in a creative, interactive manner. This makes it very appealing for children and it also helps them stay away from stress.
Thanks to the aid offered by a therapist, kids have the ability to find the meaning of art, all while being able to create art on their own as they see fit. This helps art therapy become a one of a kind, refined creative outlet that delivers both value and a very good experience!
How can art therapy help a child?
There are many issues that can be addressed via art therapy, and these include:
- The death of a family member
- Behavioral problems
- The inability to understand physical disabilities
- Mental disorders
- Dealing with serious diseases
- Improving the cognitive abilities
- Learning disabilities
- Emotional problems and phobias
- Childhood trauma caused by various factors
How does art therapy work?
The art therapist can acquire art supplies and then he will place them in front of the child all so that he can learn how to use them. This is a very appealing, exciting and enticing experience. With the proper guidance, the child will be able to express himself and take better control over his emotions. Treatment can take place either in an individual manner if the child is shy but it can also work very well in the group setting, it all comes down to each child.
How does it support children in learning?
Thanks to art therapy children have the ability to express themselves and remove fear or stress, emotions that won’t help them learn anything. In addition, art therapy is designed in order to support creativity and interactions, things that make the therapy experience simpler and a lot more appealing for the child. If you want to help your child go through a bad time in his life easier and with the proper support, then art therapy is a worthwhile avenue to pursue.
Aside from all of that, art therapy can help a child become more confidence in his own power and for a creative mind, there’s no doubt that it relieves stress. So even if the only benefits you end up seeing are these few common ones, it’s worth a shot right?
Artlis Studios Holiday Workshops are now taking bookings. We have intensive sketching workshops for those looking at improving their drawing skills, fun abstract canvas workshops for those who want to get messy, yoga/art meditation and mini-artists will also get the opportunity to make themselves an 80cm long wooden “believe” wall sign.
Book ASAP as many missed out on our table painting workshops last holidays.
Contact us on 0400 382 617 or by email to make a booking or to find out any more information.
See you there!!
This week in the studio we’ve had sketching art classes, Pop Art with homeschoolers, surrealism landscape painting, and our Wednesday Expression Session was all about painting on materials other than paper. We gave the students wood, bark, sticks, clay – an array of non paper materials, and the most popular material they found to paint on?? Themselves! Hair, hands and noses were a favourite. Check out Zale below, with his lizard skin hand!!
The Wednesday Expression Sessions have really turned into an inspiration finding journey for many of our students, and some of the creations that have come out of it have been amazing!! We are loving seeing how our mini-artists are able to interpret the techniques we show them and turn them into creations that speak volumes about who they are.
Don’t forget to subscribe to my newsletter to keep up to date with what’s happening in the studio on a regular basis. Competitions, monthly specials and links to blogs and competition will all happen in the newsletter.
Also if you have any of your own mini-artist work to share find us on facebook to be a part of the our art challenges and get tips to help your mini-artist in their creations.
Happy creating, beautiful souls.
I couldn’t find any videos that related to using scale in one point perspective, so stay tuned. I’ll create one!
For now, these are a few simple to follow videos and how-to art lessons:
This youtube video is a simple, non technical version of one point perspective. It shows an interior being drawn in one point perspective on a computer in less that 2 minutes, but the steps and concepts are exactly the same as if you were drawing it with pencil and ruler. You may need to pause the video to keep up!
A slightly longer (15 minute) video, which is a little more technical and shows the artist using his pencil (but still no ruler!) This is a great video to understand how perspective affects the visual size of buildings in a drawing.
This one is a written tutorial for those who don’t want to watch a video – this tutorial is quite in depth, although very easy to read and understand. I like this one because he uses a ruler. Hooray!
This one could be my favourite! This tutorial transfers all the knowledge into an really easy version of perspective that you can teach to 7-13 year olds.
I’m in the process of creating some videos that include scale in perspective with lots more ruler work.
If there are any questions or if there’s anything you’d like me to cover in my perspective video please feel free to email me.
I’ve been researching art competitions for my students, and came across this one – the Picasso Art Contest.
Entry is FREE to any 6 – 19 year olds from any country. Entry is open until 25th February 2016.
They accept nearly any kind of medium (except digital art) including
- Water Color
- Oil Color
- Colored Pencils
- Pen & Ink
- Ball Point Pen
- Mixed Media etc
Any subject, any size is acceptable (except adult themed works, or copyrighted material)
The BEST PART is you can enter online. These are the entry details:
Step ONE: Take a clear digital photo of your mini-artists artwork. IT MUST BE CLEARLY SIGNED with the artists full name in handwriting that is legible.
Step TWO: Send your mini-artists artwork to firstname.lastname@example.org include on the email your mini-artists NAME, DATE OF BIRTH, AGE, STATE, COUNTRY. The email subject should be: “Entry for Season 1”
Be aware! There are some reasons your mini-artist will be disqualified. These are:
- signature not clear on artwork
- artwork contains objectionable subject matter or copyrighted material
- Name, DOB, age, State, country information is not in the email
- online form not filled in
- image is not clear
- the artwork was sent many times
Entry is only open until 25th February 2016, so now is the time to start organising your mini-artist for their entry. I know many of my students already have pieces that would be fantastic entries into this competition.
Here’s the link to the website once more, just in case you missed it:
Happy entering and good luck!!