Did you know that art can be used as a form of therapy? Art therapy specifically aims to encourage creativity, self-expression, help overcome trauma, and relieve emotional tension. Unlike other forms of treatment that rely on verbal expression, art therapy provides you means of a non-verbal and non-conventional, almost abstract form of communication. Through art, you will not only express your feeling without words, but you will also reach a deeper, more subconscious level of yourself.
It is essential to know that you don’t have to be an artist in order to enjoy all the benefits of art therapy. In this form of creative treatment, the focus is not on the final product, but on the process. Many local artists claim that the process of creating art is meditative and therapeutic. If you would like to try art therapy for stress relief, here are five ideas to start with.
Draw in Total Darkness
If you are afraid of judgment and criticism, create art in the total dark to make it free from the inner critic inside your head. Turn off the lights and feel the freedom of creating lines, shapes, and patterns as you feel you should. Once you turn back on the lights, you will probably be surprised by the result.
Watercolor your Bodily State
Lie down, relax and visualize your body. Try to visualize every part of it in different colors. Try to imagine the color of your breath as it enters and goes out of your body. Draw an outline of your body and create a watercolor based on your current state. Think about what the colors you have used mean to you. This should be some kind of a unique self-portrait.
Use a Painting to Create a Collage
Start by creating a painting on a material that can be easily cut. Once you are finished, either cut or tear up the picture. Then use those pieces to create a collage, therefore building a completely new artwork. It will be very interesting to see how your art transforms into something entirely new and probably unpredictable. During the process, you will realize that there is a thin line between creation and destruction, which may encourage you to change your current thought patterns, especially if you have recently gone through a trauma.
Write a Found Poem
Cut out random words from old books, magazines, newspapers and similar. You can also choose words that inspire you or provoke a particular emotion. Create a collage the same way you would do with images. You can have a topic in mind, or you could just start randomly and see where the word collaging will take you in the end.
Craft a Unique Artistic Tool
If you are feeling crafty, instead of painting, you could focus on creating an alternative paintbrush all your own. You could create an artistic tool out of toothpicks glued to some kind of base; you can create a brush out of pom-poms and yarn, and so on. You are only limited by your imagination. Once you finally complete your tool and start using it, you will feel a unique sense of accomplishment.