Art as Therapy | El Paso, Texas, USA!
Art is important; this is something that was proven several times throughout history. Art is not only the best way for people, children and adults alike, to express themselves, but it is also a form of therapy, and a way to make peace with the world around and within us.
Being a writer, art has an important place in my life, as it helps me to concentrate on what’s important, and sometimes, to understand what life throws at us unexpectedly. And that’s even truer for children. Art is a therapy, and I try to incorporate it every day in my work with my students.
Did you know that art was used as a therapy for children facing mental of emotional difficulties? It’s a great way to sooth their minds and souls, and to help them cope with whatever difficulties everyday life might throw at them. As Dr. Sarah Deaver, the President of the American Art Therapy Association, explained on a Huffington Post interview: “The biggest advantage is that art can express things that are not expressible verbally.”
One of the most renowned researchers of the 20th century, Viktor Lowenfeld, proved that free artistic expression was necessary for children to grow up as mentally healthy adults. For him, the art created isn’t important, what matters is the child’s creative state.
Art in itself is a tool that you can use to inspire your child or students, and this is why this subjects matters. If you want to insert art in children’s everyday life and teach them how important it is, you came to the right place!
To some children, art might seem boring, and all you need to do is show them that, on the contrary, it can be exciting and fun. As the great Picasso once said: “Every child is born an artist. Problems begin once we start to grow up.”
So here are three tips that parents and teachers alike can use to make art more present and helpful in children’s lives:
Arrange a visit to an art museum:
The children might argue that it’s boring and that they’d rather stay home and play video games, but this is an important step in their art education. To make it fun, take a first visit to the museum by yourself and see which artists and pieces of art are displayed there. Then you can make some research and find fun or quirky information about the works of arts or the artists. And when visiting the museum, turn it into a discovery adventure, and every time, tell them the story behind the painting/sculpture or the artist.
Teach children that art isn’t about being perfect or beautiful, it’s about expressing yourself. When you tell a child that his drawing or sculpture could be better, you’re muzzling their creativity and leading them to second guess themselves. So if a child asks you what they should be drawing or making, simply answer “whatever you feel you want to show to the world.”
Always encourage them:
If a child sees that you’re not encouraging him or her to always be more artistic, they will never know the importance of art. So always encourage them, help them when they ask for it, and never ever tell them that what they made isn’t good, because art is all about perception. Some of the most famous artists weren’t good either at first, always remind them of that.
Art should be an important part of your children’s or students’ life, so always be sure to include it in their everyday life. Remember, habit is what helps us grow as human beings, and this is even truer when it comes to art.