Archive for the 'art therapy' Category

Digital Art Therapy: Material, Methods, and Applications

November 28, 2016

If you are interested in learning more about current topics and practices related to digital art therapy, Jessica Kingsley Publishers just released a new book edited by Rick Garner entitled Digital Art Therapy: Material, Methods, and Applications.

Digital Art Therapy: Material, Methods, and Applications

As the field of digital art therapy rapidly expands, this book guides readers through the many applications of digital media in art therapy. With consideration of professional and ethical issues, expert contributors discuss materials and methods, with case examples to show how digital art therapy works in practice.

The text includes twelve chapters addressing a wide variety of art therapy approaches using and about digital media, such as stop motion, green screen technology, apps, light painting, and virtual reality.  Using technology in art therapy with youth who have autism, adults with traumatic brain injury, adolescents, as well as for supervision and assessment are also explored.

I am excited to also have contributed a chapter to this inspiring collection of content and co-authors. My chapter Social Media and Creative Motivation explores the relationship and impact social media can have on cultivating creative motivation, including considerations and examples about leveraging online and social networking sites as a means for inspiration, engagement, community, and connection.

My chapter was initially inspired by this blog post published on Creativity in Motion a couple of years ago.  That post reflected on archived Brainzooming content published by Mike Brown about how social media motivates creativity to create/make things/do creative stuff. Also included in my chapter are some of the collaborative projects I have worked on over the years, such as Spaces and Places: Where We Create and the Random Acts of Art Adventure. Examples such as Seth Apter’s The Altered Page and the Art Therapy Alliance’s Art Therapy Blog Index are also highlighted. The chapter offers an overview about how online activity in the form of collaboration, blogging, and social media sites can foster creative opportunities and encouragement.

I know I have inspired by so many creatives online and I am grateful for this connection! It was fun to write this chapter and I thank Rick for the invitation to be included in his book with such an amazing group of art therapy colleagues doing such great work related to digital art therapy.

I hope if the topic of digital art therapy interests you, you will check the book out! 🙂

Related Posts:

Implications of National Trends in Digital Media Use for Art Therapy Practice

Cultivating Creativity, Connection & Community | TEDx Ursuline College

Exploring Internet Based Platforms with Digital Art-based Approaches

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Creative Deeding in Action

October 13, 2016

This past month has seen much creative deeding!  The Hope-filled Postcard Art Exchange that Nancy Lautenbach and I organized went super well with almost 100 participants swapping art across the US, Canada, Europe, Australia, and Asia— You can check out some of the postcard art submitted on the 6 Degrees of Creativity Facebook page and on Instagram — So much hopeful energy and positive vibes shared through the handcrafted images made specifically for this collaborative effort! These blog posts from art therapists who participated in the exchange described more about their process: Carolyn Mehlomakulu’s  The Power of Hope-filled Art  and Sally Swain’s Clouds of Hope.  Thank you to everyone who contributed to this project!

I also recently received word that undergraduate art therapy students at Millikin University implemented their own creative deed project for their Materials and Methods class, inspired by last year’s 365 project.  It was awesome to learn about their efforts from their instructor, art therapist Serena Duckrow and to see the art and creative goodness they were spreading to others on their campus.

 Millikin University Creative Deeds

In addition to the art that was made for the project, the students also used photography, video, and video editing to document the experience. They really valued the role that digital media played in their process. I love the idea of video being part of the project and seeing the different locations creative deeds were released. Below is a video that the students made to showcase their project, which they called #MUCreativeDeed. Enjoy this dose of uplifting art and messages of encouragement, self care, and support….

What is great about creative deeding is that anyone, anywhere, anytime can do it! Creative deed on!🙂

 

 

 

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Implications of National Trends in Digital Media Use for Art Therapy Practice

July 14, 2016

Implications of National Trends in Digital Media Use for Art Therapy Practice | Journal of Clinical Art Therapy

I am excited to announce that in the new issue of the Journal of Clinical Art Therapy (Volume 3, Issue 1) an article that I co-authored with Girija Kamal, Michele Rattigan, and Jennifer Haddy about digital media and considerations for art therapy practice was recently published.

Abstract: This paper presents an overview of national trends in visual art-making and art sharing using digital media, and, the authors’ reflections on the implications of these findings for art therapy practice. These findings were based on a secondary analysis of the 2012 Survey of Public Participation in the Arts administered by the National Endowment for the Arts. Survey findings indicated that increasing proportions of people in the United States are using digital media for creating, archiving, and sharing their art. Reflections by the authors on these findings include support for increase in use of digital media by art therapists for their own art and the need for research about, and, education on best practices for use of digital media.

You can download the full paper available via open access on the JCAT site here.

Many thanks to Girija for bringing us together to contribute to this publication, as well as JCAT’s Editor Einat S. Metzl and the JCAT Editorial Board for their interest in this topic. 🙂

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Have Art Supplies, Will Travel: Summer 2016 Mobile Art Stash

May 29, 2016

I am starting to put together some supplies that I want to take with me as I prep for an upcoming workshop I am attending soon and other on the go adventures. It’s been awhile since I really assessed my traveling art stash situation. This was a good excuse to restock materials, get some new ones, and organize/re-discover existing creative goodies I can use while on the go.

This month Lisa Sonara also shared this inspiring post about art supplies and journals she packs when traveling and it gave me some great ideas and new suggestions to consider.

 In June I am looking forward to attending an art journaling Master Class facilitated by Lani Gerity. I was excited to receive her list of suggested art supplies to bring to compliment the basic supplies that we’ll be using.

Have Art Supplies: Will Travel | creativity in motion

I took one of the tips that Lisa offered about using a cosmetic bag for art supply storage. I usually pack my art supplies in my carry on so I tend to use pouches and organizers that can easily go in my bag, won’t weigh a ton, and I can use in the airport or on the plane. I was super surprised what I was able to put into the little black pouch above!

Have Art Supplies: Will Travel | creativity in motion

During the workshop we’ll be creating our art journal from basic office supplies, so I tried to include some of favorite materials also in this same category. I also included some materials that I use in my art therapy groups with teens and adults or in my own creative work. Here’s what I got in the bag (with a little room to spare!)

-Crayola’s Glitter and Metallic Markers (a favorite material of choice in my groups- available at Target!)

– Various blank artist trading cards, index cards, craft tags, smash pad papers

– Alcohol prep pads (love to use these for smudging and distressing)

– Double sided tape dispenser, glue sticks (of course!), liquid glue tube, mini wite out dispenser

– Glitter glue, plastic junk mail card (for spreading paint, glue)

– Various colored ink pens, MÅLA felt markers, white ink pens

– Black cotton cord and twine, thread & needle

– TSA approved scissors (important!), jet black StazOn ink pad (must have!)

– Washi tape

Have Art Supplies: Will Travel | creativity in motion

  IMG_6843

I also re-discovered a collection of mini ink pads that are perfect to bring along (one of my most favorite materials to use in my own art journaling), but will probably put them in their own small ziploc bag that will go into my suitcase!

IMG_6847

I am still working on gathering collage material that I want to bring. I have a ton of magazine photo collage stuff and different textures and patterns of paper that I could choose from. It was suggested by Lani to look for images that are connected to the population we work with.  Of course I’ll also be bringing my stash of dictionary pages and rub on transfer letters to use as well…..

Excited to discover what develops from this workshop! 🙂

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Twentythirteen Creating on the Go: My Mobile Art Stash

Art Therapy: Finding Help, Finding Hope

May 5, 2016

Art Therapy: Finding Help, Finding Hope | creativity in motion

May launches Mental Health Awareness Month, and today, May 5 recognizes National Children’s Mental Health Awareness (CMHAD) sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).  The American Art Therapy Association (AATA) is one of the organizations supporting tonight’s national event in Washington, DC.

In honor of spreading awareness about this day, this week I put up a display of artwork from some of the teens I’ve had in my art therapy groups this year.  Preparing this display and reflecting on this year’s CMHAD theme of “Finding Help, Finding Hope” inspired me to think about it’s meaning and connection to the work that happens in art therapy. So much about the act of making art is about hope. Despite the challenges and experiences the clients I work with are facing, the creative expression that takes place when they are in art therapy provides a life affirming moment in the here and now to share ones self, emotions, and experiences. Their art helps to make sense of, create meaning, or to re-frame what is often so very hard to do with just words alone. For many of the youth I work with, the art they create often helps them discover or imagine a new beginning, a fresh start, a sense of comfort or safety that they long for.  Art making in art therapy offers a place of acceptance, refuge, and support. And as art therapist Bruce Moon reminds us in his book Art-Based Group Therapy: “making art in the presence of others is an expression of hope”. It is a privilege to be able to witness the youth I work with find help and hope through the power of art therapy.

If you are interested in learning more about the benefits of art therapy in children’s mental health, check out this post  The Important Role of Art Therapy in Supporting Children’s Mental Health that I did for the American Art Therapy Association last year.

SAMHSA also has free publications you can order and electronic downloads on a variety of mental health, recovery, and trauma related topics for all ages available here.

 

Make Paper, Make Peace

March 22, 2016

Earlier this month Drew Matott and I taught another Peace Paper papermaking, trauma intervention and social action course- this one for Counseling and Art Therapy graduate students at Ursuline College.  It was fun to teach together again over 2 days and introduce the 26 students we had to the therapeutic benefits of papermaking.

Make Paper, Make Peace | creativity in motionMake Paper, Make Peace | creativity in motion

Students were introduced to the work and travels of Peace Paper, its history and mission to collaborate with the art therapy community, and a variety of examples about how papermaking can be used with many different populations- especially in relationship to trauma, loss, & recovery, as well as bring awareness to issues related to mental health, sexual assault, and bullying.

Make Paper, Make Peace | creativity in motion

Students made lots of paper over the course of the workshop– probably at least 150 sheets (!) and experimented with pulp printing, double couching, and book binding.  Paper was first made using Peace Paper’s Hollander Beater from meaningful articles of clothing or a piece of fabric that students brought and wanted to transform into paper… as a new beginning or as an act of letting go of something.  Students also were introduced to DIY papermaking without the use of a Hollander, to explore adaptable options in the art therapy setting.

Make Paper, Make Peace | creativity in motion

What a great couple of days making paper with this group!

If you’re interested in Peace Paper’s trainings and workshops throughout the rest of 2016, check out the tour schedule here.  News about Peace Paper and resources for papermaking can be found here.

Make paper, make peace!

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Exploring Internet Based Platforms with Digital Art-based Approaches

February 26, 2016
Exploring Internet Based Platforms with Digital Art-based Approaches | creativity in motion

Polyvore collage – gm

It is with great enthusiasm that I share this co-authored paper : Online art therapy groups for young adults with cancer published this week via Arts & Health. It was a pleasure to help out with the original pilot for this project with the awesome team of art therapists Kate Collie, Mady Mooney & Sara Prins Hankinson to explore internet based platforms w/ digital and traditional art-based approaches:

Background: This study was the final phase of a participatory design (PD) project aimed at developing professionally led online art therapy groups for young adults with cancer.

Methods: We invited seven professionals with a range of relevant expertise to take part in a PD process that emphasized hands-on creative interaction. Each participant experienced one or more online art therapy sessions and provided feedback that we analyzed with qualitative thematic analysis.

Results: The analysis yielded six inter-related themes representing three types of experience (comfort, sense of connectedness and expression) and three types of therapeutic action that supported these experiences (facilitation, group support and dialog about the art).

Conclusions: The results assured us that our newly developed mode of psychosocial support was ready for online delivery to young adults with cancer. The results provided insight into therapeutic processes in online art therapy groups, especially with regard to collective meaning-making and sense of connection.

Collie, K., S. Prins Hankinson, M. Norton, C. Dunlop, M. Mooney, G. Miller and J. Giese-Davis (2016). “Online art therapy groups for young adults with cancer.” Arts & Health: 1-13.

In the project’s initial pilot, we met online over the course of many, many months through a closed chat room we accessed, as well as a private discussion board where we would post different art directives for our group to work on. During the course of this project each of us would rotate between facilitator, participant, and helped with evaluating the online tools and arts-based methods we were testing.

Some of the directives we participated in used traditional art media and art-making (mandalas, dollmaking to name a couple of my favorites!) either on our own or we created our own images at the same time together, then uploaded our art to our discussion board for further exploration as a group. Other directives we engaged in used online or digital art-based tools, such as Pencil Madness, ArtRage, Polyvore, artPad and more.  Often we would schedule a group chat where we could come together to process the directive and experience of exploring these programs and approaches using computer technology.  We also had fun with group video chats through Skype and Google Hangouts.

Exploring Internet Based Platforms with Digital Art-based Approaches | creativity in motion

starting a painting on artPad

From the experimentation we did and evaluated together, this work helped inspire and inform what would become an online art therapy group that Sara would led for young adults with cancer.

It’s been a pleasure and privilege to work with this tech savvy & creative team! It’s been great to have the opportunity to try out and learn different ways of making art and working together through technology. It’s also exciting to see how this groundwork can then be applied to facilitating online art therapy group work.

I hope you’ll learn more about the results of this project through checking out our paper.  Free access is still available for the first 50 downloads of the paper available here.  For those individuals who are members of the American Art Therapy Association, a benefit of your membership also includes complimentary access to Arts & Health, where you can also have free access to download the article. Log into AATA’s Members Only section to learn how to access Arts & Health!

Enjoy!

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Art Bridges

February 12, 2016

This month the Hildegard Center for the Arts published an inspiring, free resource of art-based ideas chock full of creative goodness called Art Bridges— Definitely a great collection (over 70 downloadable PDFs!)  for art therapists to use with their groups or individuals, as well as teachers or anyone interested in creative enrichment with youth!

Some of the ideas were contributed by members of the art therapy community- including myself- I was delighted to be invited to add a favorite gratitude art idea that I featured on this blog in 2012.  Since this post’s original publishing, I’ve used this idea with youth & women I’ve worked with in shelter- as a creative, affirming way to explore the concept of thankfulness in their own lives.  Often instead of making leaf shaped “blessing tags”, we would make different size and colored hearts to write on and hang from the mason jar’s branches.  It was a great community piece– the tree kept “growing” with new additions as more people add to it.  Others can also read the reflections previously shared.

The Art Bridges resource also suggests that therapists could also use the idea as a Courage or Healing Tree… a great idea that I may introduce into one of my groups!

Growing Abundance | creativity in motion

Thank you Hildegard Center for the Arts for putting this resource together and making it so accessible to us all!🙂

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Cultivating Creativity, Connection & Community | TEDx Ursuline College

January 25, 2016

I’m super excited to share my TEDx Ursuline College talk that went live last week!

It was an amazing opportunity to share my love of social media, creativity, and community building…. It was a great experience to talk about the possibilities social networking offers to connect all these passions together!

I’ve been able to creatively connect with soooo many through social networking– the art-based collaborations & gathering together that can happen online is always so inspiring!

Cultivating Creativity, Connection, & Community- TEDx Ursuline College | creativity in motion

TEDx Rehearsal

 

Cultivating Creativity, Connection, & Community- TEDx Ursuline College | creativity in motion

TEDx Ursuline College

 

TEDx Ursuline College

TEDx Ursuline College

How do you use social media to cultivate creativity, connection, and community?

Check out all the TEDx Ursuline College talks here.

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New Gifts & Lessons Inspired by My Beautiful, Altered Brain

January 13, 2016

When I was a senior in college (1994), I joined the American Art Therapy Association. As a member, one of my favorite benefits was receiving Art Therapy: The Journal of The American Art Therapy Association. As a young student getting to know this profession, reading the literature inside was always inspiring. I also really enjoyed seeing what art graced the cover. Often the very first thing I would do was open the issue and look for the masthead about the art and what art therapist created it.

So a few months ago, it was a huge surprise and honor to have the opportunity to contribute my own art for the last issue of 2015 (Volume 32, Number 4). In particular, an image from 2012 My Beautiful, Altered Brain series, which is super dear to my heart.

This week, I was able to see and hold this issue in actual print while mine is still in route- a copy I received from the current President of the Buckeye Art Therapy Association (thanks Molly!).

Wow! A very surreal moment on lots of different levels!

Volume 32, Number 4 (2015) | Art Therapy: Journal of the American Art Therapy Association

Volume 32, Number 4 (2015) | Art Therapy: Journal of the American Art Therapy Association

Artist Statement: My Own Beautiful, but Altered Brain (2012) | A few years ago I came across the art and story of Elizabeth Jameson and was so very moved by her work, research, and interpretation of taking her own medical imaging and brain scans as a personal expression and inquiry to understanding and coping with her diagnosis with multiple sclerosis, as well as help others with the disease and educate the medical community through her art. Jameson put a call out for people living with brain inflicted illnesses to “feel how ugly it is and how beautiful it is”, and this invitation, in addition to personal communication with Elizabeth inspired me to explore my own experience with the same disease. In 2012 I started to use my own MRI films & brain imaging collected over the last 13 years to create digital art, mixed media, and altered book art as a way to process, manage, and share this health related journey.

*****

I have been working on some new digital art, after having another MRI done this summer of my brain and spinal cord. While standing barefoot in my thin medical gown after my testing was over, I enthusiastically explained how I make art with my imaging, its purpose, showed some examples on my phone, and inquired about how to get these new images. The radiology staff was super helpful and eager to supply me with a CD on the way out of my appointment!

I was excited to start working on some new images and taking control of my illness again through this form of art making. So empowering and affirming to do in response to such an unpredictable and frustrating disease. I first converted my MRI imaging into JPGs.  Then I did some digital painting using ArtRage and photo editing with PicMonkey:

New Gifts & Lessons Inspired by My Beautiful, Altered Brain | creativity in motion

 

New Gifts & Lessons Inspired by My Beautiful, Altered Brain | creativity in motion

 

New Gifts & Lessons Inspired by My Beautiful, Altered Brain | creativity in motion

New Gifts & Lessons Inspired by My Beautiful, Altered Brain | creativity in motion

My experiences with this chronic illness in the last couple of years has taught me new lessons & gifts around patience, vulnerability, openness, and to respect/listen to my body’s voice. I’m also so thankful for the kind support I’ve received in response to this series and the loving presence and understanding that surrounds me everyday. 🙂

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