Exploring Internet Based Platforms with Digital Art-based Approaches

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!


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8 Internet Related Things I’m Thankful For

This list was inspired by Josh S. Peters’ blog post, 10 Internet Related Things I’m Thankful For.  I thought it was a great idea for a geek like me and wanted to spread the e-gratitude love on this Thanksgiving Eve.  Here’s my top 8 for what I’m thankful for related to my Internet life this year:

1. Facebook– Despite my reluctance to join the world of Facebook, I am really thankful for all the connection it has brought me throughout this year. Through Facebook I have been able to stay in touch with many people I haven’t seen in years and its been a great opportunity to meet new individuals as well.  A lot of my Facebook activity is devoted to sharing art therapy and resources  for the Art Therapy Alliance Fan Page

2. LinkedIn- I am thankful for the professional contacts and connections I’ve made through this professional networking site.  It is also the main hub for the Art Therapy Alliance, where art therapists, art therapy students, and interested professionals can discuss and exchange ideas related to art therapy.  This year the Art Therapy Alliance on LinkedIn grew to several subgroups of different art therapy topics.

3. Twitter- This year I started tweeting and following many interesting and inspiring people and sources related to art therapy, social media, art, and technology. I have much appreciation for the news links, twit pics, quotes, and spontaneous commentary that educate and inspire the geek, artist, and art therapist me.  Thanks to all who have RT’d my content and help spread my tweeting!  Like Josh Peters, I am also thankful for TweetDeck for helping to make my Twitter life a little easier!

4.  WordPress-  I also started using WordPress for blogging this year and love this platform!  Thank you WordPress!  And to everyone who has visited Creativity in Motion, read a post, made a comment or recommended it to others throughout the year…. I am thankful for everyone’s input, encouragement and support!

5. Polyvore- I LOVE POLYVORE!  This site has been an addicting digital art making obsession since I stumbled upon it a few months ago. Something that’s more fun than creating your own sets is seeing what sets have been made by others!  Inspired by this platform was the Art. Peace. Sustainability Interactive Event and where images connected to these concepts have been created and shared within the Art Therapy Alliance community. Thank you to everyone who has contributed so far to this collection!

6. Homestead–  My web management and design life would probably not be as easy without Homestead.  I’ve used this hosting site for over a decade and use it for several websites I have created and update weekly, sometimes daily.  Homestead has always had everything I need, makes web design a no-brainer, and super dependable.

7. Animoto- Another great find I discovered this year through a LinkedIn connection was the video making site Animoto.  It’s been a favorite place for me to go to make quick, cool videos and share via Facebook or export to YouTube.  I think in 2010 I’ll finally be upgrading to the $30 unlimited pass for making all the full feature films I want!

8. Artsonia– I’m really thankful for this cool gallery that features children’s art from all around the world. Artsonia allows me to check out my niece’s art  she’s made in school, which is always a delight and makes me smile!

There are other internet things that I could also include such as SlideShare, Skype, Flickr, and Youtube as honorable mentions.  It’s been a good year for my social media life on the grid- personally and professionally.  I appreciate all the wonderful, creative, and meaningful connection and collaboration that I have experienced and look forward to more!

Happy Thanksgiving!