Arts therapy is a form of expressive therapy, which encourages the use of art-making to improve the emotional well-being of an individual. It is utilized based on the belief that the creative process which is integrated in the artistic self-expression, aids people in resolving conflicts and gaining access to their emotions. It also helps them to develop their interpersonal skills, and properly manage their behaviours.

Also, arts therapy has been seen to greatly reduce stress, and develop their self-esteem, whilst granting insight. Popular examples of art therapy include: stress painting, incident drawing, sculpting emotions amongst others.

At rehabilitation centres, arts therapy is often used to assist individuals in communicating their emotions in a manner where they would not have to be verbal. Generally speaking, there are two categories of art therapy, and they are: art as therapy and art psychotherapy. Both forms of therapy are utilized by art therapists in effectively treating addiction, because it assists patients in achieving insights and healing.

Art as therapy emphasizes that the making of art is a therapeutic process, this is because it gives patients an opportunity in fully expressing themselves in an imaginative and authentic way, and with time it would assist them in gaining mastery over any form of addiction which is plaguing them.

The other category of art therapy which is art psychotherapy, is hinged on the idea that art is a form of symbolic communication. Art psychotherapy explains the end product which is used by a therapist and is used to monitor the progress made in treatment.

In the course of recovery, it could be difficult for some people to speak out concerning their painful thoughts or their addiction struggle. Art psychotherapy gives a substitute form of expression. This method is known to assist patients in self-discovery, and eventually self-acceptance.

Expressive therapies, which is a mother-category where arts therapy belongs to, can be said to be an excellent tool which individuals would need on the road to recovery. Art therapy helps an individual to express his emotions in many ways other than talking.

What Constitutes As Visual Art?

When asked this question, many oftentimes have varying answers, as one particular art form may come to mind—such as; painting, drawing, etc. In turn, the genre that the individual chooses is usually based on what he/she has the most experience with—and/or knowledge of prior. However, this can cause confusion for those who are unaware of the differing art forms—and/or categories of each one. Only some—among many—are listed as follows; 1. ceramics, 2. drawing, 3. painting, 4. sculpture, 5. printmaking, 6. design, and 7. crafts. These forms are all created primarily for visual perception, and allow artists to express themselves in a variety of ways.

First and foremost is ceramics, “an art made from ceramic materials—such as clay—that can take several forms, including art ware, tile, figurines, sculpture, and tableware”. Second is drawing, in which “a person uses various drawing instruments to mark paper, or another two-dimensional medium. Instruments include graphite pencils, pen and ink, paints, inked brushes, wax colored pencils, crayons, charcoal, chalk, pastels, erasers, markers, styluses, and various metals”. Third is painting, which is “the practice of applying paint, pigment, color, or another medium to a solid surface”.

Fourth is sculpture, which is where “a wide variety of materials may be worked by removal—such as carving, assembled by welding or modelling, or molded or casted”. Fifth is printmaking, which is “the process of creating artworks by printing, normally on paper. The prints have an elements of originality, rather than just being a photographic reproduction of a painting, and are created by transferring ink from a matrix—or through a prepared screen—to a sheet of paper or other material”. Sixth is design, which is “the intentional creation of a plan or specification for the construction of an object or system, or for the implementation of an activity or process”. And last is crafts, which is “a pastime, or a profession, that requires particular skills, and knowledge of skilled work”.

In conclusion, it is important to know—not just one form of visual art—but all. For, we as humans use each to communicate with one another, throughout history—whether it be through personal expression of the artist, symbolism, narrative purposes, to convey a message, and/or to portray the beauty of the piece itself. As a result, we are able to better understand what has taken place in that of a particular era—and come together, both artists and non-artists alike, through that which is expressed in visual art.

The Seven Principles Of Art

Once a developing artist begins to understand the seven elements of art, he/she may then find himself/herself wanting to further perfect that of his/her craft—as there is always room for improvement. It is through doing so, that he/she may find himself/herself wondering as to what he/she can do to make his/her piece stand out visually. This is where the seven principles of art come into play, which are listed as follows; 1. Rhythm, 2. Balance, 3. Emphasis, 4. Proportion, 5. Harmony, 6. Variety, and 7. Movement. Through the mastering of each of these techniques, those who are practicing the arts, are not only able to understand the importance of each, but to witness it first hand.

First and foremost is rhythm, “a principle of design that indicates movement, created by the careful placement of repeated elements in a work of art to cause a visual tempo or beat”. Second is balance, which is “a way of combining elements to add a feeling of equilibrium or stability to a work of art”. Third is emphasis, which is “a way of combining elements to stress the differences between those elements”. Fourth is proportion, “a principle of design that refers to the relationship of certain elements to the whole and to each other”.

Fifth is harmony, which is “a way of combining similar elements in an artwork to accent their similarities”. Sixth is variety, which is “a principle of design concerned with diversity or contrast—achieved by using different shapes, sizes, and colors”. And last is movement, which is “a principle of design used to create the look/feeling of action, and to guide the viewer’s eye throughout the work of art”.

As a result of these principles, those who are in the process of learning art are able to better understand how to put the pieces together visually—and gain further knowledge as to the effect of each. In combination with the elements of art, individuals may find themselves developing their own unique style, as they gain more experience—and comfortability—with each principle. It is then that one can achieve the effect that he/she wants—within his/her work—with precision and ease. In conclusion, rhythm, balance, emphasis, proportion, harmony, variety, and movement all serve as a guide for both experienced artists, as well as beginners. It is through such that a wide range of individuals are able to create and analyze art, as well as discuss it with others.h

The Seven Elements Of Art

Oftentimes, a wide range of people—will view a piece that impacts them to a certain degree—by bringing about a particular mood or emotion. Yet even so, those who have very little knowledge in regards to art—will consequently “see” the visual, without first seeing the underlying components which make up such. In turn, while these seven elements may be disregarded by the eyes of others—they fail to go unnoticed by the general artist body—and are listed as follows; 1. Color, 2. Form. 3. Line, 4. Shape, 5. Space, 6. Texture, and 7. Value. It is through two or more of these aspects that artists are able to communicate a deeper meaning—and/or understanding—to that of their audience, which might be hidden beneath the work itself.

First and foremost is line, which is “defined by a point moving in space. It may be two or three dimensional, descriptive, implied, or abstract”. Second is shape, “an element of art that is two-dimensional, flat, or limited to height and width”. Third is form, which “encloses volume, and includes height, width, and depth. In addition, it may also be free flowing”. Fourth is value, which focuses on “the lightness or darkness of tones or colors. White being the lightest, and black being the darkest”. Fifth is space, in which “positive and negative areas are defined, or a sense of depth achieved in a work of art”. Sixth is color, “an element made up of three properties being hue, value, and intensity”. And last is texture, which “refers to the way things feel, or look”.

As a result, it is through these elements that both artists—and non-artists alike—can find the importance in not only their own work, but in the work of others. For example, as one begins to examine in detail the constitution—or structure—of a piece, he/she may find himself/herself being able to interpret what is taking place, through the elements that are being used within that particular work.

In conclusion, art can be both influential—and/or essential—but even more so, when one begins to decipher what is being expressed through the hand of the artist. For instance, some art may be created with the intent to affect social issues, and may therefore be difficult to look at—while some art may be beautiful, as well as hard to look away from. In turn, no matter the form of art, these seven elements allow a wide range of individuals to appreciate art to its fullest degree—no matter the message.

An Artist’s Weaknesses

artist personality weaknessThe many ways that artists are gifted does not serve to prove that artists are without their weaknesses. Artists can be a difficult group of people, no more so than any other demographic, but in a way that sends many unlike minds running for the hills. It can be very hard to be close to an artist because they think so differently from the average person. Some of their common and less desirable personality traits are neurosis, self absorption, moodiness and disorganization.

  • Neurotic artist. The stereotype of an artist with a personality made up of quirks and idiosyncrasies carries a lot of truth to it. Artists are not only creative in their work, they are also creative in other elements of their life. While this is why they are appreciated, artists certainly meet their share of disapproval for their “weirdness” and it often becomes a complex, as well as a part of their identity, to be odd, idiosyncratic and a little or a lot neurotic.
  • Self absorbed artist. Self absorption is a frequently noted character trait among artists. This quality is developed in artists largely due to the nature of art creation. Artists are different people when they are absorbed in an important work. They are of very singular and focused mind, and their art is all that matters to them in the world. Unfortunately, this tendency of artists to think that their own endeavors are all that matters extends to their personal lives and tends to damage their personal relationships to a degree.
  • Moody artist. It is very common for artists to have intense mood fluctuations, if not full on mood disorders. Artists are sensitive by nature and can be prone to dramatic shifts in mood without any warning. Because artists are passionate people, they can also exhibit very passionate, volatile emotions.
  • Disorganized artist. One of the most universal complaints about artists is that they are disorganized people. Anyone who has lived with an artist knows that they tend to have very messy personal space. While this is an inherent part of their psychology, it can become disrespectful when it is not kept in check.

An Artist’s Strengths

artist personality strengthsArtists are unique, gifted individuals who possess a common set of strengths among them. No two people are the same, and this is true of artists as well, but there are definitely some common themes among the personalities of artists that makes them able to exist the way they do. These character traits are passion, creativity, imagination, perspective and depth.

  • Passion. It is a well known fact that artists are passionate people. They invest themselves completely in what they care about. Any artist who wants to be recognized for their work (which is essentially all artists) knows how essential it is to devote one’s whole mind to their art. This prompts artists to approach much of life in this fashion: devoting themselves completely to whatever endeavor they pursue with immense passion.
  • Creativity. Obviously, creativity is a strength of every artists. Thinking outside the box, being able to see how to piece together visual elements and being able to think one’s self out of mistakes are essential elements of creativity, and are found within every artist. People know to turn to artist’s for original ideas, perspective and creative flare.
  • Imagination. An artist’s creative ideas are birthed in their imaginations. Imagination is an essential tool of an artist. Possessing strength of imagination gives a person inventive abilities of the conceptual, theoretical and intellectual variety. All of the piecing together of an art project takes place in the imagination, and artists frequently navigate the other parts of their reality through use of their imaginations.
  • Perspective. An artist’s perspective on life is invaluable because they deconstruct everything in their minds with the ability to piece it back together in a more beautiful and meaningful way. They have a gift for seeing how things can be better arranged in an original fashion, and with permission, they will arrange everything around them to suit this ideal.

How an Artist Sees the World

artist perspectiveAn artist’s perspective on the world is not like the perspective of the average person. In fact, the way an artist sees the world is among the most unique perspectives on the world that there are. To an artist, the world around them is a canvas to create upon, an illusion of structure and a source of inspiration. These opinions are made clear in the artist’s lifestyle, behavior, relationships and professional endeavors. A more in depth analysis of how an artist sees the world can be found below:

  • The world as a canvas to create upon. Artists see the world not for its rules and regulations, but for its potential and possibilities. Everywhere an artist turns they see an opportunity for creation, new beginnings and artistry. It is the desire of every artist to take a non-beautiful scenario and turn it into something beautiful. Whether this applies to a work place, a relationship, home decor or a landscape, artists want to contribute to it by changing it into something meaningful and idealistic.
  • The world as an illusion of structure that needs to be upturned. Artists passionately oppose a world reliant on structure and desire to deconstruct every overbearing system that has ever been put into place by others. Art creation takes place with the necessity of free thought that defies structure, which means that every artists inherently opposes structure and seeks to unravel it. Artists do not believe in the reality of structure, but do believe in the potential and possibility of every moment.
  • The world as a source of inspiration and ideas. Lastly, the world can be a very magical place to an artist. Artists retain the gift of imagination their whole life long, which has the capacity of making the world into a wonderland of dreams, ideas, beauty, spirituality, pleasure and expression. Artists need the world to inspire, fuel and focus their many ideas into actualization.

The Lifestyle of an Artist

artist lifestyleArtists are unique, one of a kind people. Every person is an original, but artists often redefine this sentiment. Because of the way their brain’s work, they have a unique perspective on life that makes their lifestyle’s as colorful and as original as their artwork. Every type of artist wrestles with the subjects of their work and it is common for artists to have a dark side, but it is also true that the unique perspective an artist has on life is a refreshing change from the average conforming perspective on life. This originality shows clearly in an artist’s lifestyle, for better or worse.

The essential and universal component of an artist’s psychology is that it defies structure. Art cannot be created within the confines of structure. The artistic process is dependent on completely free thought from birth to completion. This means that every artist protects and values the part of their psychology that opposes structure and celebrates drawing outside the lines. The constructs of society do not support this alternative way of thinking, which often classifies artists as defiant and rebellious. This is often both their appeal and their detriment.

The way this translates to an artists’s lifestyle is in their creativity. Just as an artist relies on their creativity in their work, they also rely on it to get through life. Artists are not at all a well taken care of group of people when it comes to finances and security, and they are forced to fend for themselves in a variety of creative ways in the spirit of defiance, survival and self honor. They are equally creative in all other areas of life. The way they dress, cook, socialize, decorate and fill their time all speak to originality and creativity. Often, the people who are drawn to artists simply cannot get enough of them because of the uniqueness they bring to life. An artist spirit is rewarding to be around and serves as a splash of color in an otherwise gray social landscape.