Anyone who has ever put pen to paper, crayon to coloring book, or hand to wet clay knows the healing powers embedded in such creative endeavors. More than just a pastime, art can be an escape, a stimulus, a war cry or a tranquil reprieve.
Art therapy, defined as “a form of psychotherapy that uses art media as its primary mode of communication,” revolves around this principal of art’s immense power. Open to children and adults of any background and experience, the still-evolving field explores modes of expression, understanding and healing that occur when paint touches canvas. While too many schools today run under the assumption that art is extraneous, a diversion from traditional academic subjects, art therapists know better. They know that art has the potential to change lives, and, even to save them.
Tally Tripp is the art therapy clinic director of George Washington University, specializing in individuals who have experienced trauma. Entering the field in its nascent phase, in the 1970s, Tripp was elemental in shaping the field as we know it today.
How can art help mental health?
Genius or Madness? The Psychology of Creativity
Professor Glenn D. Wilson
INTERNATIONAL ART INTERVIEWS
I feel blessed and gifted with an eye for art and am a self taught "Photographartist". I spend numerous hours perfecting my skills and challenging myself. Art is what I love to do and have dedicated my life to it. When I am gone, I want to leave a piece of myself behind, my images will last forever.
I am a "Photographartist" and Freelance Graphic Designer. My tools are my camera, computer and comfortable editing environment. I have also been a DJ for over 20 years. Still using turntables and vinyl along with modern technology. I shoot landscapes and try to transform them into things no one could have seen before.
DETROIT IS MY HOME! I have always had an eye for art and after shooting Nickel's baseball games, I started shooting Detroit. People liked the pictures, thanked me for showing the beauty within Detroit, commented on how they have moved out of state and my pictures brought them back to the city they love and will always call home. Those comments resonated in me and gave me motivation. I understood how the media portrayed the bad in Detroit but as a Detroiter, I never saw any positive coverage back then like the world is seeing now with the new arena and new developments.
My love for creating started when I picked up my first crayon and started drawing. At the age of 13, I was featured in a Time Magazine ad for the Boys Club. Also at the age of 13, a comic strip I created was published in my school's paper. Throughout my teen years and even as young adult, I would use my free time drawing and creating images. In 2006, I got my first camera and started taking pictures of family & friends for fun. In 2009, I bought my first 'real' camera to take pictures of my son, Nickel, playing baseball and began teaching myself about my camera settings, photography and Photoshop. As my knowledge grew, I upgraded to a Canon 5D Mark II in 2012 which led to many adventquests with my best friend and life partner Annette Binder in Detroit and surrounding areas where I captured, edited and uploaded many images. My audience grew fast on social media which led to many opportunities including designing images for automotive companies, magazine covers, retail stores, posters, prints, sports arenas and concert performances. I set up a home studio in 2014 for photo shoots and expanded my portfolio with unique sport images and cd cover designs. I just upgraded again to a Canon 1DX Mark II which will travel with me in the upcoming months.
Let me take you on a trip. Let us travel past the frame and through the color, line, and shadow. Approach the images and look deeper to the world that lies beyond the confines of the surface. Feel the weight and texture of the color. Reach out and touch the movement that surrounds each line. Explore the story beyond the shadow. The prospect of inspiring this adventure is what fuels my desire to create.I find great joy in the journey my work can take you on. I strive to evoke humor, whimsy, and a tranquility through the deconstruction and repurposing of themes and objects that have been negatively charged and discarded by society. Much in the same way that I physically repurpose the glass and windows I often create upon. Transforming them from trash into portals of exploration. Inspiration and mind expansion come to those who use my creations to fuel imagination and propel the viewer to new creative heights.
I consider myself an Illustrator but I also do a lot of graphic design. When I am not working in the digital realm I prefer to used pastels and oil based paints on salvaged windows and picture frames to create fluid modern pop art. I have been creating since I can remember. I loved drawing and sculpting with clay when I was a child, did some painting and 2D animation in my early 20's while establishing my point of view and coming to grips with my insecurities and strengths. I have always been inspired by the classic style of cell cartoon animation and the windows I started collecting from alleys gave me a way to experiment and create in a style I had such a passion for. Some folks find it strange, offense, and childish (which I will gladly take as a compliment) but I am truly happy when someone gets the irony, whimsy, and power over fear that my work is all about.
Music and literature inspire me most. Specifically H.P. Lovecraft and late 60's psychedelic rock. I'll be listening or reading and the seeds of an idea will just appear. I let my images grow organically and never tie myself to an original sketch or idea. I think having an open mind while creating makes the end result that much more of a journey that will hopefully translate to the viewer.
I recently moved to the Detroit area from Chicago where I have shown at several small Galleries (Chicago Truborn, Sidewinder, Side Show), Art Fairs (Buckown Art Fair, Avondale Street Fair), and other small businesses (the Rocking Horse, Strange Beauty Show, Little Sister Salon, Rocky and Luella).
While in Chicago I did several group shows that denoted proceeds to local food shelters. Also my wife and I just started our own brand Commune Folk (commune folk.com) that donates a portion of our profits to various humanitarian and animal rights causes. As a recent transplant from Chicago Detroit is very important to me in the way that it is new and mysterious. I love cities and I especially love Detroit and its fighting spirit. It is literally rising from ashes and is able to make choices based on the needs of the people who are doing the work to build it back up. I am excited to be apart of this ever growing, ever changing city and can't wait to see what tomorrow brings.
We all deal with mental or emotional struggles at one time or another in our lives. Whether it’s stress from work, situational depression or anxiety, or full-on mental illness, it helps to take time to refocus and gain perspective. One tool you can use may be right in your pocket attached to your phone... a camera.
It has been proven time and again that creativity and art therapy are valuable tools for emotional wellness. Photography is one such tool that you can utilize without going to art school or being professionally trained. Modern technology provides easy-to-use options including a variety of automatic modes on point-and-shoot cameras, digital SLRs (single-lens reflex cameras), and even camera phones. Now anyone can take photos — and just by taking a photo, you are taking a moment to stop and look at your environment through a new lens.
This moment can be the moment that changes your day from a negative to a positive — or at least gives you a momentary distraction and calm.
Here are some simple ways to get the creative juices flowing:
How Photography Saved My Life
Future Of Photography
PHOTOGRAPHERS AROUND THE WORLD
Organic Motion Sculpture
Kinetic Sculpture by: Theo Jansen
In 2010, the American Journal of Public Health published a review titled, The Connection Between Art, Healing, and Public Health. You can find it here.
In that article, researchers analyzed more than 100 studies about the impact of art on your health and your ability to heal yourself. The studies included everything from music and writing to dance and the visual arts.
As an example, here are the findings from five visual arts studies mentioned in that review (visual arts includes things like painting, drawing, photography, pottery, and textiles). Each study examined more than 30 patients who were battling chronic illness and cancer.
Here’s how the researchers described the impact that visual art activities had on the patients...
“Art filled occupational voids, distracted thoughts of illness”
“Improved well-being by decreasing negative emotions and increasing positive ones”
“Improved medical outcomes, trends toward reduced depression”
“Reductions in stress and anxiety; increases in positive emotions”
“Reductions in distress and negative emotions”
“Improvements in flow and spontaneity, expression of grief, positive identity, and social networks”
3D ARTISTS AROUND THE WORLD
The history of painting is a never-ending chain that began with the very first pictures ever made. Each style grows out of the styles that came before it. Every great artist adds to the accomplishments of earlier painters and influences later painters.
We can enjoy a painting for its beauty alone. Its lines, forms, colors, and composition (arrangement of parts) may appeal to our senses and linger in our memories. But enjoyment of art increases as we learn when and why and how it was created.
A painting always describes something. It may describe the artist's impression of a scene or person. It also describes the artist's feelings about the art of painting itself. Suppose, for example, the artist paints a picture of the birth of Venus, the Roman goddess of love—a subject that has been used many times.
The viewer may not learn anything new about the subject from the more recent version that could not have been learned from the older one. Why, then, do painters bother to depict the same scene again? The answer is that they want to tell us something new about the way the scene can be painted. In a way, the artist is saying, "I have painted the birth of Venus as no other artist before me has painted it." The artist not only depicts the birth of Venus but also makes a statement about the art of painting itself.
Improving Your Drawing
2D ARTISTS AROUND THE WORLD
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PRICING YOUR WORK
Sharpening And Learning New Skills Is Vital For Success
The secret to success in any venture is to never stop learning. Whether a person has earned an advanced degree or is just beginning a new career, it’s always a good idea to continuously be learning new skills.
It’s especially important to sharpen and learn skills that are capable of being transferred from one type of career to another. This ensures that a person will always be marketable in an increasingly competitive working environment. If you are currently considering going back to school to learn some new skills, the following information will help you get started on making a decision that will benefit your career: