Creating art or engaging with it, will help you to get in touch with your heart and soul, what makes you tick, and what you love. Art can help you identify what brings you joy so you can increase it in your life. You will get a clearer picture of what motivates you so you can spend your time doing what is most important. If you are doing what brings you joy, it is easier to be optimistic and life is definitely more fun.
There are as many art projects for healing as there are art mediums, and most are adaptable to your own needs and artistic preferences. Some of the more common ways to heal using art projects are drawing and painting, collage, journaling, creative writing, art - journaling, songs and singing, and dancing, to name just a few.
For me, healing through art, kicked into high gear many years ago when I discovered the world of visual art of journaling. I journal about every day that seem important or unimportant at the time and of course, those memorable moments of my life too. I journal when I'm happy, I journal when I'm sad, or mad or day dream. I'm using whatever medium, technique or art what seems appropriate to express the moment. There is no right or wrong. There are no rules and restriction in the creation of visual art. It gives a freedom in art and allows me to play, to express my heart and my soul.
Healing arts helps the healing process by allowing you to express your unique self, and helping you discover your feelings and express them visually, musically, and physically. The Healing Art Projects are divided into categories, which include collage, art journaling, creative writing, vision boards, songs and songwriting. Of course, there are many kinds of healing arts, and every person must experience and decide for themselves with art mediums are best for them. The ones I have chosen to cover are the ones that I knew best and use on a regular basis.
Visual Journal Guide
Life holds special magic for those who dare to dream.
Art or Visual Journaling is a technique combining journaling, poetry or prose, with scrap booking or artistic expression as part of a book. Pages in my art journal might include memories, thoughts, poems or stories I don’t want to forget.
Visual journaling combines journaling with artwork to create a personal artistic diary of sorts. This can be done by using collage (cutting and pasting images and/or words from magazines) or by doodling, coloring, and/or drawing images.
Art journaling combines the written language and the visual language to give a greater breadth of expression and understanding. In essence art journaling is the combination of art making and journaling with the intention to create greater insight and understanding of the self and others.
Art journaling is about expression, both written and visual, of emotions and thoughts; it is a space for questions that may not have answers, a place for thoughts that may otherwise not have a home, a safe container for emotions so that they do not have to be loose in the world. Although the journal can become an extension of the self, it can also be a place to play and experiment with art materials. Enjoy the process, and listen to the art - it may have something to share with you too.
Art journaling lets you release thoughts, emotions, or just the general swamp of confusion in your head, through colors and pictures. It’s incredibly therapeutic and very healing - and it can give you that breakthrough insight that you’re craving for.
Journals are a powerful tool for self-discovery. There’s a lot to be said about having that inner conversation with yourself: what happened to me today? What did I like or not like about it? What do I want to remember? What do I wish I could forget…and why? What are my dreams? What are my fears? Who am I, really?
But words are the tool of the left-brain: the part of us that analyzes, organizes, and reflects. It often ignores what doesn’t “fit” in a picture. “That doesn’t make sense!” or “That sounds stupid!”
The key to self-discovery is to tap the right brain, too: the side that embraces experimentation, chaos, uncertainty, emotions, and intuition. Through art journaling you give your right brain a chance to “speak up.” You use paints, magazine pictures, symbols, random squiggles, and just go with the flow. The pictures don’t have to make sense. “I feel like using yellow! Lots of yellow!” And something prompts you to add a torn picture of a cat. IT doesn’t have to make sense. You just do it. Slather on another layer of orange. And white polka dots. Just do what makes you happy! There are absolutely no rules!
Anything you want to write and create artistically in your journal is considered visual journaling, and its purpose is to help you explore, process and heal your feelings. When we make pictures in our journals, we often come to deeper insights about ourselves and the world around us than when we just write words on paper.
A visual journal is for your eyes only.
Write your fears, hopes, dreams, and feelings in your journal. Don't show it to anyone. It’s a place for you to be creative and express yourself; a place to take care of and nurture YOU. There is no right or wrong way to do visual journaling; it’s all about being creative while expressing your thoughts and feelings.
You’re mad, absolutely furious, and you let it all out on the page: swear words, nasty thoughts, stuff you’d never dare say aloud and feel a bit ashamed saying even on paper. But you don’t edit. You put it down, because you know you can hide it with a bright blue coat of paint or a crazy drawing. No one else can see it, not even you, but you got it out and it’s a secret between you and your art journal. It’s liberating (and can even be healthy, too, considering the link between moods and health).
Some ways to use a visual journal:
- Collect memories, get the most out of travel experiences, better than just photos.
- Admire and appreciate the overlooked pleasures of daily life work out problems, a safe place to vent anger and frustration
- develop other creative projects and ideas
- A place to write down your daydreams
- Write down values and convictions, to make you a better person, a place to slow down and get some thoughtful private time.
A visual journal can be made from anything: blank journals, notebooks, diaries, or art sketchbooks. The key is to find one that appeals to you in size and design. One of my favorite things to do is buy a spiral bond journal with a blank plastic cover and decorate the cover myself so that it has my own unique creative flair to it.
Elements of visual journaling can be:
Colors, textures , shapes ,maps, letters words, doodling, scribbles writings: Anything you can paste onto, or draw/ paint into your journal can be used to create art-journal pages.
An important tip:
If you stop yourself from doing visual journaling because you think you'll mess up your journal, try drawing/doodling on separate pieces of paper. Cut and paste the work you like best into your journal. Remember this is not about being perfect or making great art, it’s about having fun and expressing yourself.
Some ideas to get you started:
Make lists of your thoughts and feelings
Use a thought-provoking title for your page.
Use poems, quotes, lyrics.
Look at your artwork and write down words that come to mind. Write a poem using those words.
Don’t worry about grammar or spelling.
"I AM": Write the words at the top of the page I AM. Find words from magazines to cut out and paste onto the page that say 2 or 3 positive things about yourself. (Example:
I AM: smart, funny, creative.)
If you can't find the words in the magazines, write them in using markers, crayons, etc. Find images, stickers and decorative paper to fill in the page. Use pencils, markers and crayons to finish the page.
"MY BODY IS": Write the words at the top of the page MY BODY IS.
Find words from magazines that say 2 or 3 POSITIVE things about your body. (Example: MY BODY IS: strong, mine, healthy.) Write any thoughts and feelings on the page. Use markers, crayons, pencils, markers and scraps of paper, to finish the page.
"I AM GRATEFUL FOR": Find several words that describe what you are grateful for (example: family, friendship, food). After pasting the words onto the page, write one or two sentences about how you feel about these blessings. Finish the page using any form of art and collage or doodling.
Visual journaling is a very creative and freeing way to pat yourself on the back.
You are able to deal with difficult issues, and write down the important parts of your life. I hope you will give visual journaling a try.
I would like to encourage you to take those first steps toward a better life. It is about creating your authentic life, not one lived just for others, but your unique way of contributing love to the world. It is always a good idea to take time in your life to center yourself, focusing on the things you are feeling and experiencing in the present moment. Taking time to create your healing path... is a wise investment for your health and well-being. Finding the time in your busy schedule and treatments to learn the skills needed to face the challenges that lie ahead will positively aid your process of healing in mind, body and spirit.
Feel Your Feelings Now
This Art Project is one you can do in your art-journal, in a sketch book, or on a canvas. Any surface with almost any medium will do.
With this art project you do spontaneous swirling and doodling of colors, shapes and lines. It its an artistic expression of your feelings in immediate translation. No forethought should go into it. This is one of the easiest and most commonly used art-journaling projects, and will help you clarify and express your feelings.
To do the Feeling Now Art Project:
Close your eyes, take a few deep breathes and think about what you're feeling.
Put your marker, crayon or brush to the surface and let whatever you're feeling come out.
Don't try to plan it out and don't judge it.
Add other colors, doodles, etc. until you feel you've completed "saying" what you wanted to.
Take a look at what you've done and if something comes to mind (like it resembles a tree, cloud, star, etc.) go ahead and emphasis that with finishing strokes or colors.
Remember, to do the Feeling Now Art Project, don't plan anything out. Be spontaneous. And DO NOT JUDGE. Just let it be what it is. That is what art healing is all about.
Stick your fingers into the paint
You probably have childhood memories of sitting at a little table, dipping your fingers into thick, brightly colored paint and noodling your way around a sheet of smooth, shiny paper. These paintings were usually formless squiggles, blobs and lines created from a child’s carefree lack of inhibition.
If you haven’t finger painted since you were a child, it’s time to get your hands in the paint to remind you of the joy of an unplanned art experience. One of the pleasures of finger painting is the singular process of exploring and feeling the paint.
But finger-painting isn't just for children, but adults can often reap creative satisfaction through the art form just as their younger counterparts do. Multi-sensory because the brain is receiving information through sight, sound, touch and even smell, finger painting for adults can take on many forms. Depending on the type of paint used and where the paint is applied, finger painting for adults is limited only by the artist's imagination.
There are many benefits to finger painting. Messy play stimulates the senses and it is also fun! Not to mention the ooey-gooey feeling that most kids love!
I encourage you to use more than just fingers when finger painting. The side of the hand, full palm. even the forearm can be painted and applied to a surface. To manage this obviously messy art form, have plenty of wet and dry cloths on hand. I use an elbow-high table and put one hand behind my back, letting my whole body – not just my fingers – move the paint around the paper.
Finger-painting is about the movement, and through the movement there is the freedom of expression. Yo can also paint to music and move your fingers and body in the rhythm of the music. Finger-painting can be a way to build rapport and connection with yourself and others, exploring feelings without words or language.
Cover the table surface with a plastic cloth that can be wiped down or hosed off. Be sure children are wearing a smock or a shirt that can be removed after the art experience. Have an area set aside for drying artwork and plenty of paper to create more than one finger painting.
Have Fun with creating a collage
DREAM BOARD / VISION BOARD /MANIFESTATION BOARD/ GOAL BOARD
A Vision Board is a collage showing pictorially what you love, your hopes and dreams or what you what you want to accomplish. Start with cardboard or poster-board and collect pictures from magazines, brochures, travel catalogs and online. Select photos of places you want to visit, things you want to do, or quotes that inspire and motivate you.
Why Create A Dream Board?
If you have a clear idea of your goals, you’re able to imagine your dreams and believe in it – you’ll get there! Once you’re able to conceive what you want, you’ll create the belief in your dream and make that a reality. If you are like me you believe in the power of the mind and the power to manifest that which you most want. The trouble is it can be challenging to stay focused and on track to your goals because of all the distractions. That is where a Vision Board or Dream Board comes in handy.
The Vision Board is a collection of pictures and words that represent what you want most in your life.
By creating this visual you are sending a powerful message to your subconscious and the Universe and literally placing your order for what you most desire. The Vision Board assist you in becoming very clear on what you deeply desire and when you become clear on what you want most from life, the Universe will conspire with you to help you create it.
The first time I can remember using the concept of the Vision Board was in 1989 when I was diagnosed with cancer and having a challenging time. Out of desperation, I created a Vision Board with a picture of the desired outcome of my illness and the healing tools I wanted to implement to recover from cancer. I visualized the kind of treatment I wanted and the needs I had. I also put words on the Vision Board such as “Moving On.” A few weeks later I got an invitation to move to London for the envisioned treatment of my choice.
So many amazing things have been created through this process that I am excited to be able to share the concept with you, as I’m convinced that you too will have amazing things happen as a result.
HOW TO MAKE AND USE YOUR VISION BOARD
Your personal vision board is only limited by the extent of your own creativity. Some of my students have produced simple vision boards and others have made vision boards that could probably sell at an art show for hundreds, if not thousands of Euro. Having artistic ability is not a prerequisite for creating a functional vision board however and the procedures I’ve outlined below can be used by anyone.
The general elements that a well-designed vision board should include are:
Your subconscious mind works in pictures and images, so make your vision board as visual as possible with as many pictures as you can. You can supplement your pictures with words and phrases to increase the emotional response you get from it.
Each picture on your vision board should evoke a positive emotional response from you. The mere sight of your vision board should make you happy and fuel your passion to achieve it every time you look at it.
Your vision board should be strategically placed in a location that gives you maximum exposure to it. You need to constantly bath your subconscious mind with its energy in order to manifest your desires quicker than you hope.
Negative feelings, self-doubt, and criticism can damage the delicate energy that your vision board emits. If you fear criticism or justification of your vision board from others, then place it in a private location so yourself can only see it.
Foam core board (recommended) or poster board and a large assortment of magazines. You want to make sure that these are in color. You can go to various businesses or hospitals to ask for their old issues.
Glue. I prefer the dispenser type tape rollers, commonly used to mount photos because they are clean and won’t damage your pictures.
(Optional) Color inkjet or laser printer
(Optional) 3 1/3” x 4” or larger printer labels. (Optional) Internet access
Compile your pictures.
Collect all the old magazines you can find.
Ask friends for magazines they no longer want, ask the doctor's office for their old ones, and stockpile your own subscriptions. If you can, try to amass a variety of different magazines, and the more pictures they have, the better. Start by going through your magazines and compiling all the pictures that you can find that are relevant to your goal. Don’t evaluate the pictures or start pasting them onto your board. Just stack them into a pile.
If you are Internet surfer, then a much quicker method that I do myself is to use an Internet search engine to find good pictures that I can use for my board. You can either print the pictures out on paper and then glue it to the board, or print the pictures out onto a self-adhesive label so that it becomes a sticker. This is the preferred method because it is takes much less time to do and you can pinpoint your pictures using very good technology at your hands. Make sure that each image that you put on your board resonates with your heart and makes you excited at the mere look of it. It’s also important when selecting pictures to include anything that is congruent with your goal, such as any changes in your life that might result from obtaining your goal.
If your goal is to have a six-figure income, then select pictures of a lifestyle that is congruent with your six-figure income. Asking yourself the following questions might help you design a congruent vision board:
- What would you do differently when you realize your goal?
- Where would you travel?
- Where would you live?
- What would you wear?
- What things would you own?
- What kind of vehicle would you drive?
- What would you do for work?
- Or would you work?
- Who would you help?
Sort and cut
Go through your pile of pictures and select the ones that impact you the most emotionally. Cut the extraneous material away from the image.
Arrange and glue
Start arranging your pictures creatively on your board. Don’t worry about being artistic - that’s not the point. The point is that your board should resonate with your emotions. Arrange your pictures in a way that gives you an emotional connection to your vision board. After you are satisfied with the arrangement, glue all your pictures in place. Additionally, you might want to add writing or drawing on your vision board if you feel that it would better resonates with your emotions. A feature unique to my vision boards is that I also put two labels on the bottom of board that read:
“Date created: [today’s date]” and “Date Manifested: [blank]” This lets me know how long my vision has been gestating since its creation and also every time I look at my vision board, not only am I emotionally charged with the pictures, but I also feel an overwhelming sense to see it manifested to completion.
The most important part of having a vision board is having it in a strategic location that gives you as much visual exposure to it throughout the day. For most of us, this is in the office, but if that is not possible or appropriate, then try your living room or your bedroom. Some people I know mount their vision boards on the ceiling above their bed so that it is the first thing they see when they wake up and the last thing they see when they go to sleep. If you are sensitive to what others might say of your vision board, then be sure to keep it in a safe area where only you will see it. Negative criticism or justification of your dreams can kill the energy that your vision board releases.
Update your vision board
Your vision board has to inspire you. It has to charge you with renewed passion every time you look at it and over time and as you progress closer towards your vision, you might find that some of the images or pictures on your vision board don’t really carry as much emotional impact on you as they did before. When this happens, you’ll want to update your vision board with new fresh images that do inspire you. You’re vision board is not a finished piece of art after its initial creation. It’s a dynamic piece of art that shifts and changes as your vision shifts and changes. Therefore, if you find your level of passion that your vision board gives you is growing weaker, then update it to bring fresh new emotions to it.
Computer Vision Boards
Forget the paper, scissors and glue!
If you prefer to spend all that time pictures from magazines or images printed off your computer onto a big piece of contact paper, be my guest! Since you spend a lot of time in front of your computer, why not have your visions and affirmations right on in front of you whenever you wish?. You can display your dreams on your screen, in a way that you can change it whenever you want to and which would show anytime you chose to. Listed below are powerful systems that you can use to create a virtual Vision Board on your computer. You can include your personal pictures, affirmations and power words and select your own background. You can use it as a screen saver, put the images on mobile devices like your mobile phone or i pod or just print them out. Sound and music is also a great option that will raise that vibration level inside you.
Visualize The World In Your Vision Board
Manifesting desires starts to happen when you take action aligned with your visualizing. Most of what you desire is a different "world" from where you live and your visualizing strategy must include action that will take you into that new world.
Think of what you deeply desire. Whether it's a slick sports car, a fabulous house, a stunning wardrobe, an exciting relationship or exotic vacations, just sitting around and visualizing all day isn't going to get you very far. Why not? Those things reside in a different world than the one you're living in.
If You’re World Is Different.
When's the last time you were in a fabulous house or new car? You've been literally living in a world where you don't encounter those things. If you're been struggling to get by every month, live in an OK apartment and drive a 10 year old vehicle, that's your world. Until you start taking action and "walk" in that world that you've created in your Vision Board, whatever you are visualizing will remain just there.
Then, Get Out There And Live In That World
The process of manifesting desires gets an energy jolt when your visualizing strategy gets you into that different world. Instead of just visualizing, take these actions:
Scribble, splash, doodle, glue, stencil, cut, spray, stitch and texture to your heart's content. Anything goes! It is your personal journey and doesn't need to be shared with anyone if you don't want to.
Start walking into that world and get familiar with it. Feel it. Enjoy it.
A visualizing strategy of action will not only raise your inner vibration level, it will dramatically increase your faith and belief. So, don't let those images stay on that board. Get out there and walk in, touch, feel, smell, enjoy and celebrate that new world that was always yours!