You Are Creative! Make Art Now

As an art therapist, every day people ask me about my services and say “what if I am not artistic and have zero skills?” This is my answer. Art therapy is a form of psychotherapy that uses art making as a means of expression. I instruct my clients to use colours, textures, materials, or symbols to show how they feel and what they want to express. Sometimes folks feel concerned about what their art looks like. I suggest my clients let that judgment go. One of my art therapy instructors used to say, “your art doesn't judge you, so don’t you judge your art.” The goal in sessions is free expression and allowing things to flow. Free expression in artmaking can be liberating and healing because it takes what’s within and brings it out into the art.

The beauty of art therapy is that you don't have to have any prior skill to participate. The odd time someone makes a great-looking piece of art, but is very rare. It doesn’t matter because all art is worthy. Sometimes people feel a bit self-conscious about their artwork. However, their creation is no better or worse than others. It is a different concept to wrap one’s head around, and it is not about having a beautiful product. People are often taught that art is only of value that follows certain rules or looks a certain way. I hear a lot of reports that an art teacher sucked away their creative confidence.  However, in art therapy, we focus on the process of artmaking and the discussion of art. When looking at others' artwork, it is often like comparing apples to oranges. Most group participants say they love looking at how different everyone’s art is. For those who are competitive, like other things, this saying relates to artmaking as well, “comparison is the thief of joy”.

George Land did a study back in 1968 of 1600 children between 3 and 5 years old. He found that 98% of these children were creative. Creativity was innate to children. Only 2% of adults are creative.[1] Land concluded that being uncreative was a learned behaviour. I often hear people say, what if I am not creative? I often say that is not true. Everyone is creative, people express it differently like in gardening, writing, music, cooking, sewing, building or art. It could be that you have not used your creativity in a while so it’s a tad rusty! After I work with someone, I adore it when they keep creating art on their own. According to Maslow’s pyramid that shows our hierarchy of needs, people who create are closer to being fully self-actualized. Self-actualization is when someone achieves their highest level of meaning and potential in life. Doesn’t that sound good? Let us create!


[1] Nauman, L. Can creativity be taught? Here is what the research says. Taken from URL Can Creativity be Taught? Here's What the Research Says - Creativity at Work