Artist Tips for Expressive Arts Therapy

As a mixed media artist, I am committed to taking painting lessons, either in person or through online formats (one of the sources of my art making tips is Ivy Newport). What I have learned over the years is that it is practice and not output or performance that matters in achieving success. We can nurture our imagination and creativity by creating time for play and exploration. In Expressive Arts Therapy, we focus on the process, and not the end product or outcome as much. Here are a few suggestions that I have learned as an artist that are also applicable to relaxing into the Expressive Arts.

– try using your non dominant hand with no outcome in mind; starting with your non dominant hand quiets the critical mind and allows us to be in the present moment and to simply explore what is coming up for your without judgement

– just show up, and just create with no expectation or idea to guide you; let your hands do the talking

– surrender to the idea of not being able to control things and just play

– so often we feel we should get everything right in the first attempt, and yet creating layers creates more interest – allow each layer of the subconscious to reveal itself

– don’t be attached to perfection or completion

– relish being in a state of openness – experience more happy accidents and stay open to making a mess

– try to stay out of critical mind; recognize that the critical mind talks the entire time and ignore the voices (you know the ones… like… “What are you doing? Who are you to do this?”

-listen to music while painting or creating art work

-Let go and surrender; sometimes the critical mind has such strong grip that we’re scared to make a move so try instead to move quickly and impulsively, forcing yourself to be messy and make bold marks

– there’s nothing wrong with striving for an outcome or having a vision, but it can get in the way of achieving expression in your art

-don’t necessarily start with idea or concept of outcome – allow your heart and inner wisdom to give you a message

-if we enter into creative space being open to dialog with creativity, we can get insight and messages that come through that can help us – it is about connecting to our soul

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