Creative escapism versus exploration
Art is a tool that can be used in therapeutic setting for vast reasons and in numerous ways. From typical art therapy to more expressive forms of therapeutic arts including a group work. However more awareness there is about healing qualities of creativity and arts more questions are emerging. Lots of people have the vision of healing art's quality in a form of simple escapism. Getting lost in drawing or paintng and in result drifting away from painful problems. Simple and effective like a mental painkiller, providing temporary but instant result. There is much more in power of creative arts and the way it can connect with human being. People have been creating from beginning of humanity not just to create a bubble zone of mental distraction...Art talks to people on a different level, somewhere from nowhere and everywhere at the same time. However it is the magical process that requires the will of creator to open up and happen...
Creative arts used for healing, self-growth, self-development or accessing subconscious is a deep and rich process that involves an active participation from the one who creates. It is a brave act as well as opening up, facing vulnerability and standing up there with to face your own demons. It is actually an opposite of safe escapism when we use art as the emergency exit for running away from the world. Art access somehow those layers of our mind that we do not access easily or sometimes block, forget, hide away. It has the capacity of unbounding the unseen, stripping off protective mechanisms and getting straight to the point. Yes we can still get lost in the process though, but lost in terms of being present for the happening rather than entering escape route. Imaginary and visual stimulation from abstract to more realistic images is the route to communication rather than the essence. It is not what you "come up with" but what was happening in between. As you are there in the process, once paint start pouring out, marks being made, crayon touching the paper, your body movement is changing, your brain chemistry is entering new pace - and that is when things happen. This is also the reason why it is so hard to look at some artwork and think "Well 2 years old could have made that"- yes of course it could have been done by a child. But what matters here is what is invisible- the process that took place and the visual result is just the "side effect". On another hand there is a linkage between rather extraordinary visual art and the creator's emotional involvement. The more connection is here and less just "final product" orientation we can see the art that moves, touches, has that "something" in it. And that is so beautiful to watch but still doesn't exclude all those brave acts of creation when creative process became mainly a healing tool rather than "production of picture" factory.
With all that in mind let's sometimes remember about it, maybe keep some artwork and process to ourselves so we can experience the magic of intimate connection, healing power of creativity and how it is our own visual language talking to us.
Wishing you a creatively healing adventures!
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