All around the world, many are experiencing “a new normal” that we could have never imagined a few months ago. There have been a lot of big changes taking place around us and many of us may respond differently to these changes.
Whatever emotions you have – frustration, anxiety, fear, anger, sadness, or even happiness, you are free to embrace those feelings. Choosing what we do with those feelings however, is a choice you and I have to make.
Choose to Make Art. It’s Fun & it Helps.
Making art can be a great channel to express and communicate our thoughts and emotions, especially for those difficult emotions and situations which we are unable to find simple words to describe. It can improve our well-being by reducing stress and increasing positive emotions.
As an art therapist and mental health counselor, I have worked with children who fear ALL kinds of things, from spiders, ghosts, to losing someone dear in their life. Often, our fears have a snowball effect, and children with a fear of ghosts may become scared of going into rooms by themselves. More importantly,something shifts when we teach children to draw out “the ghost”. The fear of something become less scary when we are able to visualize (actually “see” it). The same is true for our emotions.
—— Tingting Chen, ELG Art Therapist
Create Art to Heal
The process of healing starts when our words are heard, and our emotions are “seen”. Making art creates a sense of mastery, as artists have the power to decide the shape and color of the “ghost”, or whatever your fear may be.
Researchers have described the positive impact that art-making activities have on people:
- “Reductions in stress and anxiety”
- “Increases in positive emotions”
- “Trends toward reduced depression”
- “Develops self-awareness and raises self-esteem”
- “Improvements in flow and spontaneity, expression of grief, positive identity, and social networks”
Tingting Hopes to See Your Art!
Tingting will be a judge at this year’s R U OK? Day Art Competition. This competition promotes the importance of positive mental health through art! The competition is open to all middle and high school students. Winners will be announced on R U OK? Day, Saturday, June 20.
Simply create an original artwork embracing this year’s theme – TRUST THE SIGNS – ASK R U OK? and submit your entry electronically to firstname.lastname@example.org OR by post or courier to ELG’s Puxi Campus (Address: No 19-20, Lane 209, Zhen Nan Road, Putuo District, Shanghai, China 200333) by June 10, 2020.
**Note: A title for your artwork, a simple story behind your work, Name, Age, School and contact details should be written behind the art piece.
For more details on the R U OK? Day Art Competition, click here.
Check out the great entries we’ve received so far!
Elizabeth Metzger, Dulwich College Shanghai Pudong, Age 17
Riley Brossman, YCIS Puxi, Year 7
Dear friends, it’s your turn to pick your favorite color and start making art. You will be surprised with what you discover. Have fun, and we look forward to having you share your artwork with us!