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How to start creating art and improve your mental health

22 March 2017 Blog
Mental health
Making art can help you express your feelings in a creative manner, especially when words don’t seem to be enough.

Art Therapist Joanna Doyle says the benefits of art go beyond the canvas and it can become a great tool for personal healing.

Joanna says creating art can help improve your mental health, whether that is through painting, drawing, knitting, making jewellery or sculptures, or sewing.

“The process of making art can be an effective way to increase your self-esteem, promote stress release and gain insight into your thoughts,” she said.

“These are all really important to consider when you are struggling with your mental health such as battling an addiction, or when you are feeling depressed or anxious.”

But when art doesn’t come naturally to you, how do you start?

Five tips to use art to improve your mental health

Joanna says following these five tips can help you start to use art to explore your emotions:

  1. keep a visual diary of your day-to-day thoughts and feelings using pencils, pastels, paints or collage
  2. explore and express your feelings with larger paintings, drawings or sculptures
  3. take part in craft projects such as knitting, jewellery making, sewing, collage or colouring-in
  4. attend arts and crafts classes at your local community centre
  5. or you can consider contacting a registered creative arts therapist in your area who can help you get started.

“Remember you don’t have to be talented to benefit from making art, the way it makes you feel is more important than the product,” Joanna said.

Joanna Doyle - Art Therapist
Joanna Doyle is an experienced art therapist and counsellor at St John of God Burwood Hospital.