Art Therapy is a field of art and psychotherapy, which is a creative art therapy profession. The purpose of an art therapist is to offer an environment for attaining personal well-being and improving functionality levels in people experiencing emotional and psychological challenges. This exhibition aims to showcase the development and business strategies of my future art therapy practice. My branding strategy is respectful to the clients who volunteered their time to completing art therapy exercises, discusses the benefits of art therapy, and showcases the importance of mental health awareness. The following designs aim to provide information about art therapy and insight into how art allows us to understand ourselves and others.
I would like to emphasis the point that I am not a licensed art therapist. My work represents what art therapy can look like, but art therapy can only be practiced by an individual who possesses the required training, certification, and/or state licensure.
When starting the creative process for this exhibit, I decided to begin by developing a logo. I needed a logo that would be added to each of the items in my branding materials. My goal was to make a logo that made sense to my audience without being too obvious and flashy. I customized my brand using four colors and their adjacent values. Colors were an important part of this process because they needed to be soothing to the viewer.
Flyers, Brochure, & Postcards
What is Art Therapy? This was a question I needed to explain through my branding materials. I was able to accomplish a thorough explanation through the use of flyers, brochures, and postcards. The colors were cohesive, illustrate the benefits of art therapy and the purpose of my brand.
Art Care Package
I wanted to design a care package that potential clients would receive and continue practicing their art therapy exercises from the comfort of their home or anywhere else. The journals and sketchbooks can be utilized every day to document their daily routines and emotions. I wanted to design a bag that could become a conversation starter if someone sees the bag and is intrigued by the logo on it.
What color is your emotion?
Have you ever been interested learning what color your emotions are? I designed a quiz to help you pinpoint what emotion you might be experiencing and determine the color of it. The science behind this quiz is based on the Plutchik Model of Emotions, which provides a simply logical way to make sense of feelings. Robert Plutchik, a psychologist created the Plutchik Model shown below. It shows there are 8 basic emotions: joy, trust, fear, surprise, sadness, anticipation, anger, and disgust. The wheel of emotions organizes these 8 basic emotions based on the physiological purpose of each.
Click HERE for the quiz!
Mindfullness Coloring Book
Whenever people think of art therapy, their first assumption is to think of coloring books. This is not the case though. The American Art Therapy Association does not discourage the use of coloring books for recreation and self-care, coloring activities must be distinguished from art therapy services provided by a credentialed art therapist. I wanted to design a coloring book as a self-care and recreational purpose type of activity. The designs are a combination of minimalistic line work and zentangle art.
More often people are beginning to carry around and utilize affirmation cards. Affirmation cards, or affirmation decks, are thoughtful first-person statements that encourage positive thinking, calm, and confidence. They help you ponder ideas that leave you with a feeling of more peace, calm, and clarity than before. I wanted to create a deck of cards that clients could carry around and use daily or whenever they could use an affirmation. A special quality about these cards is their interactive experience. There are QR codes on the back of the cards that lead users to a licensed art therapist exercise video to complete.
Gratitude has been not only found to improve how we feel, but also appears to create a healthier heart. In a recent study gratitude was also associated with improved sleep and less fatigue. Positive psychology has long recognized the practice of gratitude as a technique in boosting happiness and well-being. I designed two gratitude sheets to allow clients to utilize this positive psychology technique. The sunshine sheet can be filled out by writing gratitude on the sun rays. The heart sheet can be completed by writing gratitude or coloring the heart with colors that have a specific meaning to them.
The term “archetype” means original pattern in ancient Greek. Psychologist Carl Jung used the concept of archetype in his theory of the human psyche. He identified 12 universal, mythic characters archetypes reside within our collective unconscious. Jung defined twelve primary types that represent the range of basic human motivations. Each of us tends to have one dominant archetype that dominates our personality. The brochure I designed showcases each of the archetypes, the colors surrounding the archetypes, and the meaning behind them.
Social Media Involvement
Staying up to date online is an important aspect of a business. I wanted to design social media content that clients and potential viewers would be able to interact and comment on.
Blackout Poetry Exercise
Blackout Poetry and altered book pages are an art therapy exercise that people use as a form of relaxation or fun play. The purpose of the exercise is to pick words that reach out to you and develop a theme to create a thoughtful poem. Then design a drawing that relates back to the theme of your poem. After creating the design, you can black out everything that is not a word in your poem or a part of your drawing. The main point of this exercise allows people to reflect upon their poem and artwork. I had volunteers pick the words off of book pages, then I created the artwork for their poem.
Conflict is uncomfortable. While there are many ways to address angst, “The Postcard You Will Never Send” is an exercise to foster self-awareness, promote insight and cultivate emotional resilience. Participants are asked to reflect on a situation or person where conflict coexists. Emotions may range from frustration, anger, disappointment, loss, or sadness. People need to consider their past or current state to determine what they want to share about how the experience made them feel. Individuals are asked to write a message on the back of a postcard, expressing what they would say to the situation or the individual who caused the conflict. Once this is complete, participants draw or create a visual representation of how they feel about the experience on the blank side of the postcard.
I asked volunteers to complete this exercise by writing out their experience with an individual or situation. After writing it, the volunteers had me finish exercise by creating the illustration on the other side of their postcards.
What faces of yourself do you show to the world? In this project, I asked a volunteer to create a face out of model clay. The volunteer was tasked with representing how she believes she looks to the outside world and how she views her internal self.
This project assumes that we all have masks we wear, different aspects of ourselves that are seen or not seen on the outside. It’s okay to have these things, and this process just helps us understand ourselves more, accept our different aspects more. We simply bring more awareness to this and practice embracing all of who we are.
This example shows that on the right side of their face she appears happy and bright to the outside world, but on the left side of the face, they are unhappy and not feeling the joy that they portray to the world.
About the Artist
I am a graphic designer and illustrator from San Antonio, Texas with a Bachelor’s in Communication Design. My inspiration for choosing art therapy as a topic was from my love of design and helping others. I believe art allows people the opportunity to understand not only themselves but others as well. I hope to continue learning more about art therapy and inspiring others with my designs.
Thank you for viewing my senior exhibition!
View more of my work HERE!