Stress is a common natural response when the body is faced with a threat. This can be a helpful reaction in order to protect you, but when the body is overwhelmed with too much stress it can cause devastating symptoms and damage. Opening up to a creative process can help alleviate the negative side effects that come with stress.
Moyra Scott helps people express themselves in ways words can’t by guiding them through this creative process. You can learn more about Moyra and her work here:
I used to work in TV production, but gave it up when I realized it was totally not child-friendly. I had to rethink my whole career.
My first idea was to draw children’s portraits, and while home alone with a small baby, I discovered blogs and artists who were making money with creative careers, and I signed up for two courses, one was called Mondo Beyondo by Andrea Sher and Jen Lemen and the other was called Flying Lessons by Kelly Rae Roberts. Both of these courses blew me right open, it seemed like there was a whole world out there and I began to dream of running Art Retreats and painting on large colorful canvases.
When my son was 3 and finally sleeping through the night, I went away on an art retreat with Flora Bowley. It opened the door for me. I was so inspired and lit up and felt so shiny I decided to do an art retreat every year. I did so for 6 years, studying with Orly Avniveri, Tracy Verdugo, Erin Faith Allen, Alena Hennessey, Madalyn Mulvaney, and more. I lapped it all up and brought it home with me. When I create, I am in my happy place, it transforms my day and my world, and I want to share that pure magical energy and connection.
[My work] lights up my heart with joy. I absolutely love everything about it. I have created a living by doing what I love.
What is therapeutic art:
To me all creativity is therapeutic. The act of mark-making, creating, expressing ourselves, and playing through art is something we humans NEED. We have forgotten how much we love it. And to pick up a paintbrush and make a mark on a canvas or piece of paper and create something lights us up in a way we can’t explain. It is like life gets colored in. It is so deeply nourishing. In my Wild Art Journaling practice, I use journaling as well as collage and paint, and there is something about moving from words to images, letting go of the words in the layers, which allows us to process our thoughts and emotions without trying. It just comes out, we can let it go, we can allow it to settle or sort itself through. It is a kind of magic.
How it can help:
It is anti-stress, it is real, present, immersive, and helps us drop our worries and stresses, it gives us JOY. It is an antidote to stress and all its side effects. It reconnects us with who we are. I am not a health practitioner, but I know that stress is a bad thing and it is not good for our body or our soul. Creating art is the antidote to that.
It allows us to process our emotions without words. And this is so very powerful and instinctive. We can all do it. And it is so liberating and it feels good. It can be a joy and a solace. It is a place you can go for respite from the world. To refill your cup.
Writing out the thoughts in your head and then covering them over and letting them go. Prompts that mean you work quickly without thinking or worrying, letting each layer go, and sinking into painting, are just so therapeutic in themselves. Hard to explain using words. It is experiential. Doing it is the magic.
I haven’t worked with ‘patients’, but I have worked with people who were stressed, experiencing grief, coping with cancer, burned out, and so on. From their point of view, they always feel better after doing it.
Moyra’s wellness tips:
I would say try [therapeutic art]. See how you feel. It is an experience and the only way to see if you like it or not is to do it.
Walking in nature is marvelous. Meditation is fantastic, but get a good teacher and understand that it is a practice. You don’t stop the scurrying thoughts of your mind, you learn to let them go.
Try Wild Art Journaling, try painting. Not as a way to produce a good painting or a piece of art to show people. Do it for yourself, for your own pleasure, scribble, daub, paint it all one color, whatever the hell you feel like. See if you like it.
Expressing yourself in a creative way can unleash trapped emotions when you can’t exactly find the words to do so. Moyra Scott is helping people work through these emotions through therapeutic art. You can learn more about her and her work here:
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