Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Art Journal Therapy? :-)

The last few years I have faced some tough times in my life. Some were downright scary!  In some of those darkest hours I believe God let me find Tracy Weinzapfel Burgos!  Art teacher extraordinaire!  Tracy Weinzapfel Studios  I not only found a great teacher but a friend and a whole new group of crafty friends. I learned to do an art that I love but it also helped and is still helping me work through some really tough times.  Tracy has challenged me to try new things and lo and behold, I found I could do them and even more. Each Monday night (I now look forward to Mondays) we meet here TW Studios Ustream and learn, create, chat, laugh, (sometimes histerically) and have a great time.  Art journaling has been such a help to me and after I saw an article about crafting being therapeutic so I thought I'd look up information about art journaling since it has helped me so much.  Sure enough! At this site --> Exploring Art Journaling I found the information below. So......if you're going through a hard time, or if you're not and just want to learn, have fun, and make awesome friends.....Check Tracy's ustream out on Mondays 9pm EST.
Life’s challenges and the stress they bring are an unavoidable part of living. And sometimes the weight of certain challenges seems almost unbearable. There are many ways to help keep our buckets full and filling even when we are dealing with substantial grief.  Friendship, activities, hobbies, non-perfectionism, acceptance for what and who you are, a place to vent, family connections and friendship connections are all helpful.
And at our fingertips, we have yet another tool to use. People have long used journals to record feelings and thoughts. We use scrapbooking and crafts as a tool to record memories. Putting the two together in art journaling is a therapeutic tool I use in my private practice with clients which is not only enlightening but also a vehicle for releasing stress and working through life’s inevitable struggles. It is one way to fill your bucket.
Using expressive journaling with creative art is a powerful way to allow for connection building and profound learning about you and your inner self. It allows for time to create and for time to process. It is very therapeutic.
So what is the difference between a journal and an art journal? Journals become art journals when you add depth, color, and creativity through illustrations (such as photographs and embellishments of any kind) to your journal. That sounds like scrapbooking, card making and crafting, doesn’t it? Art journaling is not about creative talent – it is about allowing self-communication through more than just words. Combining both expressive writing and creative art expression allows for taking an in-depth look into your own soul. You can see what you already know, and begin to learn and address what you still need to discover. This can be a very rewarding journey of self-discovery.
To derive the greatest benefit from your art journal experience, don’t hold back when expressing yourself. Don’t worry about your creative skills (or lack of them). Ignore the negative voices telling you that you’re not an artist. Give yourself permission to explore, to play, to create, and most of all, to listen. The creative process is a healing process. Words alone can be limiting, and thus using writing and art together provides a place for pent-up traumatic emotions such as anger, hurt and grief to be expressed when they are much too painful or buried too deeply to express verbally.
Allowing for self-discovery triggers emotional catharsis. Gaining a sense of empowerment and a bit more control as you heal is essential. Art journaling is a gentle, safe and private way to let it all out. Through this process you can vent spontaneously, creatively and lead yourself to some therapeutic relief.


Mary Friederichsen said...

Oh boy, does this hit home. I am shaking and on the verge of tears. I am also so glad that I found this group. And you are right Tracy is a wonderful teacher. I also now look forward to Monday nights. What a Blessing we have found!
Talk with you Monday!
Blessings and Hugs,

Maureen Hayes said...

WOW, I didn't say anything this Monday because I don't always like to lead with my illness, but I am in the same boat as you ladies and started art journaling for the same reasons!! I found Tracy by the grace of God and now I feel I have found friend here who TRULY understand what it is like!

Thanks for welcoming me and I hope to get to know both of you better.