MY THERAPY ART

Art Therapy helped me in so many ways to express my emotions, even though I didn't necessarily realize it at the time. Even though some of these are not the prettiest pieces of artwork in the world, they are very expressive and will hopefully give you some sort of insight into what I was going through at the time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

This picture may not look finished to some people, but for me, that's exactly how I wanted it to look. I wanted it to have a simple look. There is always a reason why my artwork looks the way it does. It's never not finished -- that look is on purpose. This assignment in my art therapy was a free assignment where I got to do whatever I wanted. I drew a kind of outline sketch of a person in gray representing the gloominess and hopelessness that I felt at that time, but then a red balloon symbolizing happiness and joy. The person is holding onto the balloon trailing behind them, even though they are turned away and might not see it at the time. There's always something good that's going to come, so make sure you are open to it and don't get too down on yourself because, just like the figure I portrayed in the picture, you will be happy again and living your life the way you want to, on your terms.

This is, in my opinion, the most bold piece of artwork I have ever done. I think it shows strength and confidence because the colors are so intense and the image is so strong. The ironic thing is that when I did this, I was very vulnerable and weak emotionally and physically. I really don't know where such a powerful image came from in my mind, but it did, and I just put it on paper. The painting symbolized who I used to be and who I wanted to be but, sadly, who I wasn't at the time.

A lot of times, my art therapist would just tell me to draw whatever came to my mind, which is kind of what this one is. It really doesn't make sense, but if you look closely on the left side of the page, there is a blue profile of someone's face and then on the other side there is a brown one. They are facing each other and have completely different expressions on their faces. One face looks content and one looks upset. There are also red and orange tear drops all over the page, showing that I was sad but mad at the same time. There is also a tree and flower for life and the future.

 

The thing that probably grabs your attention first is the black fist, which is a recurring theme in my art. I have a lot of fists because, first of all, they were always there for me to draw, so I got pretty good at them, and also, I feel that a clenched fist shows the frustration and anger that I was feeling during this time in my life. There is a staircase cutting across the page ,symbolizing my climb and uphill battle to regain my health and, in some cases, my sanity. There is a red scribble in the bottom right of the page because red expresses anger and that's how I felt. I was angry at myself, at doctors, and at the situation in general. There is a green ribbon for envy because it was torturous for me to watch everyone else's lives going on without a care in the world while I was stuck in my room for days at a time. I envied anyone who wasn't me.

My art therapist gave me the assignment: Draw what someone would see if they were looking into your mind. I used subtle and boring colors for the curtain and window because that's what I thought people saw in me at first glance -- just nothing special. But then on the inside, bright, beautiful colors because that's the way I have always been on the inside. I drew those locked inside a house, just being able to glance at them from outside a window because I felt like momentarily, those were locked away and that I wasn't able to access them at the time.

 

This picture wasn't much of anything -- it's just a mess of colors, which is exactly what I was -- a mess. Somewhere in there, I honestly can't see it, but I remember putting, with white pastel, a faint profile of a face.

In one of my first sessions of art therapy, she asked me to draw a self-portrait. The outline of my face, the nose, and the lines in my face are blue because I was sad and kind of depressed. My eyes were a mix of red and black for frustration and anger. I feel like the mouth is the most significant part of this. I outlined it in gray, but colored it in with orange. In my mind, that showed that I have a lot to say, but can't or haven't.

Much later in the process, she asked me to make another self-portrait. At the time, I was a fourteen-year-old girl, yet I drew myself as this -- an old lady. I felt like this whole experience had aged me incredibly, which it had. I felt so much wiser, but also much less innocent. I grew up during this time and, whether I liked it or not, I did age. I didn't age with wrinkles and gray hair like in the picture, but I aged emotionally.

This painting isn't exactly pretty, but it is expressive. There is a red bridge on the left side, with water under it. I felt unstable and vulnerable, like I could fall off and drown at any second. Once again, the green color is envy, because I wanted my old life and to just be what I thought was a normal teenager. There are yellow stars in the mix because I did have some moments of happiness and excitement at the time. The purple mask shows how I felt I was living behind a mask and that no one understood me. The blue and gold box has a lock on it and has the letters "JK" on it. That stood for "just knock" because I wanted people to ask me stuff and talk to me about it even though it may have seemed like I was locked up and didn't want to talk about it.

 

Oddly enough, this art piece was composed entirely of tape. It may look depressing, but that's the way it's supposed to look. Art therapy is all about showing your emotions and resentments, which is what I did here. It might be difficult to see, but the dark blue tape is supposed to illustrate a corner and the light blue tape is supposed to be a person sitting in the corner. The knees are up, the arms are crossed, and the head is down in the arms. It's a very sad position. The body language shows distress, pain, and suffering. There is the green ribbon in the upper left corner, again because I wanted what I couldn't have, but what I felt I deserved. The bright pink tape says "LIES." I felt like I was constantly being lied to or treated like a baby. I wasn't an adult, nor was I trying to be, but I didn't like it when doctors talked behind my back to my parents, telling them I was faking. I didn't like some rumors going around school. Most of all, I didn't like people speaking for me, on my behalf. I can speak for myself and I deserve to feel respected by the doctors who looked down on me like a whiney brat who wanted attention.

This collage is definitely one of my favorite pieces I did in art therapy. The assignment was to make a collage representing myself, and that's my favorite thing to do -- make collages. You can't really see what the background images are, but they are pieces of nice, fancy jewelry. They make me think of glamour, because I lost all of that to my pain. I felt so unattractive, and I hated it. In the upper left-hand corner there is a big white watch for time -- time lost on this experience and time that I know I have left to regain the life I want. Next to it is a ladybug for luck, because I could have really used some when I was doing this. There's a bundle of pink flowers because flowers have always made me happy. There are also seven people in this collage, all expressing different emotions. One picture is a woman splashing water on herself -- that shows my frustration. There's a girl just staring out into nowhere -- that's my confusion. There's a woman sticking her tongue out, showing my silly and fun side -- but she's hiding behind the flowers, just like my fun side was hiding at the time. At the bottom of the page there are two feet showing relaxation, because everyone loves to relax. There's a man who looks like a soldier of some type in a defensive stance, like he is ready to stand up for himself, even if it means putting up a fight. Under him is a girl that's laughing and dancing because I love to go crazy like that and just have fun. Then in the left lower corner, there is a woman turning away from the camera, covering her face. That shows the shame and humiliation that I felt, even though I know now that I shouldn't have felt that way. Out of all of those, that was my strongest emotion at the time -- shame and humiliation.