art and therapy
For me, art is more than an escape. It is therapy. It is medication. It is a trusted advisor.
There are tons of art therapists and businesses based around this concept. It is not a new one. It is just better if you find your own way to do it. I’m sure painting in a group full of non-artists can be therapeutic, but I can’t get into supporting it. To me it is like goat yoga. Or aroma therapy.
Just making a simple painting or drawing, creating an ashtray out of clay or a mug will not suffice. I need to get into the process. I need to feel when I am creating. I need the emotions to take over. I need my soul to talk to me. I need a catharsis when it is over. When that piece finally gets finished (and it IS finished – anyone who tells you a piece of art is never finished is either deluding themselves or lying), it is a feeling of having captured a feeling, an emotion, a moment in my brain that can be shared and viewed and felt by other people.
I would like to say that is why I do it. That that is my reason for creating. To share with the world my unique genius. Sure, I share my art. Hell, I even sell it. But that is not my WHY. My reasons are far less noble and much more selfish. I create to get out of my head. I create to capture a moment or feeling that is poisoning me and get it into a visual form. Then I can deal with it with a perspective of an outsider.
Even traditional therapy is fine. It has helped me for a bit once with one therapist out of countless attempts. But this culture of talking to people to see how we feel, I think, is bullshit. Who better to tell you about your thoughts than yourself? Examine your thoughts, listen to your feelings, write a fucking journal.
But playing the wait game with someone you are paying hourly to help you sort through your problems is a bit of a scam. The wait game is when a therapist asks you a question and you reply. Then they sit in silence until you become so uncomfortable with that silence that you begin talking again. I am paying you for your thoughts and how you can help me, I can record myself talking about myself at home for free.
I am not here to bash your ideas about therapy or say it doesn’t work for some people. I am telling you my thoughts on the matter and why I prefer to create art that comes from a place of pain and darkness then to pay someone hourly to listen to myself talk.