Practicing self-care through art

Kate Parsons Proctor

Students use classwork to manage stress

While art can be seen as a creative outlet, or as a way to express oneself, it can also be a form of self-care.

Art can be a method for relaxation and a way to channel their emotions.
According to many art students, art can reduce stress, enhance self-expression, and can be a much-needed break during a busy day.

Julia Sherman discovered this when she was unexpectedly placed in an art class during the first quarter of her first year at Seattle Pacific University.
Sherman noted that in her class they “learn about art through the centuries and different techniques that were used in art then and now and have discussions” based on what they are seeing.

“I enjoy it because I am learning new things, because I never took an art class before so about 99 percent of the things we are being taught are new to me. I have really enjoyed that aspect of being exposed to new things that I otherwise probably would never have looked deeper into,” Sherman said.

He also mentioned that “it’s been nice throughout the quarter seeing improvements and slowly becoming more proud of the work I produce. Whether it be an actual physical project or being about to write about art I actually understand it.”

“It is fun to be doing something so different than any of my other classes,” hesaid.
Besides the fact that the class brings Sherman self-fulfillment, she also has noticed that her art class connects to self-care.

“I think art class brings self-care to my day because it makes me slow down and just think about what’s going on around me”

“With my other classes, it’s very fast paced and I feel like I am constantly trying to get things done, whereas, with art, it is about really stopping and thinking about what you are looking at,” Sherman noted.

Sherman also mentioned that, “while I don’t think art class is necessarily a break in my day because I am still required to do things, it is a break from the stress that the other classes have because it’s a different way of thinking.”

Self-care within the realm of art can be as simple as signing up for an art class. By doing so, not only can you become more creative, but you are practicing self-care.

For many students at SPU, art is an essential part of their life as it is their outlet to express who they are and tell their story through the mediums they create.
One such student is Camille Marrs, an interior design major at SPU.

Marrs noted that “interior design provides outlets for creativity on many levels. The process of design revolves around a designer’s ability to solve problems with creative solutions”

“As an interior designer, it’s up to you to decide how to use elements such as color, line, space and texture in combination with one another to give a space visual appeal. With an array of options, you get to decide what’s best for the space you’re working with and bring it to life,” Marrs said.

She also mentioned that “when determining my college major, I wanted to go down a path that could lead me into a creative career,” and that this is what led her to interior design.

If you are interested in practicing art as a form of self-care, try something like mindful drawing which can be done as easily as grabbing a piece of paper or downloading an app on your phone or can be long term like pursuing an art based major such as interior design.