“Don’t think of art-making as work; think of it as play.”
This is what Jude Nonie A. Sales, a teacher-artist from the Visayas, said during his online lecture on Oct. 7 entitled “The magic of art therapy: learn how to ‘chillax’ using art activities.”
The said webinar is second of the on-going “Unplugged” webinar series of the Learning Resource Center (LRC), which aims to promote non-digital activities as ways to relax, de-stress, and recharge at this time of a pandemic, flexible remote learning, and work-from-home setup.
Sales, a faculty member at the Department of Development Communication of the Visayas State University (VSU) in Leyte, put forward art as a form of therapy that could help manage behaviors, process feelings, reduce stress and anxiety, and increase self-esteem.
He said that art-making activities improve self-discovery and help individuals acknowledge and recognize feelings that have been lurking in one’s subconscious.
Sales explained that art can be a form of meditation because the coordination of hands, eyes, and mind can bring one to a meditative state.
Even before the pandemic, Sales said that making art has helped him adjust in UPLB, his current home base while pursuing PhD Development Communication. Painting, for him, has been a source of inspiration and relief from stress from his graduate studies.
He said that he encourages his students at VSU to release their stress through artistic and creative hobbies, instead of doing nothing inside their dormitories. He pointed out that there is no such thing as a boring time if there is something that one can focus on.
From a hobbyist to a professional artist who has been holding workshops for over 30 years now, Sales identified the benefits one can get from art-making.
These include improvement of fine motor and problem-solving skills, promotion of visual self-expression, and improvement of observational skills. He added that art teaches interpersonal skills, promotes self-awareness, improves communication skills, and builds social connections and greater awareness of art.
Sales taught the participants the basics of getting started in making art, such as visualizing art ideas, physical positioning in their environments, getting inspiration, and using art materials.
He demonstrated art activities to relax and de-stress, which he organized into three parts that he called “how to draw your feelings,” “how to paint your feelings,” and “how to sculpt your feelings,” each reflecting various art forms.
He also enjoined the viewers to take down notes and reflect using a journal after doing an artwork.
LRC’s Unplugged webinar series featured a session on meditation on Oct. 5 with Acharya Ananda Shubhra Avadhutika, a yoga and meditation teacher, as resource person. (KEAraguas)