20 June 2008

Art Therapy

I sat alone in the room for a full minute when somebody took a peep from the door. The boy entered and sat beside me without a word. He looked at the paper on the table took an orange crayon and began his favorite doodle.

He worked on this for sometime and when he was done he gave it to me. I smiled at him and gave him another paper. He took a yellow-green crayon and worked feverishly. Then he took a red crayon and doodled over the green. He showed it to me and I smiled and gave him an OK sign with my hand. He pointed to the window and we went together to look.

Yes, it is the tree!

I said as he pointed a finger to the tree in the distance.
We will draw the house now.

We went back to the table and worked on the house together. He finished happily and gave it to me. I smiled and gave him a hug. He looked at me and started tracing my face with his crayon stained fingers.

Next! he shouted.

You can draw anything you want, I said.

He made this drawing and showed it to me.
He said the balloon is him.
He made a drawing of balloons before.
But in black and brown. Dark colors.
He also told me the balloons were him.
This was the first time he made his balloons in another color.
He looked happy.

His name is Martin. He is 13 years old.
When we finished drawing, another boy walked in and made his own drawing of the same house.

They loved drawing this particular house with a tree.
Here's another version that day:

Jose is an 8 year old boy. Like Martin, they are referred to as special kids. When the other kids ask me why these kids don't draw well, I always say they do. They just do not draw like other kids and they see things differently. Unlike the other kids I conduct art workshops with, these kids undergo therapy daily which includes art workshop. I help and do art projects with them.

Here is another work but made by an adult with cancer:

She loves to draw her pain and every time she does, she gets some sort of relief from the excruciating pain of her sickness.

Art is the best therapy for pain and disabilities. I experienced working for children with learning disabilities, geriatics or older people, and those with cancer and dying of some illness. By expressing their fears and pain through an art media like drawing, painting, forming clay and sculpture, making collages, sewing, dancing, singing, acting and a lot of creative ways to express themselves, people were able to deal with their illness and disabilities and take some form of relief.

A woman who recovered from cancer watched her canvas for a few minutes. Unlike before, when she can immediately hold the brush and paint for hours, she was unable to paint again. Without her pain she seemed unable to work with her art. It took a year for her to finally see art as another outlet of expressing anything but her pain.