How Art Increases Self-Esteem
The connection between art and self-esteem
Engaging in the creative process of art allows individuals to express themselves authentically and without judgment. Through art, individuals can explore their emotions, thoughts, and experiences, gaining a deeper understanding and acceptance of themselves. Art encourages individuals to take risks, experiment with different materials and techniques, and embrace the imperfections of their artwork. As individuals witness their own creations taking shape, they often experience a sense of accomplishment and pride, fostering a positive self-image.
Expressive Art provides a supportive and non-judgmental environment to individuals to challenge self-limiting beliefs and develop a greater sense of self-worth. Creating art, reflecting on one's artwork, and receiving feedback can help individuals recognize their unique perspectives, strengths, and abilities, increasing self-esteem.
Art-based activities to try at home:
- Collaging: Collect various magazines, newspapers, photographs, and other materials that resonate with you. Cut out images, words, and textures that reflect your identity, interests, and emotions. Arrange and glue them onto a large sheet of paper or canvas to form a collage self-portrait. Reflect on the choices you made and the symbolism behind each element. This activity promotes self-exploration, self-expression, and reflection.
- Emotion Wheel: Draw or print out a large circle and divide it into sections like a pie chart. Each section represents a different emotion (e.g., happiness, sadness, anger, fear). Use colours, symbols, and shapes to represent each emotion within its section. Allow yourself to express and explore the range of emotions you experience freely. Reflect on the colours and symbols you chose and what they represent to you personally. This activity helps you develop emotional awareness, self-reflection, and the ability to represent your feelings visually.
- Mandala Creation: Create a mandala, a circular design, using various art materials such as coloured pencils, markers, or paint. Begin with a blank piece of paper or a pre-drawn circle as a guide. Start from the center and work outward, adding patterns, shapes, and colours that feel soothing and harmonious to you. As you create the mandala, focus on the process and let it unfold naturally. Reflect on the patterns, colours, and symbols that emerged and how they relate to your inner self. This activity promotes relaxation, mindfulness, and self-discovery.
Remember, the goal of these activities is not to create a masterpiece but to engage in the process of self-expression and self-exploration. Exploring art in the form of art therapy can help individuals process emotional, cognitive and psychological experiences, all of which will help increase self-esteem.Want to learn more about using art to explore your self-esteem? Check out Fatima Noorali’s past virtual workshop, The Art of Self Discovery.