“Art is a natural way to practice mindfulness. The colors, textures and sounds of creating pull us into the moment. You don’t need any previous training to meditate through art, just a willingness to draw like a child, with freedom and a sense of curiosity.” - Amy Maricle, art therapist
There are tremendous benefits when young people engage in making art. Creating art increases emotional awareness, serves as an outlet for self-expression and creativity, and allows us to communicate our experiences, ideas and feelings.
In this art project, we’ll explore what makes our lives meaningful by creating a personal collage.
- Magazines, newspapers, old picture books, scrap paper
- Construction paper or cardboard for base of collage
- Glue or tape
- Identify your personal values. Values are the things that you believe are important in your life. Reflect on experiences you’ve had that made you feel good. This might include ways you’ve helped someone through volunteering or service, worked to achieve a goal, or simply enjoyed time with special people in your life. Write your ideas down.
- Take a mindful minute. Close your eyes or focus your gaze downward. Pay attention to the rhythm of your natural breathing. Visualize words, images, shapes and colors that connect to the personal values you identified.
- Create a collage. Look through magazines or newspapers for images that reflect your personal values. Cut them out and then spend time arranging them on your paper. When you’re satisfied, glue or tape all of your pieces onto the paper.
Art becomes a mindful practice when we approach it with a beginner’s mind, focusing on the creative process rather than on the final product. Don’t worry about making it perfect. Instead of judging what you make as good or bad, approach the process of creating art with curiosity and acceptance.
If you feel moved, share your art with us by tagging us @calmclassroom and using the hashtag #howwecalmclassroom!