The social and therapeutic aspect of Art
Children come into Utter Studio in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Of different character traits and unique personalities.
Sometimes, an innocent exercise for one kid could bring up unique challenges for another. Through the artwork, we address deeper issues uncovered in the child.
I gave the boys a simple task, which is to learn how to control their brush pressure. To put on more pressure to create thick lines (which they are already very good at) and to lighten their pressure( to create very thin lines)
Nathanael had such great trouble with this exercise and he started rubbing his work intensely, trying to erase his mistake. When he couldn't he started to get upset and was on the verge of tearing and rubbing a hole in his paper (which has happened many times before).
I started to intervene and did a demostration and "made amistake" and then I laughed and made a joke about it. Nathanael did not relax at all. After a few seconds, his classmate Christian made a mistake and mention it out loud, we looked at his work together and laughed about it together. Suddenly I notice Nathanael relax a bit and was able to continue his work. He started commenting on his mistakes and comparing his thick lines with Christian. The whole mood of the class lifted and very soon Nathanael finished his work.
The art class takes a very non-linear approach to uncovering children's thought processes and applying alternative methods for them. In the process of learning to control their brushes properly, the social interaction with his classmate allow Nathanel to discover a new way to view "challenges", "failure", "difficulties" in his life. Now he associates humour rather than sulking and crying to difficult tasks. he realises that he isn't the only one in the class who has difficulty controlong brushes. He gains awareness of his environment and fellow classmates and is able to put aside his frustrations faster and more efficiently.
Notice how Nathanael slowly progresses from lines that were all joined up to seperating his line strokes...