Why a Creative Outlet is Important for those with Chronic Conditions

So this site is just starting up. It’s starting from an idea I originally called the Sketchbook Project, but I like the name Sketch 4 Health better. My ideas have less to do with helping developing artists (not that that isn’t important- in fact, I find the lack of funding for the arts rather despicable, but that is another story…), and more to do with helping people that may need some art in their lives, but do not have the means (economical, situational, etc.) to access a more formal service such as those provided by art therapists.

Ideally, I would wish that all people with chronic or otherwise traumatic health issues would have free and easy access to professionals trained in encouraging creative expression. I believe in the accessibility of art– both in its creation and in its display. If Art is not freely available to all, how can we claim that Free Speech is free? Not everyone can express themselves as easily in words as they can in other ways, ways such as dance, music, and visual arts that can transcend language barriers and cultural restrictions. I am not a dancer or a musician (THAT is a fact! πŸ˜‰ but I am an artist. I consider myself neither good or bad at what I do, and often I do not like to label what I create as Art. That being said, I can do only what I can do, and that is to help provide a means of visual expression to those who lack a creative outlet. It will not be life changing for everyone, maybe not anyone, but it may help some, and even helping one is reason enough to try.

I need your help. I am NOT asking for money! I have to make that absolutely clear, because, right now, I don’t really have a firm grasp on what I am actually going to do. When I say help, I mean ideas, insights, thoughts, words of encouragement even.

So please comment.

You don’t have to follow (though I would LOVE it if you did), leave your name, or even ever come back to this site. But if you have any thoughts on this project, no matter if it is only a few words, PLEASE, please, please take the time to comment! All comments are moderated, but I will try to make sure that you only have to provide the information you want to.

Thank you so much!

Much love and best wishes,

❀ Amy


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4 thoughts on “Why a Creative Outlet is Important for those with Chronic Conditions

  1. I think it is an awesome idea! Do you suffer from a chronic health issue? I have Fibromyalgia and some other things and some days it really kicks my butt. I love to paint and draw but am not so great at it that i could sell it. Its just for my enjoyment. i find it is a wonderful distraction. I have seen other blogs put out weekly challenges to for example draw a certain subject, or use certain materials. I am not a very creative thinker so I will follow but probably not have much creative input.

    • I’m sorry to hear that you have fibromyalgia – I hear it is a particularly difficult disease to treat and cope with. But I am glad you’ve found something that you enjoy doing that can help you cope too! I have a few of my own chronic health problems, but I suppose the first that comes to mind is chronic headache with migraine. Long, fancy way of saying I have a headache all of the time, that frequently turns into a full blown migraine. I suppose it was my exhaustion with trying to verbally explain my experience to questions that were very difficult to answer (with migraine “where does it hurt” suddenly becomes a bit more complicated for me)that led me to create a piece of art trying to illustrate the wide range of pain and types of pain that I would experience during an attack. I will try to find a picture- now that I think about it, it would be pretty useful! My degree was in ceramics, and I’ve never really done much bookmaking, so I’m as new at this as you are! Besides, I’m sure your paintings are wonderful. Even if they’re not- you totally just made my day just by sharing your own experience and offering your input!!! Thanks soooooo very much!
      Best wishes,
      ❀ Amy

  2. Hey, this is a wonderful idea! Are you thinking more like, affordable and accessible art therapists, or some kind of very health-accommodating community art center, or teaching artists who do house calls, or… I mean, there are so many different ways you could do this, and so many people who would probably be interested in helping out. I think the tough part would be coming up with a good structure and then finding funding for it, right? You could find people who are already trained for medicine, or do training sessions for artists; you could do this as events or as building relationships or…. Right now the idea is so vague (even though it’s inspiring!) that no one would know if they’re eligible to help, or what they’d be doing. If it was in a place in which I was living, I’d want to know if I could help. I’m glad you’re doing this πŸ™‚

    • THANK YOU!!! It is so great to start getting some constructive comments!
      You’re right- definitely needs more structure at this point, that’s really why I need more comments.
      The initial idea was to just simply distribute supplies- I don’t have any professional art therapy training. More about making basic supplies accessible than providing specific treatment. I suppose a part of me is hoping that, by merely distributing the blank books and obtaining positive feedback, some awareness would be raised about the potential benefits of art in the healthcare field.
      At this point, I think what I need are people trained in art therapy to provide specific, helpful models of the most beneficial forms of journaling and sketching. I suppose my next post will be more about questions that need answering- actually, scratch that. I’ll do a question per post- that way people can comment on each question separately.
      Thanks again- just thinking outloud there is already helping πŸ˜‰
      Best Wishes ❀
      -Amy

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