Get creative and colour your life

Cape Argus – Get creative and colour your life

Get creative and colour your life

Art therapist Andrea Brand says being creative gives people a sense of their inner world – which is the first part of transformation

June 14, 2006

By Jeanne Viall

How you respond with your crayons or paints to a large piece of white paper may tell you a whole lot about what’s going on in your life.

And we’re not talking only about the images that emerge, but also the thoughts and process you go through as you create.

Creative therapist Andrea Brand works with people to bring movement to the places we get stuck in, whether they be habitual thoughts or actions.

She works in the corporate sector, with groups and teams, and one-on-one with adults and children.

For many people it’s daunting to “do art”, but it’s the process that’s significant here, not the outcome.

Brand’s Colour Studio in Rondebosch is a place that invites you to play. “My passion is colour,” she says. “I use colour as a form of energy to get the creative juices flowing.”

Colour works at an emotional level, she explains. You feel differently when you work with blues instead of reds, for example.

In front of me is a huge piece of white paper, some crayons and some paints. I’m invited to express myself and to observe as I do what thoughts come up, what judgments and where I get stuck.

People mistakenly think that in art therapy the therapist “analyses” your imagery. That’s not how Brand works. Rather, she’s on hand to help me when I get stuck, and is a guide in my process.

“Often what you do relates to life directly,” says Brand. “For example a person may be afraid of making a mess, so they can’t get started. Or because it’s the unknown, and they’re afraid something won’t work, they don’t do it.”

Our own judgments about ourselves are often fiercer than any other – we all carry our inner judges with us, especially around our creativity. In this process you meet them and can transform them so that they don’t stop you from creating what you want in your life.

“Here a person can take a risk without judgment. We try to relate the creative process to real life. This is another side of us we don’t give space to in our lives.”

It’s sometimes surprising what comes through when you give yourself over to the process – and we’re not talking here about good and bad, right or wrong. Continued here…

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