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When Being You is Enough

Recently, I had a solo show at Dominican Center which personally brought up some things for me as well. This would be my third solo show and while I have had art pieces shown in other gallery spaces I hadn't spent my energy in showing my art in a while for many reasons including two of the following I will be explaining. For those who have known me since my childhood they know I am artistic and creative. Those who have met me more recently into my adulthood may know I'm creative but not artistic.

I chose to hide aspects of myself from others because I found that people wouldn't come see me as an art therapist because people shared they felt I would judge their art. Even though in art therapy it is not focused on the product. Then I had others who would flip through my visual journal which is personal like a visual diary and make comments such as, "O looks like you're the one that needs help" or "I can see where you made lots of mistakes here."

It felt vulnerable and judged.

So I chose who got to see my art and which pieces.

The truth is I don't mind showing my art it helped me to have courage, learn boundaries, and also the only opinion that matters to me when it came to my art was my own. In art therapy we don't necessarily focus on making "pretty art" and yes it can come out aesthetically pleasing too. I rather think all the art that comes out of the studio and through I Light's services tends to be beautiful for the expression and process created along with the product but of course I'm coming from a biased opinion.

At Mount Mary University's grad program I remember learning from Bruce Moon -when asked if I am an artist or art therapist the answer is YES. I thought I understood this and when to bring in my own art as appropriate to the therapeutic relationship and goals but I don't believe I understood what he really meant by this until I received an email message: