How to Analyze Your Art like an Art Therapist


Sometimes people ask, can you analyze art?
The answer is yes, and so today we’ll dive into how you can analyze your own
artwork by using an art therapy approach that will change how you look and
approach your artwork. First, what does analyzing mean? So these
are some of the definitions that I found from the dictionary and basically
analyzing means to understand and learn about yourself more and make sense of
things. So if you want to understand yourself more and learn about yourself,
please keep on watching. Before we get into the analyzing part I just want to
say that what we’re going to do today is different from a formal psychological
assessment that is done by professionally trained art therapists.
That kind of assessment requires much more thorough training and background
and skills and tools, and knowledge and it’s a very methodical approach so that
is very different from what we are covering today and it’s not the scope of
one video. But what we ARE doing today is using strategic questions to approach
your artwork in a way that will reveal and allow you to find more meaning in
your own artwork instead of just saying “that’s colors, shapes, and lines.” So remember,
one thing is, don’t analyze other people’s artworks – so use this to analyze
your own artwork and find more meaning and also understand that the meaning
that you derive from your own artwork by analyzing it can be different, can change
in the future depending on the situation and the timing that you look at your
artwork. Things can change because the meaning that you find in your own
artwork derives from you, yourself, the creator and whatever you think and
whatever you feel is the meaning that you get out of it so it will differ and
it’s not a way to label and judge ourselves so use this as a starting
point to explore more about your artwork and more about yourself instead of
pigeon-holing yourself, categorizing yourself, labeling, or judging yourself.
So let’s get started with the analyzing part. Here are the ways that you can
analyze your own artwork whether it is abstract or realistic. You can use these
questions to ask yourself and ask about your artwork in order to find more
meaning in it. So the first question to ask is – what are the feeling words that
come to your mind when you look at your own artwork? That might be emotional
words like sadness or happiness or frustration or confusion. It can be one
or more feeling words. The second question is – what are the sensation words,
the physical sensation words, that you think of when you look at your artwork?
So this could be feeling hot, may be feeling cold, feeling claustrophobic, so
what are the physical sensation words that come to your mind? And the third
question is – does the artwork make you think of something
in particular? So that could be an event that happened in your life, a situation, a
person, another artwork like a poem or a painting, or a flower… what person, object,
place, anything. So what are some of the things that come to your mind when you
look at your artwork? And when you have the answers to these three questions you
can ask yourself what does this all mean to you? All these answers mean to you? How do these answers relate to your own life and what meaning do you make out of this?
And you can ask this question after you answer all the following prompts that I’m
gonna share with you in a moment. So some of the other prompts that you can do to
help you analyze your own artwork is to ask the question, “what is odd in the
picture?” When you identify what is odd in your picture this is going to help you get an
idea of what is a problem or an issue that has not been solved or has not even
been noticed yet or addressed yet and so that is something that you want to
explore further. The next prompt is to notice the sizes of objects or people or
things inside the artwork that you’ve made. So the sizes most likely indicate
the importance of that object or person. If something is too large for the scale
in the picture then it could mean that it is especially important for that person, it
has a lot of meaning for that person. And if the object is particularly small in
comparison to the other objects in the drawing it could mean that it is de-emphasized
and it is devalued most likely. So another point is to notice what is
central in your picture. What is in the main part of the picture, the center of
the picture? And this usually indicates what is at the crux of who you are or
the issue that you’re exploring or what is in your mind. What is at the core of
it all? So by doing this prompt and noticing what’s at the center or in the
central part of the picture and you can explore the issue or problem or the core
right away without going in circles. And the next prompt is to notice what is the
perspective of this drawing. And this is especially applicable for landscape
drawings or drawings or paintings or images that show a space. So you might
notice at what level the picture is at – is it a bird’s level point of view
or is it worm’s-eye or is it just a regular point of view from the side?
If there is any inconsistency between some of the objects in terms of their
perspective – so let’s say the lake is from a side point of view but maybe some
other people or the artists around that lake are from a bird’s eye point of view.
Then if you notice any inconsistencies in the perspectives it means that there
might be some inconsistencies in life in general so that is something that you
might want to explore further when you look at your artwork and reflect on
what’s going on in your life. And the final part is to notice what it would
feel like if you became an object inside that picture. So let’s say the picture is
a bird in a landscape. If you became that bird what would you feel, hear, or see
around you and notice around you if you were that bird? And by doing this prompt
you can learn a lot about what the picture is giving off of in terms of
energy, in terms of feeling, and what subconscious thoughts and emotions are
behind some of the different aspects inside the picture (and in your subconscious) so this is another
way to really dive deeper into your out work instead of just looking at the
superficial level. And so remember when you have answered all these questions
and done these prompts in order for you to approach to our work in an analytical
way, remember to ask yourself, what do all these answers mean to me in a
personal way? How does it relate to your life in some way? And this is an answer
that only you can answer for yourself when you look at your own artwork
because we all we are doing today here is really learning more about what’s
going on in your life what’s going on in yourself subconsciously and some of the things like emotions and feelings and thoughts that
are coming up that are not being addressed or explored in your conscious
life so this is really a way to understand yourself more rather than
kind of judging ourselves and putting labels on ourselves. We cannot really
know what’s really going on in someone’s life or in someone’s brain by looking at
their one artwork and art therapists don’t just interpret artwork by using
cookie cutter recipes since each person is unique. In art therapy it’s really
more about the relationship between the artwork, the artist/the client, and the art
therapist. What are some of the things that you have found or learned about
yourself from your own artwork? I would like to know so please make a comment
below and if you have any questions about analyzing your artwork or what art
therapists do please leave a comment below as well. Thank you so much for
watching, I hope you enjoyed this. I’ll talk to you next time, bye.

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