International voices from across the globe come together in Art Therapy and the Creative Process to share their perspectives on art, the artist's process, and how art has been therapeutic for them.
In the first section, the three primary contributors--Alfredo Zotti, Samuel Mann, and Cynthia Pearson--create a triple commentary on a piece of art. Zotti paints a picture, Mann analyzes it, and Pearson writes a poem to complement it. In later sections, various artists share why they write, paint, play music, or take photographs, including what their individual mediums mean to them, what they may mean to others, why they have chosen various art forms, how art allows them an opportunity to escape from the world, and how it can also help them heal.
Artists will find kindred spirits in these pages. Lovers of literature, music, and art in all its forms will gain insight into artists' souls, how they view the world a little differently, and why. Art Therapy and the Creative Process gives art a purpose beyond what most of us usually think of it having--that art is a way to keep us all sane in a maddening world and it gives us the opportunity to create something to heal that same world that wounds us.
"Art Therapy and the Creative Process is a fascinating, multi-perspective look at art. I found myself resonating with many of the pieces here. Art allows us to take control of the uncontrollable and make meaning out of chaos. Viewing art as therapy opens the door to a new understanding between art, science, and psychology." --Tyler R. Tichelaar, Ph.D. and award-winning author of The Best Place and Narrow Lives
"Creative activities heal. They lift us out of suffering for awhile. They validate us when we feel damaged and worthless. And, over time, they can transform our perception of our world, so that we change from sufferers to survivors, and even joyful surmounters. Art Therapy and the Creative Process can be a shining example for those who want a way out of a personal hell." --Bob Rich, PhD, psychologist and author "The book is a beautiful piece of work and all concerned should be very proud. The human dimension is enhanced through art and expressive approaches should be a much stronger part of mental health care ." Professor Patrick McGorry, AO MD PhD, Executive Director, OYH Research Centre, University of Melbourne
About the Authors:
Although a Spanish teacher by profession, Cynthia sees herself as an educator interested in issues that affect teacher professional development. Outside of teaching, she is bookish, a lover of books, and her children call her a bookworm. Because her head is usually buried in a book, she considers herself an introvert. However, she is deeply intuitive with a creative mind. Unsurprisingly, she is a supporter of the arts and enjoys going to the theatre, listening to music, and appreciating good painting, slam poetry, photography, and the like, all of which help to enhance her appreciation of life. Cynthia began to develop a more than passing interest in writing poetry from about grade two in primary school, but this interest became a fledgling skill that began while doing A-Level English Literature. As a university student in Jamaica in the mid '80s, she enrolled in a creative writing course. At the end of that course, she was pleased to have one of her poems published in the Arts Review, a volume dedicated to budding creative writers from the Faculty of Arts and General Studies. In 2013, she was officially named chair of the poetry group Poets of the Caribbean (POTCar) Circle, whose members are largely Caribbean nationals at home and in the diasporas. The reader will discover that Cynthia's writing style is as varied as the issues that concern her.
Samuel Mann is a self-styled existentialist artist originally from Guyana who combines art with poetry and music to share with his audience the experiential joy of creativity. A former diplomat, lecturer, project manager, and reporter, Samuel began drawing at a very early age, but he abstained from art for many years after finishing his history undergraduate program at university and becoming a foreign service officer. While serving in Brussels as a government representative to the European Commission and the African, Caribbean, and Pacific Group of States, he developed a strong interest in international development and later went on to earn a Master's in the field. As an artist, Samuel is open and keen to exploring new ways of re-inventing and presenting art in a non-traditional format that is both aesthetic and alive. He is passionate that the future of art lies in its adaptation to science and the innovative use of digital technology to take it to the next level of surrealism. Samuel also belongs to the highly talented POTCar Circle (Poets of the Caribbean Circle), is married with two daughters, and currently resides in Canada.
Alfredo Zotti is the son of the late Luciano Zotti (https: //it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luciano_Zotti), Italian composer, orchestra conductor, and musical director, and his wife, Cristina Zotti. Alfredo, his parents, and brother Giovanni migrated to Sydney, Australia in 1974. At first, life was difficult because the family worked in a wood factory for little money. As time went on, Luciano began to work as a musician and music teacher and life slowly improved for him and his family. In 1981, after many traumatic events, Alfredo began his lifelong challenge of living with bipolar disorder. He quickly hit rock bottom, spending time as a homeless person and turning to street drugs and alcohol to medicate his symptoms. But life improved after hospitalization and careful outpatient monitoring. Alfredo married Cheryl MacDonald, who also suffers with bipolar disorder, and he was able to enrol in a university course. He gained an honours degree in sociology and anthropology. He went on to study clinical psychology at the University of Newcastle, but he did not complete his degree because he felt that academia had taken the wrong path in the prevention and cure of mental illnesses. He completed some courses at first, second, and third year level, with distinction and high distinction. Alfredo also studied piano and was able to gain the 8th year piano grade. Today, Alfredo is the full-time caregiver for his wife, who suffers from a number of disabilities. He also regularly raises funds for his local hospital, Gosford Hospital, by organizing fundraiser nights where he plays with other musicians. So far, he has helped to raise thousands of dollars. The money goes toward the needs of the hospital's patients with mental disorders. Alfredo also writes an online journal, The Anti Stigma Crusaders, which he uploads regularly at two or three month intervals. Alfredo also provides support for online sufferers and uses his art to help people. While he is not a qualified music therapist, he does use music and art to help people online. Some mental health professionals often consult him for his lived experience and knowledge of psychology and music. He has written three books, including this one, two published and one that is free online. He also contributes by giving talks in universities about his experience with bipolar disorder. Learn more at www.AlfredoZotti.com