Art is a positive and creative way to allow yourself to express feelings and emotions that may be bottled up inside. It is important to let these feelings out because if you do not you will live an unhappy and unhealthy lifestyle. Here I will discuss an art therapy exercise that helps one examine their growth through time. This can be a very positive and productive exercise so feel free to try it.
For this piece you will need a photograph of yourself, and you will need to photocopy this picture onto three pieces of paper. It is also helpful if you can enlarge the picture for this process, but make sure to allow some blank white area around the picture. You will also need some art supplies such as crayons, markers, pens, and paint if you like.
Start by envisioning a negative experience from your past that has left you trouble. Without thinking about how you want your picture to come out draw on the first photocopy. Do not draw with premeditated ideas; simply allow the emotion you feel from your remembrance to flow onto the paper. There is no right or wrong in this exercise; this exercise is here to help you release pent up emotions and start working on something positive. Do whatever you like with this photo. If changing your smile to a frown is what you want to do go ahead; if coloring over the whole photo with black marker makes you feel better be my guest.
Next look at the second photo and reflect on how you now feel. Reflect on how the experience in the past has affected your actions and outlook today. Now express that on the second photo. Again remember that you can not make a mistake with this, and allow yourself to act without regard. Keep in mind that you are not reflecting on the past you are reflecting on how the past has influenced your present.
Now put both of those portraits aside and look at the last photocopy. You must think about the future for this piece, but remember the past experience, and remember how it has influenced your present circumstances. At this time you will need to think of how you would like to be in the future, and take all of the other things into consideration. Express your hopes for the future in this piece. Be positive; you can see how things have happened in the past and present, and because you are aware of these things you can also change them.
Remember with this exercise to feel free to write and draw whatever you like. I hope this exercise has helped you, and when you are done look at all the photocopies together. Keep these images around you so you can remind yourself of your future goals.