Working as a schoolteacher I witnessed a dire need for Art Therapy within our community.
Students were increasingly suffering from anxiety, depression, and other mental illnesses and I felt, as their teacher, I was just adding to their overall stress levels by handing out assessments and jamming each lesson with the required curriculum content instead of helping them.
This began my journey to become a Transpersonal Art Therapist - to assist people to express their emotions and grow into the best version of themselves.
After completing an Advanced Diploma of Transpersonal Art Therapy at Ikon Institute, I worked as an Art Therapist within a primary school setting targeting various issues including bullying, low self-esteem, and explosive classroom behaviour.
The impact of Art Therapy on student wellbeing was assessed by parents and teachers who completed surveys comparing behaviour before and after therapy.
The feedback was incredibly positive with improved school attendance, less instances of bullying and increased self-confidence of students.
I then started my own business, Freestyle Arts, providing Art Therapy to children with special needs who were often home schooled. My passion is helping people improve their social skills, self confidence and resolving internal conflicts.
For me, Art Therapy has proved to be an invaluable tool for processing difficult life events such as changing careers, ending romantic relationships, managing healthy habits, and losing a loved one.
I have literally painted my way out of many depressive episodes using art to express my deepest emotions when there were no words. The process of making art was cathartic allowing my mind to focus and quieten by pushing out all other thoughts; it was almost meditative.
This way I was able to gain a different perspective of my psychological distress by distancing myself from the problem through art and the continued support of family and friends.
I was born an artist, always busy with my hands wanting to create new things with whatever material was available. As a result, I am well known for my innovative art directives, often using everyday objects and nature to create art, such as using different kinds of pasta to stamp a patterned landscape in clay or painting with flower petals.
I am always pushing myself and my clients to use non-traditional, readily available, and inexpensive art mediums to express themselves. Art needs to be accessible to everyone, everywhere regardless of their individual circumstances because it improves overall well being and empowers people.
My art always tells a story of how I am feeling, evidenced in the chosen brush strokes/marks, medium and colors. It is irrelevant if it is good or pleasing to other people. I do art for the sake of doing art. It is the process of creating that is important and offers the most healing.
Freestyle Arts provides individual and group Art Therapy sessions for adults and children to improve their overall mental health and well-being.
The vision of Freestyle Arts is to provide people with the freedom to create for the sake of creating, regardless of the aesthetic outcome.