Creative activities allow an individual to explore emotions and beliefs, affect the reduction of stress, problem solving and conflict resolutions, and contribute to the well-being of the individual.
The fine arts are about identification, clearance and materialization because life in the artistic product offers thinking in the artistic manner and exploring oneself, which enables the form of reconciliation with the world and oneself (Gorjup, 1999).
Artistic creativity is a way of expression that is very close to children and adolescents with emotional, behavioural, cognitive and psycho-somatic problems. Artistic creativity helps them to relax, learn about their own interests and potentials, improve motivation and concentration, and develop creativity and abstract thinking.
Artistic expression is often very close to many children and adolescents also because they can be alone with their thoughts during their creative process. By using a picture, they can express their own thoughts and feelings, including those that are too painful to put into words. Or as C. Malchiodi (1998) says, the language of fine arts such as lines, colors, shapes and images speak in a way that words cannot. Through artistic expression, children and adolescents connect verbal and non-verbal, learn to recognize, express and become aware of emotions, strengthen self-image, develop imagination and creativity, reduce anxiety and tension, all of which contribute significantly to personal growth and autonomy development.
Creative workshops are held within our fine art-creative group where children and adolescents in a smaller group get acquainted with various materials, and they learn different techniques of drawing, painting, interior design and making decorations and jewellery. The activities are adjusted to their abilities and selected in line with the specificity of the child or adolescent or the group.
In doing so, they are guided by a mentor who helps them in non-verbal expression by directing them and standing by them. Since relaxation of the imagination also relaxes the conversation, the mentor creates an environment in which sensitive topics of conversation can spontaneously develop. The pictures stimulate conversation which connects to a deeper experience of materials and images (McNiff, 1988).
A mentor guides children and adolescents in developing healthy self-esteem, coping with their own emotions encountered during their creative process, and interpersonal relationships they enter. This helps them to identify and get to know their own interests.
The approach to each child or adolescent is customized and targets their needs, abilities and desires. We create conditions for personal growth and the development of independence and autonomy. Autonomy is an important characteristic that we develop and strengthen in children/adolescents on their path to deinstitutionalization
We meet in small groups several times a week. Moreover, we also associate with external institutions where we exhibit our products and view exhibitions of creative community.
Gorjup, Tomaž. 1999: Likovne zakonitosti in aktivnosti delovne terapije. Ljubljana:
Malchiodi, Cathy A. 1998: The Art Therapy Sourcebook. Los Angeles: Lowell House.
McNiff, Shaun. 1988: Fundamentals of art therapy. Springfield : Charles C. Thomas.