How to Art Therapy


People mostly ask what is art therapy. I found about art therapy recently from another artist and a best friend who I'm still chasing dreams with. Before I formally introduce you our very first ever guest here in Lady Oh Janey Studio. I'd like to share what Art Therapy is all about, when it is used and things I learned from my art therapist.


What is Art Therapy?

Art Therapy is a form of soul healing and a means of self-discovery through your work of art.  

When you practice art therapy, your end-goal is to feel the freedom that people need from daily stress, anxiety and unprecedented events in life that can suddenly change the course of our life whether we like it or not.

Art Therapy aims to help all of us. It is used to treat a wide range of mental disorders and psychological distress. It can help improve self-esteem, overcome anxiety and depression, manage addictions and explore our emotions (Psychology Today). 

If you would like to try art therapy then try choosing from different forms of art like painting, digital art, photography, crafting, collaging, modeling, carving or sculpting. You don't have to be great at it nor to have a mental disorder to start practicing. Art therapy is good for your brain and your soul. Did you know that studies show that art therapy helps recover memory loss and also helps people recover from trauma?

How to art therapy :

1. Have an open mind, heart, and soul

2. Think of all the creative outlet you could do. You can start with the ones you already have tools to begin with. Or you could start with the ones you're most curious about. Remember to have fun every step of the way.

3. Shop a little for tools. If you don't have any, it wouldn't hurt to buy some art supplies to get you started. I am not suggesting to splurge on all the art supplies you find.

4. Find art everywhere. Take photos if you can. I love how Paris is just full of painted walls in every corner. Surprise yourself! 

5. Search for your favorite elements. For me, my love for florals and fashion led me to paint mostly flowers, designing and illustrating fashion. Find what makes you feel good. Or you could even skip this step and move to the next one.

6. Start creating your pieces. It took me almost a month and a half to have the courage to start my own piece. As my first task, my art therapist asked me to start creating art without thinking of its purpose. It's not for posting on Instagram or selling artwork online. Let your emotions do the work. Let your love for colors, textures, and art do the trick. What did I see when I stared at my paper? A pretty lady in a huge ball gown painted dress. And I started sketching and painting straight away.  

7. Remember this is not an exercise to be good at art. It's a process to be good to yourself. After I finished painting, it was very comforting. So start creating through art therapy whenever you need that special space.

8. Lastly, create art for yourself and continue making art because you love it.

9. If you'd like to get in touch with an art therapist, please read more below. 

It is very easy to say perhaps that we don't need art therapy and for starters, it seems a more challenging task rather than a healing one. Our human instinct is to deny any weaknesses we encounter until we are ready to overcome it. The best part is that we could always try to be open and curious. If I wasn't born lucky enough to have met and been close to a fellow artist, Gabrielle Grace Bernardino, then I probably wouldn't have tried Art Therapy.

Gabrielle Grace Bernardino (Grace) visit to Musée de Louvre, Paris France 2015

Grace is an active member of Singapore's Hungry Creatives Group with a degree in Human Ecology. She currently got her second diploma from Brisbane, Australia as an Art Therapist. Her super creative Instagram is filled with altered projects, mixed media portraits, clay crafts, calligraphy, pottery, and artisan jewelry. 

Grace on celebrating Happy Reformation month through calligraphy.  (Instagram: @gracybernardino)

Her love for vintage turns simple pieces to exquisite ones. Altered box and frame made by Grace (Instagram: @gracybernardino)

Special flowers for that special someone...  (Instagram: @gracybernardino)

One of my favorite pieces Grace has made using watercolor  (Instagram: @gracybernardino)

Digital Fashion Illustration (Instagram: @gracybernardino)

Contact Gabrielle Grace Bernardino for an Art Therapy Consultation at

Follow her Instagram account via @gracybernardino


Me and Grace holding a postcard with our dreams listed before tucking it in one of the books in Shakespeare and Co, Paris France 


This blog is a personal blog written and edited by Jodi Balagtas. This post is not funded nor sponsored by the art therapist mentioned. The material on this website is not to be used by any commercial or personal entity without expressed written consent of the author. The statements on this blog are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. The author does not in any way guarantee or warrant the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any message and will not be held responsible for the content of any message. Always consult your personal physician for specific medical advice.


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