The Power of Art to Build Self Esteem

Carol - San Jose, California
Entered on January 2, 2008
Age Group: 50 - 65
Themes: creativity

I believe in the power of art to build self esteem and enhance the enjoyment of everyday life.

My childhood was filled with art. I had colorful and tactile experiences like making paper dolls and dressing them up, writing short stories and illustrating them with crayons, or making puppets, and putting on home puppet shows.

But when I wasn’t actively playing, doing homework, or chores around the house, I would get bored…that’s where the elements of art: line, color, texture and design became so important. When I played with them I was transported to another land. With a crayon and paper I could draw any building, person, animal, sky, tree, ocean, island or imaginary setting I wanted!

One day after making crafts at summer camp some of the kids told me that they loved my yarn dolls and begged me to show them how to make such cute ones. My self-confidence soared, and I knew then, at ten years old, that my love of art would be forever.

I later graduated from college with a BA in graphic design. I worked for an advertising agency for a few years, and then had a successful design studio of my own. Twelve years later with the advent of the computer I went back to school to study marketing, and worked in corporate marketing departments producing newsletters, presentations, brochures, and trade show exhibit designs.

I liked my work because I was still using my art skills, but in my spare time I always took an art class or just drew or painted at home. The cost of materials was always minimal and the possibilities for creating something interesting to look at were endless. As my self-confidence and skill grew, so did my repertoire.

With this personal growth, I found that no matter what difficulties I encountered in life…divorce, dysfunctional bosses, lonliness, job loss, disillusionment with politics, family or friends, I believed that my art would carry me through. No matter the problem, after a few hours journey creating art, I always emerged refreshed.

Today I am retired and I plein air paint once a week with a group of enthusiastic

people from all walks of life who share the same love of painting landscapes outdoors using line, color, texture, and design. Meeting this great group of artists has further confirmed my belief… that art has the power to build self-esteem and enhance the enjoyment of everyday life…for myself and many others.