Social Media and the Creative Process

This week over on the Creativity in Therapy blog, art therapist Carolyn Mehlomakulu posted Exploring the Stages of the Creative Process – a great read about how the creative process can unfold in art therapy. The post also explores how the creative process and its different stages can continue to be practiced or implemented in everyday life- even when not engaged in art-making.

Social media also has a connection to the creative process and its different stages! Below is an infographic for Chapter 7, Social Media and the Art Therapist’s Creative Practice which explores how social media impacts modern day creative work and suggestions for art therapists to consider for strengthening or adding to their creative practice.

As described in Chapter 7 (p. 137):

Social psychologist Graham Wallas (1926/2014) identified one of the early models of creative thinking, including essential stages of the creative process: preparation, incubation, illumination, and verification. Social media has become an active influence to these well-known steps and aid in how the creative process can now develop for many artists. An adaptable version of Wallas’ stages has been designed to meet the needs of today’s digital culture (LePage, 2015).

 

Social Media and Stages of the Creative Process (Adapted from LePage, 2015) | Illustration by Wiscy Creative Jones, Chapter 7- The Art Therapist’s Guide to Social Media

How do you use social media to assist with your creative process?

References

LePage, E. (2015, September 3). Social Media and the Creative Process. Retrieved from https://blog.hootsuite.com/social-media-and-the-creative-process

Miller, G. (2017). The art therapist’s guide to social media: Connection, community, creativity. New York, NY: Routledge.

Wallas, G. (2014). The art of thought. Tunbridge Wells, Kent: Solis Press. (Original work published 1926)

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Fall Workshops Inspired by The Art Therapist’s Guide to Social Media

Coming this fall….. Workshops inspired by the The Art Therapist’s Guide to Social Media:

As part of the 2018 Expressive Therapies Summit in New York City, Social Media, The Arts, and Community Engaged Projects (October 12, 7-9 pm) explores the power of the arts and how creative, interactive community based projects using social media can motivate positive change, hope, and well being. Public projects inspired by abandonment art, random acts of kindness, and other creative deeds not only motivate art making, enhance emotional development, and support compassionate acts, but also offer meaningful opportunities to connect and positively influence others that their art comes into contact with, both on and offline. As a result, this inspiration has the possibility to keep spreading its creative message from person to person. Participants will be introduced to art-based projects and experience how-to ideas for implementing this kind of creative chain reaction for use in treatment with clients and ways to facilitate this approach within a therapeutic context for individuals, groups, or communities.  Registration is now open here.

Social Media and Art Therapists: Exploring Our Digital Footprint and Presence Online (November 3, 10:15-11:45 am) will be offered at the 2018 American Art Therapy Association Conference in Miami, Florida.  This workshop invites art therapists to consider and reflect upon the impact of our digital footprint and its influence. Through didactic presentation, experiential art-making, and group discussion attendees will be encouraged to explore topics that foster an awareness about creating a digital presence online that aligns with ones goals, passions, values, and career interests.  Pre-registration required and space availability is limited. Advanced registration is open online until 9/28 via http://www.arttherapyconference.com

Also being included this fall as part of Southwestern College’s Masters in Art Therapy/Counseling Professional Ethics Course and the college’s Masters in Art Therapy for Clinical Professionals, will be an online webinar/guest lecture for students about Social Media and E-Professionalism Considerations for Art TherapistsThis 30 minute webinar presents how art therapists can create a strong professional digital presence through the use of social media. Topics explored include:

  • Digital ecosystems
  • E-professionalism
  • Online disinhibition effect
  • The art of creating a professional digital presence
  • Digital footprint considerations

If you are interested in learning more about how to incorporate this webinar or guest lecture into any of your art therapy coursework, please submit an information request here.

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Past 2018 Events

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Social Media Day 2018

Today officially marks Social Media Day- a day of recognition founded by Mashable in 2010 as an opportunity to celebrate the worldwide power and influence social media has had on our lives.

 

Throughout this year art therapists and art therapy students have engaged in social media workshops inspired by The Art Therapist’s Guide to Social Media. One of the fun areas explored through discussion and art making includes exploring digital ecosystems with social networking, including thinking back on the first social media sites used, in what ways, and where we were in life at this time.  Also explored are the challenges, anxieties, enthusiasm, and possibilities experienced- personally, professionally, and creatively. What do you remember about your social media engagement back in the “early days” or when you created your first social media account?

The impact of social media over the last decade on the field of art therapy has certainly been tremendous— and with today’s celebration of social media, below is a round up reflection of posts and resources inspired by the love of social media for an art therapist’s connection, community, and creativity! This list includes art therapy online groups, blogs, videos, links, and information for art therapists about social media, professional practice, and ways to learn more about navigating or strengthening our connection within this digital landscape:

Also in celebration of Social Media Day, you are invited to share below any social media memories you have as an art therapist or how social media has impacted your connection, community, or creativity in the art therapy community- 🙂 Up to five responses will be randomly chosen at the end of this week-end (Sunday, July 1, 5 pm EST/US) to receive a free Art Therapist’s Guide to Social Media sticker sheet!  Happy Social Media Day!

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Chapter Abstracts: The Art Therapist’s Guide to Social Media

Divided into three parts that highlight the themes of connection, community, and creativity, The Art Therapist’s Guide to Social Media explores timely topics such as the professional use of social media, ethical considerations, potential benefits and challenges, and strategies to embrace the possibilities that social media can create for the field of art therapy worldwide. The book brings together content helpful for the advancement of social media practices within the art therapist and in the profession of art therapy. Its contents serve as an opportunity to empower art therapists on the many ways to use social media and ways to decrease potential risks. Each chapter also includes an extensive reference list, an art experiential and reflection questions to further explore the topics addressed.

Table of Contents

Foreword by Lynn Kapitan PhD, ATR-BC, HLM, Former Executive Editor of Art Therapy: Journal of the American Art Therapy Association, Past President of the American Art Therapy Association, Author of Introduction to Art Therapy Research and Re-enchanting Art Therapy, Professor and Director of the Professional Doctorate in Art Therapy at Mount Mary University

Introduction

 

Part One: Connection

Chapter 1: An Introduction to Social Networking and Social Media

This chapter offers an overview of the power of social media on connection, engagement, and influence. It serves to offer some basic knowledge and a fundamental groundwork about social media topics to be explored in future chapters. Content in this chapter introduces a general historical overview of social networking’s early beginnings, as well as art therapy’s history of using the Internet for networking and connection. Additional content includes the impact of mobile connection, as well as definitions, genres, examples, and features of popular social media sites available at the time of this writing. This includes social media sites for the general masses, professional networks, media sharing, content communities, blogs, micro-blogging, and social bookmarking. Examples of how art therapists are engaging with these sites and its general relevance to art therapy are described. Finally, theoretical considerations such as six degrees of separation and three degrees of influence are presented to explore social media considerations for connection and influence.

Chapter 2: The Challenges and Benefits of Social Networking

Art therapists need to take a meaningful look at some of the challenges and benefits that social media can have on the clients we serve, the therapeutic relationship, and how to best navigate social media with purpose and responsibility in our own use. This chapter takes a closer look at topics related to some of the challenges and benefits of social networking. The first part addresses how social media can influence our lives both negatively and positively in forming and sustaining relationships, building self-esteem and identity, as well as supporting well-being. This section also includes the role of digital social responsibility to clients and educating clients about social media use in respect to confidentiality and sharing their art within an online setting. The second half of this chapter explores some of the challenges art therapists may face in their own social media use related to privacy management and digital boundaries. Best practice suggestions are presented to help minimize these potential risks. The chapter also addresses the benefits of social media for art therapists, particularly in relationship to creating connection, support, and decreasing professional isolation.

Chapter 3: Social Media, Art Therapy, and Professionalism

This chapter acknowledges how the art therapy community can use and implement the tools of social networking with the highest awareness and application of professionalism. Content expands on social media’s influence on professional competency and some of the challenges and risks art therapists and the profession may face related to this subject. Specific topics include e-professionalism, the art therapist’s digital footprint and its impact on art therapy, and the online disinhibtion effect are explored. The role of art therapy graduate programs, workplace considerations, as well as ethical frameworks for social media use among art therapists is discussed to help provide guidance on informed decision making. The conclusion of this chapter introduces how social media can be used for positively advocating for the art therapy profession and the work of art therapists.

Part Two: Community

Chapter 4: The Value of Digital Community for Art Therapists 

Since the Internet’s early beginnings, the concept of community has historically been at the center of online activity. This chapter addresses the significance and value of digital community for art therapists. Online professional art therapy groups are often dedicated to exchanging occupational related information and knowledge, in addition to finding value in collaboration or supporting each other with professionally driven projects, endeavors, and learning. Content includes exploring communities of practice online for art therapists to build knowledge, cultivate collegiate relationships and exchange, offer support, create a sense of belonging, and strengthen professional identity. Uses and examples of digital community for art therapists through social media are described. Suggestions for art therapists to consider for online community building, supporting the hierarchy of digital community needs, and developing community norms and standards are also explored.

Chapter 5: Strengthening the Art Therapy Profession through Social Media

This chapter explores how social media can contribute to strengthening the art therapy profession and members of the art therapy community it serves. Content will highlight suggestions of how art therapists can professionally develop and promote a strong digital presence with a framework of suggested guidelines about social media sharing strategies, generating content online, and how to create digital assets relevant to our work, career interests, and professional values. The chapter also highlights how social networking and leveraging activity on social media can positively contribute to increasing the field’s visibility, strengthen art therapy’s value, appreciation, clarify misconceptions about art therapy’s use, and create a voice of advocacy for the profession and causes important to art therapists. Social media examples in the form of art therapy sites and projects are highlighted to explore these topics.


Chapter 6: Social Networking and the Global Art Therapy Community

The tools and platforms of social networking continue to not only fill our own personal and professional lives, but its influence and scope can be seen and experienced worldwide. This chapter explores the impact of this growing global village in the field of art therapy and how art therapists have found an important sense of community in this digital domain. The power of social media creates opportunities for art therapists to engage in collaborations and communities, no matter where we live. Content will include exploring the universal reach of technology, social networking’s impact on fostering an international art therapy community, and the role of art therapists as global digital citizens. These ideas will be further illustrated by presenting examples of sites and collaborative online projects that art therapists from several parts of the world have engaged in through the use of social media.

Part Three: Creativity

Chapter 7: Social Media and the Art Therapist’s Creative Practice

With social media’s increasing presence impacting our professional lives as art therapists, there is also significant value in exploring how the power of social media influences creative activity, especially in relationship to our practice as artists. Social media encompass an interactive infrastructure activating art opportunities for art therapists to become professionally involved with community engagement, interpersonal connection, and their own creative work. This chapter will explore the role of social media for advancing creative process and fostering creative motivation within the art therapist. Content explores how social networking sites can support the art therapist’s creative drive, artist identity, and enthusiasm for art making and art-based endeavors. Topics to be addressed also include the role of online creative communities as additional encouragement and support for creative practice and connection to artistic activity.

Chapter 8: 6 Degrees of Creativity

Social media’s influence in reaching others holds considerable strength. This power is true for leveraging our creativity to inspire and make a constructive impact for not only our own well-being and identity as artists, but to use our collective creative force to positively influence others, our communities, and in turn the world. Social media can multiply our message, action, and intention as artists while striving to make a meaningful difference and facilitate transformation through our art-based efforts and creative expression. This chapter addresses the combined influence social networking, the arts, and community can have on inspiring creative engagement and positive change among a group of individuals and beyond. To illustrate these concepts, a comprehensive overview of the intention and logistics of the 6 Degrees of Creativity online community is provided. Project examples and art from art therapists and other artists who participated in 6 Degrees of Creativity offerings are presented to showcase the influence social networking can have on spreading positive creative engagement and collaboration.

Conclusion

Chapter 9: Future Considerations- Social Media and Art Therapists

So what does the future of social media hold for art therapists and its potential for upcoming opportunities, experiences, and the field? How can art therapy as a profession and art therapists continue to build on the benefits and practices explored throughout this book, while still navigating the technology that emerges for social networking with continuous professionalism, responsibility, and ethical caution? This concluding chapter offers thoughts and ideas about the future of social networking for art therapists related to connection, community, and creativity. Content presents professional considerations about what future social networking practices may look like or become for art therapists and the profession. To add to this discussion, some of these thoughts are offered through the eyes of new professionals just entering the field or art therapists who have been early advocates to the use of technology within the profession.

Glossary
Appendix
Index

The Art Therapist’s Guide to Social Media will be released on October 10. Stay tuned for updates about future book events and happenings.

Art Therapist on the Grid: Lani Gerity

Art Therapists on the Grid: Art Therapy Meets Social Media Conversations is a weekly interview series this summer featuring a variety of art therapists and how they use the power of the Internet and social media in relationship to sharing their work with others, professional development, nurturing creativity, cultivating community and more.

This interview features Lani Gerity, DA, ATR a puppet-maker, author, world traveller, and a trained art therapist with a master’s degree and a doctorate from New York University (NYU). Lani studied with art therapy pioneer Edith Kramer and edited Edith’s last book, Art as Therapy and Creativity and the Dissociative Patient as well as articles and chapters in other’s books. Lani is also co-editor of the forthcoming book, The Legacy of Edith Kramer- A Multifaceted View to be published by Routledge in December 2017.

Lani maintains a website, blogs, and online groups filled with encouragement and alternative arts for artists, art therapists, and art educators. In 2006, she founded the online art community 14 Secrets for a Happy Artist’s Life. 14 Secrets created a safe space online where art therapists and other artists could come together in a “virtual art studio” to inspire art making, exchanging, and support creative practice.

“Art inspired activity in the form of exchanges, collaborations, prompts, and dialogue in the virtual creative space of 14 Secrets explores themes related to resilience, generosity, as well as concepts rooted in positive psychology and self care. Gerity’s innovative use of the Internet at this time offered an important need among art therapists longing to reconnect with or sustain personal art making for their own well-being.” (Chapter 7- Social Media and the Art Therapist’s Creative Practice, The Art Therapist’s Guide to Social Media)

In this chat, Lani shares:

  • inspirations and influences that helped form and develop 14 Secrets
  • the value of online art communities and the virtual art studio concept
  • how social media can intersect with creative daily practice
  • how Edith Kramer’s mentoring & values impact Lani’s own happy artist’s life online and beyond

Listen to the interview:

Learn more about Lani’s creative work and connect to her online here:

Other inspiration & resources mentioned in our conversation:

 

  • Gretchen Miller’s round robin book from a 14 Secrets mail art project. Page by Lani Gerity (2009).

    Thank you to Lani for contributing to this series and all her inspiration on and offline- Stay connected for another art therapist interview next week! 🙂

Previous Interviews:

Art Therapist on the Grid: Petrea Hansen-Adamidis

Art Therapists on the Grid: Art Therapy Meets Social Media Conversations is a weekly interview series this summer featuring a variety of art therapists and how they use the power of the Internet and social media in relationship to sharing their work with others, professional development, nurturing creativity, cultivating community and more.

Before the arrival of what we all know now as social media there were art therapists in the 1990s who were already leading the way on the Internet to connect members of the art therapy community with information, resources, and discussion sites, as well as a way to inform the public about art therapy. This week’s chat features Petrea Hansen-Adamidis DTATI, RCAT, RP a Registered Art Therapist and Registered Psychotherapist. In 1996, Petrea created one of the first art therapy sites that was online, ArtTherapyinCanada (archived at adamidis.ca).  It is fun to visit Petrea’s old site to remember what art therapy resources and sites often looked like 20+ years ago! It is great to show Petrea’s original site to art therapy students as an example of the early days of online connection for art therapy. How things have changed!  In this conversation, Petrea talks about what inspired her to create her first site and how she uses social media now to share her work and creative interests as an art therapist and artist. 

Petrea has been working in the field of art therapy for over 22 years and for the past 15, has worked as an Expressive Arts Therapist in an outpatient services program at a large children’s mental health center in Toronto, Ontario.  Petrea additionally works as an art therapist clinician, providing trauma assessments and treatment in parent-child expressive arts therapy. She is also an art therapy supervisor and instructor at The Toronto Art Therapy Institute. As part of her private practice, Petrea runs self-exploration art workshops for health, wellbeing, and self-care in Toronto and also offers online expressive arts e-courses.

From Petrea’s current site relaunched as arttherapist.ca:  

“When I first began this site over 15 years ago, I was a newly trained Art Therapist, eager to share with the world the wonderful world of art therapy. It was one of the first pages up on the Internet with resources on art therapy including information about associations around the world. art therapy books, conference announcements, plus my own workshops.”

My first online community, The Art Therapy Student Networking Forum that I founded as a graduate student in the late 1990s (hosted then on Delphi Forums) was one of the many resources that Petrea included on her site, which was very cool and something we chat about!

Listen to our interview here:

Learn more about Petrea’s work and connect to her online:

Other resources mentioned in our conversation:

Thank you to Petrea for sharing her inspiring experiences, then and now! Stay connected for a new interview next week as this series continues…

Previous Interviews:

Art Therapist on the Grid: Carolyn Mehlomakulu

Art Therapists on the Grid Convo Series

A fun interview podcast series will be launching soon about social media and how art therapists are using it for connection, community, & creativity. Definitely very inspiring— such great energy and experiences to share! A different online recording and art therapist will be featured here on this blog beginning mid June through July.  Hope you will be able to plug in and watch!

Art Therapists on the Grid Convo Series | Art Therapist's Guide to Social Media