Art Making, Reflections, Self-Love / Self-Care

The Art Itch

By: Alanna Sindlinger, MA, LMHC
As an art therapist, it is important to continue to create your own art and have your own practice of self care through art making and creativity. I am continuously contemplating how to strengthen and honor this practice in my personal life. As many art therapists choose to do, I started my journey with art therapy by going to art school first with a minor in psychology. Being an artist has been a central part of my identity. I will often say, I am an artist first and an art therapist second even though it doesn’t always feel that way.

Many of us struggle with our identities as artists and how we can continue to incorporate that very important part of ourselves into our very busy lives. Here is a list of ideas I have had in continuing this practice and the struggles that I have had with maintaining this practice.

  • Process paintings over a period of time. Paint on a canvas once a week without developing a plan for the painting or concept except in the weekly sessions. These processes can have a focus on career/work or personal life.
  • Write poetry
  • Develop a series that continues to be an investigation throughout time.
  • Do directives that I want to ask clients to do or that I do ask clients to do.
  • Reflect on the day while creating a mandala.
  • Conceptual work centered around my relationship to the environment and commentary on environmental issues.
  • Write and illustrate Children’s books
  • Cook beautiful food that is based off of recipes but made into my own style.
  • Be inspired and follow through with a piece of art reflecting that inspiration.
  • Design a garden or a space
  • Dance
  • Pay attention to artist opportunities that I can be a part of.

Some of these IDEAS have never come into fruition but they are alive inside of me and the intention of following through is there. As artists, we have a different way of looking at the world, of perceiving the world, and of walking through the world.We tend to go against the grain and we often process our world a little uniquely as well. Instead of talking about it we may need to spend time in the studio with some paint and found objects to really describe and depict our inner thoughts and assessments about life, politics, culture, insights and our clients.  As we ask our clients to explore themselves in a deep intimate process through the mediums of their choosing as should we be doing the same exploration of ourselves on a regular basis.
Below is an opportunity for artists residing in New Mexico to help keep the artist itch alive.



Project Intent

TIME – Temporary Installations Made for the Environment – Edgewood

The Art in Public Places Program of New Mexico Arts, Route 66 Arts Alliance, and City of Edgewood seek to commission five temporary environmentally based artworks to be exhibited in various locations in Edgewood, New Mexico. The proposed artworks should relate to this year’s theme: “Persistence”

Project Intent
The strongest proposals will be for works which engage the temporary nature of this series of installations and relate strongly to the cultural and environmental histories of the area.  Site-specific and ephemeral works are encouraged. Artwork should appeal to both local residents and visitors to the area. No artwork requiring concrete pads or other environmentally damaging approaches will be considered. At the agreed upon time of removal, the artist will return the installation site to its original condition, subject to the approval of the site representative. Media must be low maintenance, safe for both children and adults, ADA compliant, and not leave a permanent mark on the environment when removed.

Accepting Applications through April 13th 2017

For more information visit
TIME: Edgewood