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Creating Art After a Disaster

Creating Art Based on Your Experience

  • Artists frequently use their life experiences as themes, imagery, and ideas for creating art. In times of crisis, use your emotions or circumstances to tell your story and find inspiration for content and meaning
  • Keep a journal or sketchbook to process and reflect on your experience
  • If you can no longer practice the art form or medium that you are used to, take this opportunity to explore something new and different. Ceramicist and Beneficiary Ben Medansky purchased colored pencils and paper after his entire studio was destroyed in a fire
  • Create art by safely upcycling disaster debris and found objects to create temporary public art, memorials and community based projects as well as your own artwork
  • Allow yourself time to recover and gradually accept your “new normal”. Practice self-care and avoid isolating yourself from others

Expanding Your Creative Network


Traumatic Experiences can:

  • Provide perspective
    • Make you more aware of the “big picture” and your  place in it
    • Help you focus on the here and now
    • Provide clarity on what you want
    • Inspire you to give back to others through you art or other efforts
  • Change your priorities
    • Slow down
    • Simplify
  • Change your attitudes
    • It’s okay to be a receiver now and then
    • Setbacks or challenges can be opportunities
    • Accept what has happened and embrace the “new normal”
  • Provide chances for growth/learning
    • Open to reflection and reevaluation
    • Learn about your strengths and weaknesses
    • Form new connections and stronger connections with others
      • Get prepared in case of another emergency