art & ethics

explorations in art

art & ethics

Women, Tattoos, and Society

December 11th, 2015 · No Comments · Uncategorized

Jasmine Racy

English Comp 101

Dr. Fox

December 11, 2015



Almost all the females in my family have tattoos and are successful working women. They also have encountered judgment by others when their tattoos are visible. When I was younger, I would be with the females in my family possibly doing some type of shopping, someone would always come up to them and ask them all types of personal questions about their tattoos. I never understood why people cared about what my aunts and cousins had tattooed on them; it just never made sense to me. As I got older, I started realizing that it doesn’t matter that they have tattoos, it matters that the tattoos are “visible”. Or even if they weren’t visible and my aunts and cousins told someone they had tattoos, mainly the older generation would judge them based on what they saw.

My generation has almost become the total opposite of what my grandparent’s generation was back then versus now. A lot of my grandparents and their friends don’t have a lot of tattoos. Even if they did, the men were the ones with the most tattoos. I would rarely see any women with tattoos, piercings, or even body art for that matter. Fox News did a study on women and their tattoos. The study shows that women under 35 years old and have a tattoo(s) make up 47% of the population, while women over 65 years old and have a tattoo make up 4% of the population (Fallon). That’s a nice wide gap between my generation and my grandparents’. The funny thing is back then no one ever asked why the women got tattoos, they just immediately were in disgust when they discovered any woman with a tattoo. The older generations often does give younger women the “side eye” when they see a visible tattoo on them still to this day. I sometimes still see it happening with my own mother and I’m 18 years of age. It is possible that no one accepted women with tattoos because it makes the women seem more promiscuous, trashy, immoral, and/or unfit (Fallon).

However, while the older generation never wanted to accept women with tattoos, the younger generations have no problem with it. We’re all about “do what makes you happy” and “it’s your body do what you want”. Karim states that tattoos on women, in this day in age, intrigue people’s thoughts good or bad (Karim). They start to ask questions in their head. His statistics about visible tattoos were that females are more likely to be sexually active and promiscuous if they have visible tattoos (Karim). Which is completely untrue. The females in my family all have a husband of many years and beautiful children. Yes, some women could possibly be promiscuous but having a tattoo doesn’t technically make them promiscuous or add to their promiscuity. They could just be living their lives to the fullest.

Nicolas Guéguen recently did a study about how many men would come up to a woman if they had a visible tattoo. The end result of the study was that women with a tattoo had a male come up to them 24% of the time and women without a tattoo had a male come up to them 10% of the time (Mehta). The men also stated that they were attracted to the women with tattoos. They claimed it made the women seem more daring and “hot” (Mehta). With that being said, the younger generation doesn’t really care about women who have tattoos. It’s just looks that we care about. Yes, tattoos adds to someone’s appearance, but we also look at the face, body shape, hair, eyes, etc. We are mainly just curious. Asking questions is what we would do if we ever saw a woman with a visible tattoo that looked interesting to us.

In this generation I have recently seen women do what they want that will benefit THEM and not other people. As a female, we tend not to care as much about what guys or what are family and friends will think if we get a tattoo. Some women express themselves through body art, with tattoos being the most used. To judge a woman over her tattoo whether it’s visible or not is just wrong. Personally, I let people do what they want and I just let them live their life. For the older generation, yes it may seem wrong or out of your nature but generations are constantly changing. What I use to do and watch while I was in middle school is definitely not what is happening now for middle schoolers. But, I just adapt to it and accept it. And for someone to bring another down because of the body art that they have on them and that they chose is possibly something that I will never understand. But, I would like to.










Works Cited

Fallon, Claire. “The Secret Lives of Tattooed Women.” HuffPost Arts & Culture.                 Huffington Post, 3 Aug. 2015. Web. 14 Nov. 2015.

Karim, D.O. Reef. “Tattoo Psychology: Art or Self Destruction? Modern-Day Social                       Branding.” The Huffington Post., 9 Jan. 2013. Web. 19   Nov. 2015

Mehta, Vinita. “How Do People View Women With Tattoos?” Psychology Today.                       Health Professionals, 20 May 2013. Web. 19 Nov. 2015

Woman with tattoo. Digital image. N.p., n.d. Web.                                         


Its OK if you’re not a professional, authenticity is what matters

December 11th, 2015 · No Comments · Uncategorized

Last summer, I went to the jungle in Ecuador to an animal protection resort to volunteer and visit some of the species found in it. Over there you could find animals such as monkeys, parrots, turtles, tigrillos, etc. all animals there have been injured, mistreated or been confiscated from people who were trying to smuggle them out of the country.

Part of the photographical experience is to work with the animals there, even though they are behind a fence. It was obvious that some pictures of captive animals wouldn’t make it on any famous magazines, but sometimes it is not about publishing it by a famous magazine but instead of being proud that regardless of the limits you were able to take a great picture. This picture that I show you bellow is one that I took after waiting for 2 hours for the two tigrillo cubs to come out of hiding. I was tired of waiting, and frustrated because the fence would not let me take a picture that would really appreciate the beauty of the cubs, yet after a few shots I was able to get some that really made me happy and proud. Some wildlife photographers would actually believe that it would be ok to go behind the fence in order to pose the animals as if they were from the wild and publish them on magazines. I believe that it is more gratifying to post an authentic picture and receive credit for it, rather than posting an altered one.


Of course there are people who do not care at all about the well being of the animals or the authenticity of their images. One can say, they are in it for the money and fame. I have done some research and found that some famous photographers such as Art Wolfe, who is famous and recognized by their astonishing photographs, in reality is ok and is known for manipulating his images, creating the perfect image and passing them as authentic. As Michael Satchell states on his article, photographers and editors now rather “choose the quicker, cheaper substitute of captive animals” as long as the image fulfills with its purpose. Due to the fact that now using captive animals, or photoshop to alter images is more common now, the photographers that still believe in the art of photography are now less encouraged to do it the old style. Satchell stated that working with technology is more tempting, especially when wilderness expeditions costs $300,000, claiming that by using technology they are simply taking advantage of the new resources that there are now.

Nevertheless, there is no such thing as the joy you feel after spending hours waiting, and when the photograph comes out, it is exactly what you wanted. I think that in those moments the wait pays off and that is all part of being a good photographer. Another time, I was enjoying some family time in a farm, and I heard there were some horses and peacocks wondering around freely. So I took my camera and went outside to see if I could take any good picture. After being out there for a long while, probably an hour and a half, I had already taken about three dozen pictures of the same peacock trying to portray its magnificence. All of a sudden, the female peacock comes out and I was so lucky that it was mating time and the male peacock opened his feathers and I was able to take on of the most beautiful images that I have. Because of what had just happened is that I believe that photography is an art, not something to use a tool to generate income, but instead a way of capturing moments and creating something beautiful.

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Of course I would love to avoid spending crazy amounts of money in a trip that doesn’t even assure me an excellent picture. But, photography is not really about that. While there are some photographers that worry about the fame and the money, others are worried about preserving the art. Still, the problem not only lies on the photographers, but also on the big photography companies that are interested in the money. As Charles Kogod says, “it struck me how hypocritical it was for an organization like Defenders to support operations that breed animals only so photographers can make pictures”. I understand that sometimes enhancing the picture, or adding contrast will help improve the quality of the picture, but I believe there is a fine line between improving the quality and changing the concept of the image completely.
The art of photography shouldn’t be lost over commodity. Now, people are not interested on experiencing the rush and the hard work of waiting to take the shot you are looking for. As Joel Sartore argues, “people aren’t getting off their couches and seeing wildlife in the flesh anymore. So game farms can provide an appreciation of how majestic these animals are.” The problem is when some people, such as wildlife photographers, abuse of these resources to generate income. Different photographers that have diverse point of view on this argument, discuss the topic between each other sharing their experiences and opinions. As I gathered from my research in Kenneth Brower’s article, were he states that photo fakery is a real thing that photographers are now doing naturally. Some photographers agree that photography is not only black and white, but it has to “do more than impart technique…[it’s] about imparting ethics as well” (Brower, 2). It is not only about preserving the art but also about what is ethical for the viewers and for the photographers themselves.

I’m not a professional on the topic nor take the best pictures being so young and unexperienced as I am. But as an admirer of the art, I feel that it is important that you are aware, as an early photographer, of the truth on this well known debate. And make a decision, weather it is to be an honest authentic photographer, working to preserve the art of photography or one that feels that manipulating images is not a major problem and that it is fair to all others. After all that I researched, I learned so many different things on the topic. For example, that Disney published some movie about nature and after a while a truth was revealed that some of the shots were staged by the film makers. It makes me angry that people think that photography is about that, a big competition of who takes the best picture and how many honors they win for it. When photography is a way of expression, a tool to be used to portray a message in a different way. I can assure you that it is more gratifying to experience the rush of taking an authentic wildlife photography, than posting the “perfect” shot with a fake one.


Small Talk in the Office

December 11th, 2015 · No Comments · Uncategorized




How am I going to leave a lasting impression at my new job? That is a question everyone should be asking themselves when they get a new job. The answer to that is simple, networking! Having everyone at your job simply know your name can do wonders for your career. When you walk into the kitchen for a cup of coffee your CEO might be reading the newspaper in there. That is an example of the most powerful type of networking, networking up. This is a big step in your career so you should approach the CEO politely; chances are they are very nice as well. You should not allow a few minutes of small talk scare you away from a life changing experience. Those few minutes can shape your career into many years of success. Small talk can be a means of promotion that everyone should practice in the workplace.

Personally, small talk has gotten me very far into my internship at a law firm. When I first began interning in ninth grade I would not talk much in the office and I was very nervous anytime my boss or any directors came around. I was too nervous to ask for more opportunities and even for help. But then, I started opening up and began learning more about my co-workers. Instead of asking about someone’s weekend I would ask how their vacation went or how their new grandson is doing. Simple things like this helped me get more hours and more things to do. I was able to gain the trust of my bosses and they referred me to people they know needed some help if I needed another job. Coming out of my comfort zone and speaking to the people at my job benefited me greatly and opened the door to many opportunities.

Networking is a crucial ingredient in the recipe to success. If you do not network you can stay in the same position for a long time because no one in the work force knows anything about you. Networking can be as simple as a daily smile and “good morning.” “Opportunity can strike anytime, anywhere” (Clark).  Networking is so easy because it should come off natural, it can happen when you are least expecting it. It should not be something you try to plan out or stress over, when it happens naturally the real you comes out. The real professional you is the one you want your boss to meet because you might have something in common and you can bond over things like that.

Although, while you are engaging in small talk you begin bonding with your co-workers you need to remind yourself the goal is not to make friends but to build your career. “Never waste time networking with your own kind… You should be networking up” (Ehrenreich). Your goal is for your boss to remember who you are if a promotion is ever available or if someone asks them for a referral. Small talk is a career choice you cannot ignore if you want to become successful. Talking to the higher ups at your workplace can also be a learning experience. Seeing how they make decisions and interact with others can be a source of wisdom for you if you want to be at their level.

Confidence is a key part of small talk. No CEO would want someone that mumbles and is nervous to speak in front of others to take over for them. This is why some people don’t participate in small talk, because of their nerves. People, especially kids of our generation, are really caught up on things being awkward, and the person might ignore them or be rude. If they think something will put them in an awkward predicament they will avoid it at all costs, without weighing the pros and cons. “There’s nothing small about the role that small talk plays in American professional culture” (Molinsky). Small talk is so important in building our careers that the two minutes you stumble trying to find an interesting topic to bring up should be overlooked. Looking someone in the eye and asking about their weekend should never scare you away from a job offer.

Good small talk consists of a couple simple rules. Due to it being a hard thing for some people to do there are guidelines to help those that struggle with it.             The basic “How’s your week going?” and questions about the weather might be clichés but they are truly great conversation starters. You should never talk to someone about yourself for four minutes straight. “Seek first to understand, then to be understood” (Clark). It is important to know just as much about whom you are talking to as you want them to learn about you. You should also remember to keep it short because you want to network and make sure you are getting around to as many people as possible. Bad small talk would be discussing inappropriate topics and being unprofessional. You are supposed to go into networking with the same state of mind as if you were going to a job interview. Your goal in these situations is to try to “sell yourself” and leave a great first impression with whoever you are talking to (Ehrenreich).  It should be very simple once you get the hang of it.

Although after a lot of practice small talk seems simple but it can be really hard for some people. You do not have to be outgoing to begin a conversation, it is the most fun when both parties are engaged. You should never try to talk about yourself too much and leave without letting the other person get a word in. Some people tend to do this due to nerves and not wanting to leave any awkward silences. Small talk occurs mainly in the work place but the rules should follow you wherever you go.

Everyone knows that small talk comes off a bit fake but just remember your goal and shake off that energy. “You aren’t meeting people because you want to make friends or find allies but because you want something from them” (Ehrenreich). You want to be memorable in a positive way. You need to be someone the person you are networking to is willing to risk their name for and respect. You should not just choose one person and stick with them but move around and talk to new people. Everyone knows what you are trying to accomplish you should not feel weird about having small talk with others. Everyone had to start somewhere and small talk led most of them up the ladder and into the place they are now.

Hopefully, you have a clear understanding of how beneficial small talk can be to someone new in the office. Through networking and small talk you can quickly make sure it is known how vital you can be in the office. You are able to make sure you will not be overlooked for a position because higher ups at your job will know who you are. It is best to only think of how far small talk can take you in your career and not on how awkward your first approach can be. Remember that you are not trying to make a best friend but you are trying to gain the respect of your bosses. Now, you should be able to approach your superiors at work and start a friendly conversation.




Works Cited

Ehrenreich, Barbara. “Down, but Not Out.” Forbes May 07 2007: 112-4. ProQuest. Web. 20 Nov. 2015 .

Clark, Thomas. “Networking: A Key To Career Communication And Management Consulting Success.”Business Communication Quarterly 72.3 (2009): 344-348. Business Source Complete. Web. 20 Nov. 2015.

Molinsky, Andy. “The Big Challenge of American Small Talk.” Harvard Business 
Review. Harvard Business Review, 27 Feb. 2013. Web. 19 Nov. 2015.




Art therapy as a Science of healing PTSD

June 25th, 2015 · 2 Comments · Uncategorized


Levi Derby was a soldier in Afghanistan who committed suicide. He hanged himself in his grand father’s garage. According to his mother he felt guilt and haunted for a child’s death. This was because the child stepped on a landmine when she reached out to get a bottle of water offered by Derby. He couldn’t get the thought out of his head, even when he returned home and locked himself in a motel room for days. Derby decided he cannot handle the pain of seeing someone else die again, decided to take his own life.

A statistical data shows that 22 veterans commit suicide everyday. A 2013 survey of the US veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan also show that 30% of veterans at some point have considered suicide. In recent years, this toll has also shown to be higher on veterans with PTSD symptoms. President Obama and Leon Panetta, former defense secretary, referred to the frequent suicidal rate among veterans as an epidemic that need to end. Many of the veterans who are at risk of suicide, is as a result of assault, violent, rape, stress and guilt about act committed during war.

Post- traumatic stress disorder can affect people of all ages. As a result the rates of the people with PTSD symptoms are increasing, as people are exposed to traumatic events frequently. Individuals who experience events such as abuse, war, rape can be traumatised for weeks, months and sometimes years. Going through such trauma more than once and for a long period leads to chronic PTSD. Individuals with PTSD have symptoms such as flashback, nightmare, anxiety, and depression. Thus they isolate themselves, avoid anything that will trigger their memory of going through the same trauma.These actions, affects their work, relationships and entire life.

Art therapy can be considered as a therapeutic approach to reduce trauma, relieve stress, anxiety and depression on people with PTSD symptoms. Research has shown that with art, expressive writing, music, painting, sculpture and drama can have a positive effect on PSTD patients. In particular research has shown that art therapy can also be an effective treatment for veterans. A lot of veterans return from war with PTSD symptoms of depression, anxiety, and stress. It has help reduce the symptoms of psychological and mental conditions. Art therapy helps them to express themselves, control their emotions, regulate their behaviour, reduce stress, and come to term with painful memories. Furthermore, with art therapy they are able to get over addictions and anxiety.  It also helps them to think positively, encouraging veterans to reflect on the honour of their service, thereby increasing their self –esteem.Steve Piscatelli, a Vietnam veteran who was treated with art therapy commented on this prodecure saying, “ art therapy helps to purge the sound, the smell, the feel in your fingers otherwise you grit your teeth and might end up exploding.” (AATA). He suggested that a lot of veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan, will need art therapy because it works wonders; through art, individuals heal by pouring their heart out and getting rid of that awful feeling.

The primary role of art therapy is that it can be used as a medium for communication. Most of these methods are non- verbal, which allows the patients to talk about their problems when they feel safe to do so. They use creative and expressive art as a mode to express their emotions, thoughts and feelings that cannot be spoken. This method also can work well with people who have speech problem due to developmental deficiency, accident or age such as old people and children. (Smyth para8). Eric Edmondson a 26 year old, veteran who was left paralysed and with a brain injury by a roadside bomb could not talk because of the shock, pain and trauma. However, in a private rehabilitation center, through painting he is able to express his thoughts.

Mind and body therapy encourages the patient to relax and interact.  Many of these veterans have disturbing thought about their experience in war.  Furthermore, with PTSD patients, the body reacts to the brain, for their body reacts to the terrible thoughts, which causes them so much tension and pain. This creates guilt and risk of them committing suicide. Individuals engaging in Creative Arts therapy has shown to be effective in reducing their thoughts of trauma, helps in regulating their feelings, enhance cognitive and physical soundness. Occuping their mind creatively makes them feel safe.

Most psychologist and therapist are used to the using the exposure-based therapy, which has proven to be unsuccessful because it requires patients to face their traumas and fears, which only increases their depression.  For this reason patients hardly continue their treatment. (Smyth para2). If only psychologist and therapist should be devoted to do more research, analysis and follow up on the effectiveness of art therapy.  It may be beneficial to prevent further suicides by improving emotional, cognitive and mental disorder through art.

Cathy Malchiodi a research psychologist and professional art therapist said “I recognize the power of art to expand self-understanding, to offer insight not available through other means and to extend people ability to communicate. It is a powerful way of knowing yourself and a powerful form of healing.(Tartakovsky para5). Art therapy has a unique way of soothing trauma patients, and has been successful in encouraging patients to reflects on their past and come to terms with their present situation, which eventually leads to healing. Therefore psychologist and therapist should see art as a science of healing.



Work cited

Basu Moni. “ Why suicide rate among veterans may be more than 22 a day.” CNN. (2013). Web. 22 June 2015.

Smyth, Joshua and Jeremy Nobel. “Arts & Healing Creative, Artistic and Expressive Therapies for PTSD.” Arts & Healing foundation. (2011).Web. 12 June 2015.

AATA “Art therapy, post traumatic stress disorder and veterans.” Art Web. 12 June 2015.

Tartakovsky Margarita. “ 5 quick facts about Art Therapy”. Psychcentral. Web. 22 June 2015.


Art and brain relation for healing emotional wound

June 25th, 2015 · No Comments · Uncategorized

IMG_5045Our brain perceives art and gets emotional appeal which can help healing from emotional pain. Art is considered as beauty, but brain is an ‘organ of soft nervous tissue contained in the skull of vertebrates’ definitely a complex part of our body that controls us (Brain). Think of art and you will come up with beautiful, colorful images yet think of mind and come up with complicated functions. Keeping eye on every move we take brain also keeps its eye in our emotional puzzle. It is a part of our brain that ignite the beauty of art for us- after seeing an artwork whether we feel happy, sad, angry, fuzzy all these comes from our very own mind, and we can combine both Art’s beauty and Brains function to help people get rid of emotional pain.

If we know a lot about brain then definitely we can heal a lot of its problems and art does that for us, as Vikan said: “When you’re doing art, your brain is running full speed,” Vikan said. “It’s hitting on all eight cylinders. So if you can figure out what’s happening to the brain on art, you know a whole lot about the brain.”

A part of our brain ‘Limbic system: that works for emotions, motivation and learning’ (limbic) is the reason why we get emotional or motivated just by looking at an art work. The emotion we experience through art also depends upon our own experiences. Drawing your own pain or happiness can make you feel good: still one cannot guarantee that a particular art can heal your emotional pain because some chances are it may increase. But yes, there are many artistic way through which we can help healing emotionally tortured people.

Some peoples around the globe are currently using these techniques. For example: in the article “Art therapy with trafficked women” written by Lydia atira tan, she has mentioned about how she used art to help healing trafficked women’s who were brutally tortured and emotionally lost their interest in lives, but when she made them draw their emotion and share it, after some time the women’s actually became more confident and started to think about living new life. One ­women draw her river of life in some pictures, in one of those picture she drew herself being sexually assaulted, “in a later image she drew a mandala to represent her experience of being trafficked and working as a sex worker” (Lydia). “She drew a symbol of a sinking boat, to describe her feeling of drowning. She also drew a picture of her hanging, with a dark cloud overhead, to symbolise her thoughts about taking her own life to end the pain that she felt inside”(Lydia). This example shows, When you are drawing your ‘pain’ you are telling and sharing it with yourself and with the art, also that- for victims it is not easy to share their words but it is easy to draw and show it which can help in healing their emotional pain.

Not only can creating art help people improve their emotions, looking at art, even abstract art, can help. Abstract art is not like the painting’s which has details of every structure and things. This art style just uses some lines, shapes and colors to representto know what it means we have to use the brain and our brain does that for us, it even gives us the meaning of some scattered lines and colors. “Beautiful visual images similarly trigger activity in the ventral striatum, the ventromedial prefrontal cortex, and the orbitofrontal cortex—areas involved in coding our pleasures—and the insula, which is linked to our autonomic nervous systems. Different kinds of pleasures, including music, visual art, and even architectural spaces, ignite the orbitofrontal cortex” (Chatterjee). These words of Chatterjee explains what parts of our brain work with art and also describes that our brain gets affected when we see something beautiful: Which means the brain interact with art and give us different types of pleasure. That shows how just by making people look at a drawing we can heal some of their emotional pain. David also talks about the same thing-that just by seeing an art we get feelings, “Just the sight of the raised wrist causes an activation of the muscle,” (David Freedberg).

Not just painting is art, anything creative or any work through which we describe beauty or emotion is art, other form of art such as dance can also make one feel happy by moving in a lively way. ‘A study that was conducted by researchers of Albert Einstein college of medicine shows that 76% of the people who dance habitually had lesser signs of ‘Dementia’ in comparison to those who reads often and answered crossword puzzle’. Dancing is an amazing form to express our feelings, such as-when we become so happy or excited we start to dance but why we does not dance when we are sad- A Dancer does. For People who are dealing with emotional pain: dancing is also an amazing way to reduce their sadness or stress by showing/giving out the pain through body movements. Dancing it not just for enjoying, it is also to show off your pain or to show the words you cannot speak.

Music is another form of art which can help people get rid of emotional pain, singing or listening smooth music can bring back our happy memories. By listening to an inspirational song we get a feeling that someone is telling us to be strong. Some songs gives the suffering people a light to see outside the room it tells them they are not alone. For example a song by Kelly Clarkson “stronger” is a song that is made for broken hearted people it gives them a light to think over again and tells that they are strong. “Does music heal emotional suffering? Research says yes” (Michael). Michael explains that music helps people to connect with each other-which gives an impact to individual’s mental health.

We can also believe that some big reasons why art exist are happiness, fun, memory and to express, which itself explain why it can be used for emotional healing. Emotions which comes from our brain plays very important role in every human’s life, excess of some emotions such as: fear, regret, sadness may lead to a condition where a person think of committing suicide which now a days is very common. We can use art to heal such big emotional injury, as a great artist said “Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life,”(Pablo Picasso). We can use art to wash away the emotional pain of peoples. The emotional brain “limbic system” is the reason why we can understand the emotion of an art. If we draw, dance and show our brain repeatedly that we can be happy, it gets signal for it and it start to work for it, rather than repeating flashback of our bad experiences.




Zambon, Kat. “How Engaging With Art Affects the Human Brain.” How Engaging With Art Affects the Human Brain. ADVANCING SCIENCE, SERVING SOCIETY, 13 Nov. 2013. Web. 24 June 2015.

Atira, Lydia. “WRLC Library Services Login.” WRLC Library Services Login. Therapy Today, 1 June 2012. Web. 23 June 2015.

Chatterjee, Anjan. “Neuroaesthetics.” The-Scientist. TheScientist Exploring Life, Inspiring Innovation, 1 May 2014. Web. 13 June 2015.

Tucker, Abigail. “How Does the Brain Process Art?” Smithsonian. Smithsonian Magazine, 1 Nov. 2012. Web. 24 June 2015.

Fisher, Rob. “Neurobics – How to Exercise Your Brain and Improve Your Memory.” Home Cures That Work. Home Cures, 31 May 2015. Web. 24 June 2015.

Friedman, Michael. “Does Music Have Healing Powers?” Psychology Today. Brick by Brick, 4 Feb. 2014. Web. 24 June 2015.

Brooks, Katherine. “Study Says Making Art Is Good For Your Brain, And We Say You Should Listen.” The Huffington Post., 8 July 2014. Web. 24 June 2015.


The Journey of Healing in Cancer Patients Through Art Therapy

June 23rd, 2015 · No Comments · Uncategorized



Advocacy is the heart and soul of nursing practice. Nurses are at the front lines of care, and they have a good handle on the issues and what the patients need. Oncology nurses are instructed in the literature to educate patients about cancer management prior to the first treatment and during cancer management to promote informed consent, but not to analyze patients’ information or self-determination preferences. Oncology nurses do, however, advocate for their patients by presenting and raising awareness of patients’ needs and preferences in regard to the healthcare system.

In the past, art therapy was defined as a “mental health profession,” but that didn’t make good sense since research has been trending in favor of art therapy in joined health and mixed medicine arenas. Art therapy has been used with a variety of medical populations. When medical art therapy was included as part of team treatment, art expression was used by cancer patients to communicate perceptions, needs, and wishes to the professionals who took care of them. The medical art therapist was skilled at assessing each patient’s strengths, coping styles, and cognitive development. A goal in art therapy was to improve or restore a client’s functioning and his or her sense of personal well-being. (

Researchers have shown in the article, “Treating Cancer with Art” by Lizette Borelli; drama therapy helps improve emotions for cancer patients. Drama contributes the connection between the body and mind. (Borrelli). Drama therapy is the use of theatre techniques to facilitate personal growth and promote mental health. For example, in drama therapy Dance/movement therapists use communicative, expressive, and adaptive behaviors and interactions in treating both groups and individuals. A therapist would have cancer patients line up in their rooms and just express a dance based off of how they felt that day. The registered dance therapist adapts the approach to meet the needs for cancer patients.  The use of theatrics allowed the patient’s self-esteem to increase as well as a better mental health status. Patients who are emotionally exhausted, drama therapy provides a different experience from the way of being themselves.

Art therapy helps improve pain management for cancer patients. Music therapy reduces high blood pressure and lowers rapid heart rate. (Borrelli). Music therapy uses music to promote healing and enhance quality of life. It is a complementary therapy that is used along with other cancer treatments to help patients cope mentally and physically with their diagnosis. Music therapy may involve listening to music, creating music, singing, and discussing music. For example, in a music therapy session that is specially designed to promote self-expression, the therapist might create a musical and emotional environment that encourages cancer patients to respond by revealing personal experiences or feelings. The session might incorporate speech and drama as well as music. Or the therapist might use singing and discussions. By playing music with lyrics, the therapist can encourage cancer patients to make up words that are then formed into a positive, unique song. Patients who have undergone bone-marrow transplants have reported less pain. (Borrelli). The evidence supported by this was a study conducted from the University of Rochester Medical Center with 42 patients ageing from 5-65, who were treated for numerous types of cancer.  (Borrelli). Half of the patients who were exposed to music therapy and the other group were standard care. The results concluded that the patients who were exposed to music therapy showed less pain and that their symptoms were moderate. (Borelli).

Another example of what researchers have shown is art therapy with cancer patients was through writing. Borelli addresses that writing is the ability to express how you’re feeling during that difficult time. Writing therapy is a form of expressive therapy that uses the act of writing and processing the written word as therapy. Writing therapy portrays that writing one’s feelings gradually eases feelings of emotional trauma. For example, in writing a nurse may ask a cancer patient to express how they are feeling for that day or even poetry to help reliever their mind.  A study at the University of Texas was conducted on 42 patients who had kidney cancer. Three groups had to do expressive writing, writing about their battle with cancer, and health behavior. In conclusion the studies proved that cancer patients could benefit from sleep related health. (Borrelli).

Researchers state that art therapy can improve the outcome of life. In the article, “Art Therapy for People with Cancer” by Lynne Eldrige she states that art therapy allows the patient the opportunity for quiet and relaxation. (Eldrige). Researchers have found that creating art was helpful in bringing a positive effect on personal growth, coping, and social interactions for people living with cancer. (Eldrige). The benefits which helped for patients were allowing the pain medication costs to be lowered as well increasing compliance’s.

The purpose of this paper was to critically examine the notion of caring nurses by having them advocate with doctors and family members and therapists that this approach should be tried and whether it is something that can be taught to undergraduate student nurses. I argue that caring and its absence are of central importance to nursing as a concept and a professional ideal.




Work Cited

Borreli, Lizette. “Treating Cancer with Art: 5 Alternative Therapies That Heal

Cancer Symptoms.” Medical Daily 5 May 2013. Web. 8 June 2015.

Eldridge, Lynne. “Art Therapy for People with Cancer –Benefits & Resources.”

About Health 25 October 2014. Web. 8 June 2015

Hehn, Desiree. “Art Therapy and Cancer Patients.”

Flagler College Gargoyle 12 March 2010. Web. 8 June 2015

O’Neill, Molly. “Therapeutic Art Making: Establishing an Art Therapy Program that Benefits both Cancer Patients and their Caregivers.” Ursuline College 116 (2007). ProQuest. Web. 5 June 2015

Causo, Iyna. “The Pictures’ of Heath: Art’s Healing Power.”

The Saturday Evening Post 281.1 (Jan/Feb 2009): 70-72. ProQuest. Web. 5 June 2015

“What is Osteosarcoma” BCRT. Charitable Incorporated Organization, n.d. Web. January. 2013

“What is Art Therapy” About Education. Cherry. Kendra


By: Jessica LaLanne



Graphic Design is Art

June 23rd, 2015 · No Comments · Uncategorized


Graphic design is a form of art that uses computer aided images to make designs for commercial and private markets. Most designers design things like labels, packaging, and even clothing graphics. Art is a process of designing and completing works of art on canvas, mixed media, sculpture, and photography. Both forms of art can utilize facets of one another to incorporate into their final pieces. Art and design are related, both are unique and original, yet they are both different in some ways. Design is an art, though there are some differences.

Some people believe that graphic design is too commercialized to be an art form. They feel that because it is a method of designing work for clients, that it is not an art form.  As designers, we are confronted with the argument that the work we do isn’t really art, because the work we design is labeled as “commercial.”  Yet the solutions we create, are almost always based on art and design principles taught everywhere. What  I learned in art school helped me improve my own design talents. As a designer, I started my first semester drawing class with choosing a random paint of picasso’s paintings and turning it into something creative. I chose to draw a painting of two young girls with using cotton, real hair, candy and napkins. This experience thought me how artists use their talent to draw and how designers think and create.

In the article “Art v.s. Design”, Craig Elimeliah discusses how design is very calculated and defined. Elimeliah states, “A designer is similar to an engineer in that respect and must not only have an eye for color and style but must adhere to very intricate functional details that will meet the objectives of the project. The word “design” lends itself to a hint that someone or something has carefully created this “thing” and much planning and thought has been executed to produce the imagery or materials used for the project.” (Elimeliah, pg 1). Design is very careful and accurate, and they use strategic planning, but this does not mean that the artistic side is completely drained from design. Design in all respects is very artistic. Though art and design have their differences they are still very closely related. For example designers and artist both create unique works of art, and they both use their own original ideas. Elimeliah wants to believe since design is more like engineering, that it is unoriginal and not made to be artistic.

But one can look at many things that were created by designers and see how artistically talented they are. There are many times when a graphic designer and an artist will work together to create a graphically designed piece of work for a musician. The same can go for t-shirt designs and so on. Elimeliah makes it a point to show the differences between the two by stating how art is emotional, creation without no rules, and create through expression of their feeling in any medium and color scheme. (Elimeliah, pg 1). One believes that Elimeliah is correct that art can be different, but again they share many of the same ideas. Graphic designers have to stick to certain rules and limitations given by the client, but they still have room to make design decisions in color, layout, and the subject matter. One believes that design is much more like art, than it is engineering as Elimeliah presumes.

Some design can be used for exhibitions in museums like that in the article “Review Graphic Design; If It’s Commercial, Is It Really Art?” Andy Grundberg discusses how graphic design has made a move into exhibiting in museums, and how the definition of art has changed. In the article Grundberg states, “Where painting and sculpture once prevailed in splendid isolation, a raft of art forms now commands equal attention from galleries and museums: architecture, film, performance, photography, video and, most anomalously, graphic design.” (Grundberg, pg 1). The arena of art has changed to include many things that were once not thought of as art, and now graphic design has been added to this list. Grundberg talks about how graphic design has made its way into exhibition through “Graphic Design in America: A Visual Language History”, which features over five hundred graphically designed art pieces that have been made throughout history.

According to Mildred Friedman, the organizer of the exhibit and long time design curator at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, and the Museum of Modern Art, graphic design is an invisible art to most of the public. They do not pay attention to see the art of the packaging on a box of cereal, or the sign on the freeway, they would not consider this art. Though it is not the mission of the exhibit to state that it is art, but to merely give people the chance to make up their own mind about the art form. Grundberg believes that the exhibition of graphically designed products is a chronological history of both good and bad designs. The conclusion that Grundberg reaches is that graphic design is an art form that uses elements of commercial design to create long lasting art pieces for the global community. Graphic design is art, but because it is commercially driven, most people do not pay attention to the designs that are all around them. The art on cereal boxes, on water bottles, the music they listen too. Graphic design is everywhere. If society were to look hard enough and pay attention they would notice the intricately designed art that is all around them. Grundberg feels that the exhibition for graphic design may have been a little careless, but he believes that great designers like Beall and Rand have given design a name, and their stylistic influence has made it much more of an art. Grundberg states, “stylistic masters like Beall and Rand, who were able to put their individual stamps on projects. This may explain why the show slights print advertising, which has been probably the most pervasive example of commercial visual culture in this century.” (Grundberg, pg 2). One agrees that Beall and Rand made graphic design more of an art form. Today graphic design uses a lot of different technology to put together designs for industry professionals. For example, wacom tablets which have made drawing easier for graphic artist, because they can use the tablet to draw directly into the software.

In conclusion, one believes that graphic design is art, even though they may create designs for commercial use and use technology to make them, they still use their artistic talents to create wonderful and artful designs. Art encompases a lot of areas, though most include painting, sculpture and creating from emotion, art and design are not that different. The only really difference is that usually artist work alone, where a graphic designer works for a firm and is part of a team. There is an advantage to being a team member and using other people’s creative intellect to form an idea that will become a graphically designed art piece. Graphic designers have to also work in a fast paced environment, and work on designs to have them ready in the allotted time given by the customer. This is why most work is done with the aid of a computer. But even then, their is still art created through design.

Works Cited

Elimeliah, C. “Art v.s. Design” 2006. AIGA. Web. 14th June, 2015.

Grundberg, A. ““Review/Graphic Design; If It’s Commercial, Is It Really Art?”. 1990. New York

Times. Web. 14th June, 2015.



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June 15th, 2015 · 1 Comment · Uncategorized

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