Fieldtripp Focus – Shauna Kaendo from Hey Shauna Art Therapy

Art therapy is all about exercising our emotions and our muscles of expression using the medium of art. It’s all about using art to open yourself up even more, allowing us to be more in touch with our being.

Fieldtripp host, Shauna Kaendo, talks to us about how art can inspire greater well-being, self-care, and connection to communities.

Tell us a bit about yourself

I’m excitable…and sometimes a bit plucky in my embrace of new everyday adventures. I like to get there by bike, with friends, and I very much enjoy chortles and sharing. My background is in fine arts (Emily Carr), i’ve run my own small web design business for about 12 years (working mostly within the arts and non-profit communities), and I’m currently an art therapist in-training (VATI) – and am thrilled to bits about it.

What is the mission behind Hey Shauna?

To educate people about what Art Therapy is, and to create different avenues of accessibility. To build community. To challenge the stigma around the word “therapy” – and ideas of who needs it, and who doesn’t. To have discussions around how we can (all) be more effective at whatever it is that we do, and care about – by taking care of ourselves first. And to create spaces to make art that encourage exploration, play and expression – without judgement.

Tell us about the types of workshops you host.

What i’m currently offering encompasses an introduction to what Art Therapy is and discussion around self-care and practical implementation for art and art therapy within that – but mostly, they are experiential group art-making sessions. We explore different ways of using art materials, with more focus on the process – and less on the final product. Sometimes we work collaboratively, and sometimes not. Each workshop will be a little (or a lot) different, based on the materials we’re working with and the individuals that show up!

What do you love about teaching art therapy?

Oh my gosh…all of it. I love people, art, and creative expression. I love introducing folks to art materials in a way that allows them to just create, and not worry about whether they see or define themselves as an artist or not. Honestly, it’s often those with no formal arts training that are able to be the most playful and exploratory with art materials. But really and truly, I love every bit of it.

How can art therapy help us find ways to cope with our daily lives?

In a gazillion ways. Some subtle, some much less so. Giving ourselves the space to express and create – whether that’s through art-making, or another form of expression – is incredibly therapeutic. At the very least, it can be an activity that helps us to reduce stress, anxiety, and create more balance in our daily lives. But it also gives us a “way in” to ourselves, to better understand our emotions and our needs – creating possibilities for healing that are heart gurgly (in the good way).

What inspires you?

Community, collaboration, peer support and connection…personal and collective agency. A keen-ness to make change. Jumping in.

Hey Shauna’s Introduction to Art Therapy is on July 14, 21, and 28 at 7-9PM. Admission is $60/person. Use the code #myfirstfieldtripp and get $10 off.

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