Human Sculpture

Posted by: on Feb 22, 2012 | No Comments

Check out this interesting way of sculpting the human form using video. Made by an artist named Jefta in Belgium.

Jefta writes:

Jefta, student on digital art, has developed a processing program that allows, from a flux video, to break it down into a set of images and sew them together.
This technique allows to visualize the body on movement from different angles but summarizing it into one single image.

The final depiction is closer to sculpture thanks to the reducing complexity of the different movements carried out.

The HumanSculpture project is a research on the human body motion capture, a study about the trail left by the path on a living body. Human body is always changing.

In between body restrictions and movements urge the body is used as a brush, using itself as a way of managing complex shapes.

The moving objects are multiplied. Filling the space with images between the emptiness and the fullness, the human sculpture takes more and more space.

The repetition of the different people that intertwine and overlap allows to perceive the path of the fix movements in the space.

Apple Talk and Fort Mason Talk Complete!

Apple Talk and Fort Mason Talk Complete!

Posted by: on Feb 4, 2012 | No Comments

Thank you to all who attended both presentations this week and last. It was a success all around! And for those of you who could not attend, I am in the process of editing a recorded version of my 2.5 hour seminar discussing the online presence and potential for new technology in the art therapy field. It may take a few weeks, but once it becomes available I will be posting it up here.

Also, stay tuned for some highlights form the Apple store talk. Fun stuff!!

Now to rest up for my next round of planning…

Apple Store + Liz Beck = iPad demo!!

Posted by: on Jan 25, 2012 | 2 Comments

Wow! Join me for a FREE experiential with the iPad at the Union Square Apple store on Saturday Feb 4th from 3-4pm!

This is a follow-up to my presentation at Fort Mason on Jan 29th, and will be 90% experiential. Come play with the iPad and make art. There’ll be Apple support staff there to help answer any technical related questions, and I’ll be there to answer art therapy related questions too!

Check out the Facebook Event to RSVP.

Web Design as Art Therapy

Web Design as Art Therapy

Posted by: on Dec 16, 2011 | 5 Comments

I applied to present at AATA’s 2012 conference with an innovative and provacative idea—that I would discuss the possibility of using website design within an art therapy session in order to help process grief. You can read my abstract here, but here’s a highlight:

The idea of using a website as a virtual mural will be explored, which can be built and contributed to by one person or by numerous people across various geographic locations. The website as a tool to eternally memorialize the deceased will also be considered, since once material is posted on the internet it lives forever.

A few days ago, I received my rejection letter from AATA. They didn’t give a specific explanation for the rejection, however they did indicate several possibilities, such as a lack of interest in the topic. My gut reaction was that AATA dismissed the idea of web design as a form of art therapy, and for this reason I want to give a brief explanation of my rationale beyond what you can read in my abstract.

When I found out one of my closest friends, Jazz Virdee, was hit by a car and killed instantly while on vacation in the Dominican Republic, I couldn’t breathe. I was traveling myself and in a haze of disbelief, I managed to make my way back to our home town, Montreal. We planned to meet there in a few months, after her work with the UN in Haiti ended and we both had a little time. Never did I think we would be brought together again under these terrible circumstances.

Immediately after her death, Jazz’s Facebook page was full of posts expressing sadness, anger and disbelief as wells as condolences to her family. New pictures were posted each day. Anything that people found in their photo libraries that never made it on her page before. New friend requests began popping up too. Jazz’s sister, who had access to Jazz’s fb account, was touched by the outpouring of support but intended to delete the fb account on Jazz’s upcoming 30th birthday. My heart sank thinking there’d be no where to see pictures, old messages, old times…I wanted a place I could go to, to sit with the memories. And in this technological age, our memories were online or in the form of digital photographs, emails and Skype video conference (that I wish I had recorded). Plus Jazz kept a few blogs from her various travels, working for NGOs in Africa and Mongolia. I wanted one place that consolidated everything before the 30th birthday deadline. So, with the permission of Jazz’s family and friends (who are in the photos), I went ahead with a web design project to memorialize my dear friend.

A combination of digital scrap book and public mural, I looked through all the photographs I could find, reviewed the blogs, and attempted to find videos of Jazz. I chose the words to memorialize and express my grief. I chose the colors, the placement of photographs and the overall feel of the website. I also opened the site up for everyone to see, allowing comments and letting others know that if they wanted to have anything included to email me with the information.

As I worked, not only did I experience the same “flow” as I do with traditional art making, I also was able to take the time to process my thoughts, memories and emotions. Creating this website helped transition me from numbness and shock to feeling and processing.

Now, I know most art therapists are not comfortable with web design. But, then again, I’m not comfortable with woodworking or silkscreening. There are forms of traditional art media that I’ve never dabbled in and that many art therapists don’t use in their practices. However, if the majority of art therapists chose not to engage in certain forms of art making, does that close off these practices from the field of art therapy? Of course not. Doll making is an acceptable art therapy practice, even though the majority of art therapists don’t use doll making in their sessions. Then it stands to reason that although rare and very new, digital art making in the form of a website is an acceptable practice within an art making session—as long as the therapist is skilled enough to facilitate the process with their clients.

Lastly, I’d love to hear your thoughts about this subject, and the (inevitable) morphing of art making into unexpected forms of digital media :) Growing pains of a new era!

Digital Painter Uses Artmaking for Therapy

Posted by: on Dec 3, 2011 | No Comments

Enjoy this video (2009):


Posted by: on May 23, 2011 | No Comments

Check out this project by Patricio Gonzalez Vivo, posted to the Digital Art Therapy Group on LinkedIn. Interactive mandala meets Buddha Board meets Microsoft Surface…but it’s handmade and free for anyone to build!

“Communitas is an interactive multiTouch table made using openFrameworks and TUIO protocol. It invites people to create collective drawings. Its goal is to allow people to explore the dynamic process of co-creation with an emphasis on the core value of respecting individual differences.”

Communitas from Patricio Gonzalez Vivo on Vimeo.

Mobile Photography

Mobile Photography

Posted by: on May 14, 2011 | No Comments

Check out these mobile photography resources compiled by Mashable. Complete with photo galleries exhibiting creative possibilities, and the mobile aps that make these photos possible.

Demystifying the Online Presence: Art Therapists and the Internet

Posted by: on May 6, 2011 | 2 Comments

Save the date: August 4th, FREE webinar hosted by AATA with yours truly! Register here.

It’s natural to feel skeptical or overwhelmed about the changing nature of social interaction and marketing. Although disregarding these changes may feel like the safe choice, this also limits your ability to network professionally, reach new clients and help others.

This Webinar, presented by Liz Beck, a Registered Art Therapist (ATR) living in the San Francisco Bay Area, will address common questions asked by art therapists about the benefits and pitfalls of having a digital presence, giving you the tools to decide whether being available online is right for you.

Topics include:
• What it means to have an online presence, and how it’s useful.
• Common questions and concerns about having an online presence.
• Appropriate places for a therapist to build an online presence, including a discussion about Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
• Why having a website is important.
• Why it’s important to keep your online content updated.
• What information is useful to include on a professional website.
• Simple guidelines to keep your professional online presence ethical.

If you know anyone who would benefit from joining this webinar, please encourage them to attend. There are way too many art therapists out there who avoid getting online and using new technology to the benefit of themselves and their clients.

Thank you for your support!

Art Therapy Infiltrates the Department of Defense…

Posted by: on Apr 30, 2011 | No Comments

…using comic books!

“Art therapy and narrative are both useful techniques for helping individuals traumatized by life experiences process memories and channel emotions through a healthy outlet,”