About Follow Your Art
What happens when someone is given creative space?
Follow Your Art is based on the philosophy that in a safe, supportive environment, creative art experiences can enhance personal growth, awareness, and quality of life at any age. Art experiences with Follow Your Art provide the skills and tools for artistic expression and a supportive and inspiring environment to foster increased self-awareness, creativity and healthy expression of emotions.
Kris Rodolico began Follow Your Art Studio in 2008, in response to a combination of personal and professional observations. “As an art therapist, I worked in settings with children and adults where creative self-expression was always at best secondary and at worst an afterthought to the treatment of illness. As a parent of two small children, I noticed a lack of opportunities for young children to learn about and play with different materials in a way that balances instruction with freedom to create. As an artist, I experienced a true disconnect between who I am in my studio and who I am everywhere else. And as a member of a community, I was struck by the reality that most adults are missing out on the opportunity to experience the feeling of personal transformation that comes from creating something that is a unique expression of themselves, by believing that the creation of art is meant for a chosen few.”
Since 2010, FYA studio has been coordinating with local groups like the Melrose Alliance Against Violence and the Human Rights Commission to develop community art projects with a goal of increasing social awareness through creative action. Community art projects are a growing piece of our studio, and efforts are made to coordinate with the community to build social awareness through creative action.
While the studio has moved away from offering professional art therapy services, we incorporate some of the principles of studio based art therapy services, always providing a safe space where all artists are listened to, respected and welcomed. Professional development workshops for staff working with children with special needs are also available.
Follow Your Art has grown again in 2013, taking on a new space and opening up to new facilitators who share the same core values of the studio. Despite the varied services offered, the intention of Follow Your Art is the same: to use art to connect to ourselves, each other, and the world around us.
Trust the process, trust your hands…
Artists are invited to enter any Follow Your Art experience with an open mind and heart, to take risks and try new things. Artists will find a relaxing, accepting environment, and a responsive, informed facilitator. As a result, individuals can learn something new about their creative abilities and what they are capable of accomplishing. Children seem to know how to do this instinctively, so classes for children capitalize on what they already know about being everyday artists. Art materials and concepts are presented, examples are given, then children are permitted to explore and create in whatever way is natural for them, in a supportive, non-judgmental environment. For adults, giving ourselves permission to play, experiment, and create from the heart doesn’t come as easily. Our aim to provide a balance between the process-oriented art experiences we loved as children with the need to create a product that makes sense to the artist.
What you pay attention to… grows. At Follow Your Art, we pay attention to creativity, and trust that a creative space can feed creative energy.
Follow Your Art is not just about learning to ‘do’ art, though instruction is part of the process, and skill learning is the first step. It is about devoting a small amount of time to focus on being creative and getting out of our heads and into our selves. It’s about creating another dimension to our experience of the everyday.