How to Express Ocean Awareness Through Art

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More and more artists are now using ocean art to inspire changes and raise awareness about the need to conserve and protect our natural world.  These artists are utilizing their talents to produce artworks – not only those that shows the beauty of the ocean or the gifts of life underneath it but especially artworks that communicate the predicament that our ocean is currently in – the problems about pollution and the incessant abuse of natural ocean resources.

Check out this Interview with Claudio Garzon, an eco-friendly

Artist teaching kids about environmental art.

There’s No Denying

plastics are foreverIt’s not very surprising now a days to take a walk along the beach or river, and you won’t get too far without seeing or encountering plastic trash – from plastic bags, plastic bottles, and plastic wrappers to fishing nets and other plastic debris.  There’s no denying that we are in a ‘messy’ predicament right now.

There are plastics everywhere.

Plastics are not biodegradable.  If you think ‘diamonds are forever’ guess what, so are plastics!

The very plastic you’re using at home, at work, at school or anywhere for that matter – will eventually find its way to our water system and we now know will eventually end up in the ocean.

These plastic will endanger the lives of marine animals – there are instances where turtles or dolphins get trapped with discarded nets or even plastic furniture.  These animals oftentimes die; very seldom will they get rescued from it.  This plastic trash is clearly a threat for these marine animals.

sea turtle caught in plasticsImage source: beaches.uptake.com

Through the years, these plastics get broken into tiny bits – some small enough for marine animals and even birds to mistaken it for food, and into microscopic size over time…but still…it will not totally biodegrade.

plastic pollution kills birdImage source: coastalcare.org

It maybe no longer visible to the human eyes but it’s still there, it’s still plastic, it doesn’t get absorbed into the natural system.  It continuous to pollute our waters and gets eaten by tiny marine organisms that will of course enter the food chain.  And guess who is on the top of this food chain?  Exactly.

seabed pollutionImage source: coastalcare.org

Unnatural Expectation from the Natural

The ocean has been providing us food, water, livelihood and even recreation.  Its abundance is simply immeasurable.  It’s quite heartbreaking to know that not only do people are taking more than he needs but is also showing no regard at all.

We are making unnatural expectation from the ocean.  The bounty that the ocean used to naturally provide us is no longer coming ‘naturally.’  Simply put, we are ‘forcing it’ out of the ocean.

sea turtle defenders, green mission

Artists on the Move

The likes of Claudio Garzon, along with other artists who are choosing to use their talents to inspire people, to educate them and raise ocean awareness are the ‘ocean defenders’ of our time. Facebook Page Sea Turtle Defenders Keeps the Ocean’s Safe for Sea Turtles through education.

We are defending the ocean, the planet and future generations.

It’s nothing short of admirable to have these artists affect a movement by making use of the fact that arts do affect people’s lives.

They communicate their ocean sentiments through paintings, sculptures, murals, songs and or plays that leave a lasting impression to whoever manages to come across such artwork.

The Mission of the Sea Turtle Defenders: endeavors to identify, categorize, and disseminate current environmental and related social educational information to children, families, educators, and community leaders to raise their awareness and  continuously advocate for sea turtle rights.

Channeling My Passion for Art

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I’m very passionate about art; I have a degree in Fine Arts and even completed a Masters Program around the same time that I starting my own family.  It was quite a challenge, and I can honestly say that it wasn’t easy – but it’s all worth it!

Being able to be there for my kids on their formative years while keeping in touch with my passion for arts is undeniably one of the best decisions I made ever.

I was an art teacher for more than 20 years and also do glass arts – so basically my life revolved around arts.  It’s very much a part of who I am really, I breathe art. I love art!

A burning passion.

I’m a strong believer that keeping your passions in life alive makes you a better person.  It brings out the best in you.  You become this person that can affect other people positively.  You become a source of joy and hope.

Probably you’re thinking that keeping in touch with life’s passion is the last thing we can afford to think of considering that we’re all so caught up with our jobs, making a living and other mundane things that have taken control over our life completely.

But I truly believe that anchoring everything else in your life with your passion will ultimately bring focus and balance.  When you’re passionate about something you make things happen – even things you probably thought you won’t be able to do now feels you can easily accomplish.   Problems or trials or challenges become bearable if not easy.  You see things more clearly.  You make things happen.

For me, channeling my passion for art brings my life in focus and in balance.  It actually paves the way towards freedom for me.  I can honestly say that I’ve regained control of my life living it the way I have always wanted to – spending quality time with my family, traveling to different places, nurturing meaningful relationships, creating a sustainable life and of course creating arts!

When I decided that I’m going to empower myself and break free from whatever it is that is dragging me down to unhappiness – I found my inner strength, the superwoman in me – and started making changes in my life.

These are not easy changes and I even faced harder choices along the way.  I kept going anyway because it was clear to me that arts will always be (and have always been) a part of my life. That I know for sure.  I muster the strength to delve into the business world, a world that is foreign for me, but it didn’t discourage me – I persevered instead!

Now, I’m enjoying my freedom and still channeling my passion for art to continue on making changes to even better my life and to affect other people as well – all while creating a sustainable life for my family!

Green Art from Scrap

Creating art benefits not just your well being but even your physical body as well.  Through writing, music, dancing or visual arts, you can express yourself – your emotions, your visions.

It gives you the freedom and peace from within that radiate into your physical being – hence, art is important in our life.

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Having said that, not everybody is given the opportunity to be provided with the materials they need to express their creativity.  It can be due to financial constraints or inaccessibility.

In San Francisco alone, not all schools have the funding to support art education for the children.  And I cannot stress enough the importance of providing art education to our youths today.

With all the distraction from electronic gadgets that is monopolizing their waking hours, they do need art to let them discover their other potentials outside of their virtual world.

Artists, like myself, need to have a way to express ourselves, to channel out all the creativity that is inherent in us.  Being the creative person that we are, we simply cannot contain that without causing imbalance in our life.

Creating art from scrap

Arts supplies stores may not always be an option to a lot of people because of financial constraints and it’ll be a shame to hinder your creativity development just because you’re lacking the materials.

It’s a good thing though that art is everywhere!

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It does need a little extra creativity to see that there are arts in scrap, yes, in trash.  It’s physically there, waiting to be pick up and collected and waiting to be piece together.

SCRAP: the place to go

To create art from scrap found in your house is cool, to find all sort of scraps in one place is even cooler!

Anne Marie Theilen saw the need for resources to make art education possible for the students and for other artists as well in San Francisco, California.  This gave birth to SCRAP in 1976.

This non-profit creative reuse center, material depot and workshop space made creating art from scrap possible!  Low-cost materials and supplies are now more accessible to artists, teachers, parents and organizations.

SCRAP provided the community not just the resources but the opportunity to learn and pass on the value of creative reuse.

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 Now a days, so many things have become easily replaceable that people oftentimes just throw it away and replace it with something new – from household items to home furniture to office supplies.  Before we even knew it we have successfully participated in further polluting our planet earth.

We can make a change; let’s make it a habit to upcycle – to upcycle is to create art.

It takes imagination and creativity to re-shape or re-fashion an item to fit its new purpose.  Workings from scraps not only give you the opportunity to challenge yourself to give it a new life but you’re also contributing in saving the environment as well.

Green art from scrap!

By finding a new purpose to these scraps means less trash are polluting the earth!  SCRAP is literally saving landfills of additional tons of trash by taking the responsibility to make use of these scrap for the benefit of the community.

Suffice to say that art from scrap is definitely green art!

Check me out at the San Francisco Contemporary Art Market

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Art Therapy: Healing You From Within

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You have probably heard of art therapy before, it’s basically a form of psychotherapy that uses art media.  One doesn’t have to have an experience or skill in arts because the focus is not about producing wonderful art work.

The primary concern is to affect changes in the client’s life–facilitate communication, overcome stress, improve overall well-being or experience personal transformation.

Photo credit www.creativesocialworker.tumblr.com

Art therapy is relatively new


https://kristinamarcelli.wordpress.com/2015/01/07/worry-balloons/

Photo credit: https://kristinamarcelli.wordpress.com/2015/01/07/worry-balloons/Art therapy

Art therapy begun in the 1940’s, it is a relatively new therapeutic discipline but its effectiveness is undeniable.  It’s been proven to help patients recover from illnesses, both physical and mental, by tapping into their unconscious through art expression.

What art therapy can do for you?

Well often times, is viewed solely as a treatment for mental health problems or physical healing.  In reality, it affects the well-being, the inner experience of the person that in turn facilitates positive changes that can be seen visually – physically getting better or mentally improving.

People who are suffering from some type of illness, (or most people in general) have issues communicating verbally.  And the stress of not being able to communicate or be understood debilitates their condition.

The very thought of having a way to communicate is empowering in itself.  To be able to express oneself in a platform that is deemed ‘safe’ gives a person a sense of freedom.  Art therapy makes these doors to communication accessible.  It makes use of art as a way to relieve overwhelming emotions.

Art therapy is commonly used to facilitate learning and improve life of both children and adult with disabilities, experiencing depression, mental illnesses, some kind of trauma and physical illness as well.

Art therapy taps into your inner being, it heals you from within.

Arts and Crafts and Your Child’s Development

arts and crafts for childrenImage courtesy of David Castillo Dominici / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

It is normal for developing babies and toddlers to be curious about their environment, especially the little things that are within their reach and which they can grab with their tiny hands, oftentimes even straight into their mouths.

They are plain curious about what these things can do (or taste – for the younger ones) and what they can do with these things in return.  This is why they are naturally drawn to colorful pens, crayons, paints, shinny glitters, soft strings, papers, clays and basically anything they can ‘create’ things with.

For children this age, babies and toddlers, arts and crafts is an important activity that can aid in their development.  It’s for the children’s best interest to expose them into these kinds of activities rather than allowing them to watch TV for hours on end or play computer games or game consoles.

While the latter seems the ‘easier’ choice since firstly you don’t have to bother ‘cleaning up’ after the mess, and secondly, you also don’t have to ‘sit’ there with them – we have to keep in mind as well that this is a very crucial stage in their development.  This is when you would want to give them the best support and encouragement as possible.

Why arts and crafts?

Arts and crafts are not just fun and entertaining (and it’s not just for kids, you can also enjoy it, too.), it also helps the child’s basic skills development.  Allowing children to explore and experiment through arts and crafts will help them to develop skills that will affect their lives in the long run.

arts and crafts for kids developmentImage courtesy of Supertrooper / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Communication skills

The child learns to communicate in non-verbal ways.  Oftentimes, since they are not able to put their thoughts in cohesive sentences, young children tend to get frustrated when the adults couldn’t understand what they’re trying to communicate.  Arts and crafts activities will show them that there are other ways in which they can express themselves.  These activities can also be a way for them to release their frustrations, children displaying episodes of temper tantrums are noticeably better, and in some cases the habit is even entirely eliminated.

Problem solving skills

As children engaged in arts and crafts activities, they are expose to the ‘how’ and ‘why’ questions as they experiment on creating artworks.  This in turn will later help them to be prepared in overcoming real life challenges as they grow up.

Social skills

Children learn to become sociable – even if your arts and crafts activities are limited with family members – it still teaches the kids the concept of sharing, patience, taking turns and being appreciative of other people’s work.  More so when you start to engage them with arts and crafts projects with playmates or neighbors.

Fine motor skills

They are being trained to take control of their finer movements – scribbling with pen or painting with a paint brush or connecting little objects – all these aid in developing their hand-eye coordination and motor skills which will later benefit them as they go and try other activities.

It’s undeniable that arts and crafts do not only help the children to develop confidence by allowing self-expression but also aid in the development of other important skills that will benefit them in their later life.  It is therefore very important to expose our children into arts and crafts in any way we can.

After all, arts and crafts can be a fun family activity!

Trash Talk: Plastics into Work of Art

We have come to a point where trash pollution is undeniably one of the world’s major problems.  And what’s making it even worse is that most of this garbage pollution is plastics which comprise the 80 percent of the world’s marine pollution.  And we all know that plastics will not completely biodegrade but instead it will just add up to water debris that endangers marine life and ultimately even that of ours.

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An artist with a mission.

These concerns are what trigger artists like Claudio Garzón to turn trash, these plastics – into work of art.  While other people’s idea of walking along the beach or along the river involves collecting colorful stones, glasses or perhaps shells; Claudio’s is to pick up plastic trash that he can later on use in creating artwork.

And it doesn’t end there, it’s not enough that he’s recycling these plastics while creating amazing art, he also want to create awareness that will then educate the people on how plastics are destroying our ocean and endangering marine lives.

claudio garzon

He is passionate both with arts and with defending the ocean.

He loves teaching children about   the changes that they can make and how they can keep the ocean clean.  For him, the whole idea is not just creating recyclable arts but to educate as well.

His infamous Plas Tikobots, which are science fiction robots that are made entirely from the plastics that he found, are generating buzz about marine life protection.  These Plas Tikobots are usually modeled after sea creatures – turtles, sharks.

Through his amazing artworks, he hopes to enlighten the mind of the people to start caring and showing gratitude to the ocean.

It’s quite ironic how a beautiful piece of artwork is actually made from plastics that are polluting our water which of course is downright ugly!

Not just an artist.

Suffice to say, Claudio Garzón is not just your ordinary artist.  He’s using his artistic ability not just to share beautiful artworks or teach arts to children but more so to raise awareness and create education that will save marine lives and ultimately, ours, too.

Claudio Garzon's turtle art

Trash talk.

Plastics are endangering our lives.  It’s a fact. We can no longer deny how irresponsible we have become in using throwaways, always choosing comfort and ease no matter the price earth has to pay.  But of course, we can always play dumb and act innocent about our contribution to this ailing planet.  But who are we kidding really?  What’s already happening and what will happen to this earth in the future is our responsibility.  Would you blame your neighbors for the trash in your own home?

Planet earth is our home, our only home.  It’s about time we start taking responsibilities, let’s create awareness and start making changes.  Do what you can!

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