Finding Patience Through Art
The artwork above was created by Michael*, a teenage boy that has lived in YESS' emergency shelter for four months.
When Michael first came to stay in shelter, he was struggling to cope with experiences in his past. H
e had very few people he could count on during his first years of life, which left him feeling angry
, frustrated, and often turning to aggression. Working with our Music Therapist, Art Therapist, and other staff at YESS, however, he began exploring new ways to deal with these feelings.
Michael is now working on this piece of art during Art Therapy sessions, and it reflects many of the challenges he is working to overcome. The subject is Kodak Black - a rapper that, like Michael, has been involved in gangs in the past. The medium he chose - paint on canvas - is reflective of the work he's doing now to find a better future.
"Painting on canvas is one of the most time-consuming and challenging mediums to work in," said Madi Musson, YESS Art Therapist. "First he had to find a picture. Then draw it on sketch paper. Then transfer it to canvas. Now he's learning to mix paint colors
The hard work and patience he is showing in the art studio is just like the hard work and patience he's applying to other areas of his life. "A project like this can be very frustrating, and he has struggled to deal with frustrations in the past," said Madi. "Watching him patiently go through each phase has been awesome to see."
During his time at YESS, Michael has made so much progress in his coping skills and continues finding healthy ways to deal with the challenges life has given him. T
hanks to all the progress he has made over the last few months, he will soon move into a safe and permanent home.
*name and some characteristics changed to protect child's identity