The connection between self-esteem and art is an important one. Creating any type of art, from painting and drawing, to writing in a journal or playing a musical instrument, can all help people to build their self-esteem. Some people with low self-esteem also have difficulty expressing themselves, but find that it is much easier to do so through art. Not only that, but some people are able to get to know themselves better through the art they produce, and begin to feel a sense of accomplishment. The connection between self-esteem and art can be found independently, but it is often used in psychotherapy sessions as well as in group homes for people with physical or developmental disabilities.
Art programs in schools exist for a number of reasons, but part of this is because producing art is a wonderful form of self expression, and helps to increase self-esteem. Students who may be quiet and withdrawn in class can often express themselves through art, even if they have trouble raising their hands and speaking up. Arts programs are not just limited to literal fine arts classes, such as painting and drawing. Learning to play a musical instrument or singing in a chorus might be a good way for students to boost their self-esteem; other students might enjoy creative writing, for example.
The possibilities for enhancing the connection between self-esteem and art are virtually limitless. Individuals who are going through a difficult time in life will often undertake new art projects, either independently, or under the guidance of a therapist, to process their feelings and boost self-esteem. Even if people have to force themselves to start a project, they will often find that they get more inspired the more they work on it. Not only does the actual act of making art increase feelings of self-esteem, but people are also able to gain a sense of accomplishment from the finished product.
Another common area where the connections between self-esteem and art are explored is in group homes or classroom settings for physically or developmentally disabled people of all ages. Teachers will work one on one or in groups with these individuals, encouraging them and providing basic instruction in creating art. Again, this allows individuals to express themselves when they may have difficulty doing so in everyday life, and it also provides that same sense of accomplishment. Teachers in any type of classroom setting should remember how self-esteem and art are linked, and should encourage children to express themselves in creative ways.