It’s a matter of personal choice. Some of our scartists have represented all of their scars on one canvas or have chosen to come to multiple classes.
What do we do if someone begins to emotionally struggle?
This is an important question -- and probably the most important question that we want all studios and art instructors to ask. First, we want to emphasize how powerfully uplifting these classes are. The atmosphere is light and the outcomes are inspiring. However...
There are two parts to this answer:
1) Understanding your customers: The participants come from backgrounds where they have overcome adversities. Some are dealing with PTSD, while others may not have even thought about their scar for years. Individually -- and when they are at home doing their homework assignments -- this is usually the place where they will experience some of the more sensitive emotions. The homework is intended to be thought-provoking, yet pushes participants to start thinking of their situation as a powerful, life-saving experience. Participants might even arrive to the class a bit trepidatious, because this is a new experience for them. But once surrounded by the other warriors, you will immediately see the atmosphere shift. There will be incredible strength in your studio, and should someone begin to feel sad emotions, other members of the class always rally to their side. It is important for the studio artists to be aware of the various emotions that might be happening in the classroom and to just be compassionate. USUALLY the feelings might service when a participant starts struggling with direction of how to paint their painting. This is where we ask that the instructors step in to offer suggestions. Things that help:
- Have the participant step back for a few minutes -- they might be too close to the painting and need a new perspective
- Turn the canvas horizontally and vertically in all directions. Sometimes that helps pull out a vision.
- Have the participant walk around and look at other paintings
- Give the participant ideas on brush strokes or images that might be surfacing.
If a participant has started a painting that is drastic and they start looking like they are disappointed, there have been rare instances where we have tossed out the first one and asked them to start again. Having them feel supported usually results in a much "lighter" approach the second time around. The first time allowed them to get their anger out.
2) Therapists on hand and disclaimer: In our homework, we state over and over again that if the subject matter is too intense and stirs up emotions that are difficult to process, we recommend the participant reach out to a professional therapist. ScART is a self-help, self-nurturing class and has powerful, uplifting results. We have held classes with and without therapists on hand and have never needed to rely on professionals, because -- as stated earlier -- the participants support one another. HOWEVER, as you get used to this format, you might want to invite a professional friend to sit in -- and leave business cards. This is a free advertisement for this professional (which could result in them obtaining a customer). It's also a good community service.
What do I wear?
Wear casual, comfortable clothes. We recommend a short sleeve top or one where sleeves can be easily pushed or rolled up. If you are painting at home and have a painter's smock or apron, feel free to wear that. If painting at a studio, most studios will provide painter's smocks. We recommend that you inquire with your instructor prior to the studio class.
I don't have physical scars. Can I still participate?
Yes! Many participants do not have surgical scars but experienced a traumatic health event just the same. In the homework, try to identify where your emotional or psychological scars are located and proceed from there. Many participants have depicted their internal scars quite effectively on the canvas.
Can I bring a friend/loved one for support?
Some participants may initially think they might be more comfortable with someone there, but you may find that bonding with the other participants over such an intimate experience will give you the support you need. There are a limited number of seats available for each ScART class and studio space is limited to participants who have reserved a seat in advance. Please encourage your care-giver or significant support person to register and participate with you in the class.
Will I have the opportunity to have my ScARTwork displayed at a community event?
Occasionally, ScARTists will be able to participate in a gallery showing. When this opportunity arises, our team will notify you.
What if I want to maintain contact with my fellow ScARTists after the event is over?
There are a couple of opportunities to do this:
- Like and participate in our Facebook Page: @ScartEvents
- Like and participate in our Instagram Page: @ScartEvents
- Join our National Sisterhood: www.youcrown.org (free membership will be offered to all ScART participants)
I have more than one scar. Do I paint them all?
Can I draw my scars in any pattern that I want, or do I have to paint them on the canvas the same way that they look like on my body?
You can choose where to put the mud (similar to a modeling paste) used to depict your scars on the canvas. They do not have to correlate with the same places on your body. There are no hard-fast rules!
Will the class be all women?
Not necessarily. The staff won’t know until all spots have been filled who the participants will be. If you’d like to be in a women only class, please discuss that with a representative from the ScART team to see if your request can be arranged.
Do I have to complete all of the homework prior to the class?
Some of the homework -- such as the meditation -- is optional. All of the worksheets are mandatory. It is up to you how much time you spend, but taking time to finish the coursework (without being rushed) has incredible benefits.