Westchester Author on her New Art Journal for Kids and Shares on the Importance of Drawing

New Journal Focuses on the Importance of Drawing

Art is healing. Not only a way to express oneself, it can serve as a way to release anxiety, showcase creativity, awaken the imagination, engage the senses, and have fun. It is especially important for kids where drawing can help with calmness, positivity, and tapping into their emotions/feelings. A new art journal, Draw and Discover by Caren Sacks, LCAT, a seasoned art-therapist, author and Mamaroneck resident, is making this easier where kids can express themselves, learn about themselves and how they fit into the world.

This includes 60 creative prompts to help kids become aware of their feelings, name them, and express them. Additionally, it can help them pay attention to the physical sensations that come with a range of feeling and emotions. The journal is also designed to provide a safe place to explore. Families will also find a section for adults that addresses the process of making art with children, as well as the best practices for responding and sharing.

To learn more, we spoke with Caren about the new journal, her work as an art therapist, and more.

Psst…looking for more art? Check out these Art Classes for Kids in Westchester

draw and discover book

Westchester Family: How did the idea for Draw and Discover come about?

Caren Sacks: As an art therapist for over 40 years, I’ve worked in a variety of settings with many different people. I have witnessed the numerous benefits of art making. Whether in the treatment room, in a classroom or workshop with toddlers, children, teens or adults, as well with other therapists.

I enjoy bringing art making experiences to others and sharing in their joy and excitement, as well as sometimes surprise and perhaps a newfound awareness that inevitably occurs.

Additionally, I noticed that there are many wonderful writing journals for kids on the market. Some even offer a space to draw, however they typically are writing journals.
Children love to draw, yet there weren’t any art making journals for kids, for teens or for adults.

Through Draw and Discover I am able to share with others and make accessible that same joy and excitement, the same surprise, awareness, discovery and more that is possible when one engages in art making.

Vision and Voice, a Teens Art-Making Journal will be available on June 4, 2024. I also have an adult version swimming in my mind and on paper as well.

Caren Sacks, author of Draw and Discover
Caren Sacks, author of Draw and Discover

Westchester Family: Why was this journal important for you to create?

Caren Sacks: It was important for me to create an art-making journal for kids as an alternative or addition to the writing journals that are available.

Kids draw and make art with ease. I wanted to offer them a space to create, to draw, to explore their creativity, express their feelings and experiences in a way that was natural for them as well as to support their emotional, social, and cognitive development, and their communication skills.

Westchester Family: How can drawing help kids?

Caren Sacks: Drawing and using art materials is an easy, and natural way for kids to play and to express themselves. They enjoy art making for the pure pleasure of creating. If you ever doubt that just look at their face when they tell you about what they drew or created. The joy, the pride, and enthusiasm when sharing is apparent, one can’t help but to smile in response.

Drawing provides children with the potential to tell stories, share their feelings, present their world view, tell us what is happening in their life and so much more. Art making can release tension, express frustration, anger, and joy, it can allow us to feel calm. Art making can create order out of disorder.

Children’s art making supports many areas of their development and learning. The art making invitations in Draw and Discover encourage positive thinking, self-reflection, resiliency, kindness, and gratitude. They support children in developing positive coping skills, build strong communication skills, and learning from their mistakes.

Westchester Family: Why do you think creativity/expression is important for kids and adults?

Caren Sacks: We are all creative beings. Exploring our creativity often leads to new ideas, ways to understand things, and problem solve. For children drawing, storytelling, sharing their images and feelings build connection. It also enhances their communication skills and their emotional vocabulary.

Westchester Family:  Tell us more about art therapy and how you work with kids.

Caren Sacks: My experiences as an art therapist has guided the creation of this art-making journal. Art therapy is a form of psychotherapy that incorporates the creative process within a professional therapeutic relationship with an Art Therapist.

As an art therapist I work with children who have a variety of needs. Children want to tell their story. Yet often it can be challenging for them to find the words to express themselves or words may not be enough. Art making is familiar, fun, and engaging, it becomes a vehicle for self-expression, discovery, exploration, and growth. I strive to create a safe place for children to explore, to create, to express themselves and to share their feelings and experiences.

I support each child in recognizing their strengths, learning effective coping skills, identifying, and managing challenging situations and their responses, expressing their thoughts, feelings and experiences in ways that allow them to feel successful.

Westchester Family: What do you like to do in Westchester when you’re not working?

Caren Sacks: I feel lucky to be living in Westchester. You can find peaceful and beautiful places to explore, as well as an abundance of activities for all ages. When my kids were younger the Rye Arts Center, Hommocks skating rink, the Marshlands, the Planetarian in the Hudson River Museum, and Playland were favorite places to learn and explore. The Children’s Museum is now a well-loved activity for my grandkids.

Westchester Family:  Do you have anything else to add?

Caren Sacks:  I have been asked, what is an art-making journal? An art-making journal is a place where a child can draw about what is happening in their day. Additionally, it can help them express how they are feeling and what they like to do. This journal has lots of drawing ideas. Some are silly, some may help them feel calm, and some may help them draw about different feelings, ideas, and experiences.

An art-making journal for kids allows for the freedom to create and to draw and to discover in their very own journal.