INDIVIDUAL - SCAD ID - #149
SCAC Verified Teaching Artist
Richland County, SC
- • Visual Art
- • Creative Arts Therapy
- Low Country
THERAPEUTIC EXPERTISE: Art Therapy
Mary How, MA, ATR-BC is a mandala artist and board-certified art therapist with 25 years experience. Her integrative approach in the classroom combines art making and coping skills training in mindfulness, emotional health and stress management.
Art-making has been a part of my life since I was a little girl. When I was younger, art was a way for me to escape. As an adult, the art has become a spiritual discipline, a tool to practice presence and cope with the ephemeral nature of life. It also became a way to reformulate my beliefs and ideas about myself and the world around me.
In 2006 I began drawing small mandalas as a daily form of mindfulness after the birth of my daughter. While adjusting to motherhood, I experienced a personal crisis in which my inner world changed dramatically. The emotional pain forced me to look at how I was viewing the world. My daughter inspired me to change and create more of the life I wanted for myself and for her.
The mandalas became a way for me to connect with the wisdom in myself while simultaneously engaging more fully in the world around me. Every day I am amazed by the magic of the Universe and the ways messages appear through our relationships, dreams, animals and a host of other signs.
My work as a board-certified art therapist has allowed me to work in a large variety of settings and populations and includes work with children, adolescents and adults. My program and classes focus on combining art-making with essential coping skills in mindfulness, emotional health, interpersonal effectiveness and stress management. As an art therapist, I believe the process of making art is inherently therapeutic, the art a powerful tool for growth and transformation. After finding personal healing in my mandala drawings, I began creating large mandalas with groups. By using a variety of materials including pastels, flowers, sand and other natural sustainable resources the mandalas have become my primary tool for teaching and applying mindfulness skills.
The mandala, a sacred circle, carries many symbols such as balance, wholeness, completion and infinity. For me, the beauty is found when I am able to move into a state of being that includes listening to my inner voice, connecting with the moment and accepting each mark I make as the mandala helps me return to my own center over and over again.
Personally, my favorite way to work is small, in personal journals primarily using fine point markers. Other materials I use include watercolor, colored pencil, pen and oil pastels. Find out more about my inspirational art and work as an art therapist at maryhow.com. To purchase images, contact me at (803) 269-8730 or firstname.lastname@example.org.