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  • Boosting 'body image' through life-drawing

    You may have not thought that drawing a life model is good for you, but research now shows, life-drawing has a positive imact on negative body image in adults and most recently in teens.


    (above) 'Creative Thinking Workshop' for year 10 Business Studies class at Penrhos College

    Over the years as I've watched nervous 'beginners' rock up to my 'Charcoal and Champagne' life-drawing classes for adults, as well as my 'Creative Thinking Workshops' which I run for businesses and schools.

    In even the short amount of time we spend together, Im endlessly amazed at the remarkable changes in not just how individuals feel about their 'ability to draw' and their 'creative ability', but also their mind set about how they view the body –  and so it comes no surprise to see the following findings by Professor Viren Swami, from Anglia Ruskin University:

    “Previous studies with adults have shown that life drawing has a positive effect on body image, with evidence coming from cross-sectional, experimental and prospective studies in multiple university and community samples.

    “It’s encouraging to see the same may be the case for adolescents as well.

    “Negative body image is a real public health concern in young people, particularly because of its association with disordered eating and poorer psychological well-being.

    “Our findings are important because they point at an effective means of promoting healthier body image in this age group.

    “Regular life drawing classes have the potential not only to promote a more positive body image, but also to develop more realistic notions of what bodies look like.”

    For girls, life drawing challenged the idea that the perfect body was thin, he said. Boys no longer assumed that they had to be muscular to be attractive.

    Participants also became more respectful of other people’s appearance, the study showed.

    “They were less judgmental about other people they might meet, or how they treat their bodies, what they do with their bodies, or how they clothe their bodies,” said Prof Swami.

    Previous research had shown that around half of young girls and 35% of boys were dissatisfied with their bodies, the professor added.

    The three aspects of body image improved by life drawing were appreciation, acceptance and pride. These related to respecting, feeling good about, and taking care of your body.

    If you are interested in finding out about incorporating a coached life-drawing workshop into your school, community or wellness program please get in touch with Aneta.

  • TESTIMONIAL : Eve Perry

    TESTIMONIAL : Eve Perry

    There is nothing more motivating for me, then hearing how people's creative journey continues beyond their 'Charcoal and Champagne' experience... the only thing to top it is knowing the classes actually taught them something or reawoke a spark in them to explore their creative side.

    Here's a snippet from a heart warming email I got from Eve this week ... she join us at the November 'Big Drawing Workshop' last year after coming along to a 'Charcoal and Champagne' pop up on her own – thank you Eve for sharing! x

    "I just wanted to say thank you for my experiences at your classes you are a great teacher and you really inspired me to get back into my drawing and try a few new things. Since the classes I have got myself an easel and some charcoal and have started doing more and more drawing (mainly of my pets so far)." Eve Perry

  • Life-drawing boosts body image .. RESEARCH BACKS IT !

    IMAGE :  Article from Sunday Times, Body + Soul Magazine 10 January 2016
    BELOW:  Original article about the research by Anglia Ruskin University 


    The naked truth – life drawing boosts body image

    Published: 7 December 2015 by Anglia Ruskin University original article

    New research by Anglia Ruskin Professor shows benefits of attending art classes

    New research shows that attending life drawing classes has a positive effect on body image, particularly for women.

    Viren Swami, Professor of Social Psychology at Anglia Ruskin University, carried out two separate studies which will be published by the journal Psychiatry Research.

    The first study, conducted between January and May 2015, involved 138 men and women, aged between 18 and 76, who regularly attended life drawing classes.

    Amongst women, greater attendance was significantly associated with higher body appreciation and a lower drive for thinness and social physique anxiety.  For men, greater attendance was significantly associated with higher body appreciation.

    Because of the possibility the classes might attract individuals who already possessed positive body image, the second study involved 37 women taking part in a life drawing session for the first time.

    Professor Swami, of Anglia Ruskin’s Psychology department, said: 

    “These studies indicate that life drawing classes may promote an embodying experience that leads to a healthier body image amongst participants. 

    “Life drawing sessions may also provide spaces for people to explore relationships with their own bodies and critically appraise media depictions of ‘idealised’ bodies. 

    “If the results of these studies can be replicated and extended, life drawing may emerge as an effective means of promoting healthier body image across the population.”