Creating an art studio for people with ADHD
Making art can be a fantastic outlet for both children and adults with ADHD. Art can soothe ADHD symptoms by making you feel calm, reducing irritability, managing agitation or staving off anxiety. People with ADHD are typically very intelligent and creative individuals, so it is important to find creative outlets to channel creativity as an outlet for self-expression. Creating an art studio in your home could provide a child or adult with ADHD with the perfect therapeutic space to manage ADHD symptoms calmly and creatively.
How to choose an art space
It is better to locate your art studio is in a separate room rather than a shared space. Too often communal spaces by nature can be distracting. So, instead of setting up in a small corner of a shared room, try to find a part of the house that is quiet and out of the way. Setting up your art studio there will offer you the most success with the least possible chance of noise and disruption.
If your room has a window, try to find a blind that allows light yet blocks distractions. Particularly if you live on a busy street or main road, you’ll want to screen the window from distractions. It’s important also to keep the room nice and cool and to include a surface lamp for working at night.
Stock up with art supplies
The wider the range of art supplies the better when creating an art studio for people with ADHD. Having a wide range of art supplies allows you to express your creativity with different art styles. Having plenty of supplies allow ADHD family members to explore different mediums. As they explore, they may find they have a preference or a natural knack for some art styles over others. Some basic art supply essentials include various colors and types of paper, a range of pencils for drawing and sketching, crayons, oil pastels, watercolors and/or acrylic paints.
Storing art supplies
How you store art supplies is up to your own style preferences. If you have a Nothing Out Style Preference you will likely prefer to store art supplies out of sight. However, if you have an Everything Out Style Preference you may prefer storing supplies in acrylic containers and keep like items together. It’s important to learn your style preferences so you can set up your storage and spaces to boost your creativity and minimize distractions and the potential for over excitement. Staying organized and productive has everything to do with how you’re wired, and setting your spaces and systems up to support you and your family.
While many creatives enjoy working on multiple projects at the same time, sometimes having too many options and things on display can hinder your ability to focus and complete. Learning your flow formula means being able to focus and get to work easily. So creating a calming and therapeutic art space includes how you store your supplies.
Motivational tips for kids
If your creative art studio space is for your child with ADHD, consider creating a routine or schedule to use the space. Kids with ADHD do well with a bit of structure and organization. This can be as easy as theming art projects, or working on certain mediums for a period of time. Consider how much fun it would be to host a watercolor week or drawing day. A structure will encourage, motivate and aid your ADHD kids’ focus.
If your child struggles to settle and get started, setting goals and intentions is a good way to start. You may decide to create a monthly goal with them or provide incentives to help them sustain action and stay motivated. Once they are into the swing of things and appreciate the benefits of making art, they should have no problem getting down to projects that deliver payoffs.
Getting involved yourself, or introducing mini-competitions is good fun and a lovely way for you to bond with your child. If your child is feeling particularly energetic one day you could take a more physical approach where they could do hand and footprints on a piece of paper using non-toxic, washable paints. This could be a fun activity for the whole family, but it can get a bit messy! So if you’re planning a family create-a-thon, be sure you’re stocked up on cleaning supplies!
Displaying the art
There is nothing more satisfying and motivating than sharing your artwork. Our kids’ artwork to decorate our entire basement family room. Framing artwork and hanging it up on the wall creates a sense of true artistic accomplishment. It’s a simple, beautiful and inexpensive way to decorate. Another way to decorate with art is to mount a big pinboard on the wall for smaller creations. Another way to display art inexpensively is to hang a string across a wall or from the ceiling and use clothespins to display your pieces. Displaying art brings any studio to life and ensures a well-deserved sense of achievement for people with ADHD. Displaying completed projects also helps to further encourage creative work, calm the mind, and engage some of the best parts of the ADHD family members!
Special thanks to our guest writer: Jess Walter, Freelance Writer.