The intuitive drawing journal: Drawing through emotions

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Drawing is an important part of our life, it helps develop visual awareness as well as communicate to the outside world. 'The intuitive drawing journal' is a guided journal to help process feelings and emotions through drawing. An idea that came from local artist Almudena Rocca.

Almudena Rocca is a local multidisciplinary artist based in Choppington but works around Newcastle and Northumberland. Inspiration comes from personal experience with mental ill health, social issues and politics. She works with a range of materials including ceramic, glass and tattooing. The core of her work is to advocate and raise awareness of mental ill health and the importance of art and creativity in improving mental health.

"Art is such an important tool when it comes to our mental well-being. Sometimes we can't find the right words to say how we feel but art can reach much deeper than that and can allow us to communicate in a way words could never"

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During her time at university, Almudena experienced ill mental health. During this time she considered dropping out and didn't know what to do. As she was on the train going home to Widdrington Station she began to draw and draw without lifting her pen off the paper. This created some relief and she started using it as a way to relax and find comfort in her discomfort.

Almudena's artwork and journal created to promote self-care.Almudena's artwork and journal created to promote self-care.
Almudena's artwork and journal created to promote self-care.

‘All of my art has been about mental health and the importance of creativity in improving mental health. I have experienced friends and family who have not received the right support and the negative impact that has had on them. There is such a lack of funding, empathy and general understanding of people with mental ill health. I wanted to create art that people felt connected to, felt some comfort from and that could help... even if it was in a very small way. That my art could create a conversation around mental health, or even just create a safe space for that type of conversation to happen"

After graduating from the Glasgow School of Art in 2019, her mental health plummeted and she began her own healing journey by attending counselling. During this time an idea occurred, to use the drawing method of the continuous line to express or explore emotions through drawing and how beneficial this could be for others. We all saw how important creativity and art became during the pandemic... an outlet and a source of comfort to create and make and get lost for a few hours. Fast forward to 2022, she began to create a drawing journal with Watkins Publishing.

The intuitive drawing journal is a guided journal that can help process feelings and emotions through drawing.

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'Emotions add depth to our experiences but can sometimes be overwhelming or challenging. In this beautifully illustrated guided journal, Almudena Rocca presents an amazing technique - intuitive drawing- which can help you understand and work through your feelings by accessing the unconscious. You don't need to be an artist to enjoy this book - it is the perfect resource who enjoy creative self-care"

Almudena's art allows her to explore emotions and advocate mental health.Almudena's art allows her to explore emotions and advocate mental health.
Almudena's art allows her to explore emotions and advocate mental health.

Almudena said ' I wanted to tackle a few things, create a journal that wasn't text-based. I am very visual when it comes to learning and just anything really. I wanted to create a journal that was just based on scribbling and drawing. The aim of the journal isn't the end result as much, it's more the process of how you got there, and how you felt along the way. With that I also wanted to tackle the 'I can't draw' mindset. I think everyone is creative in their own way and this book could be perfect for people who want to draw but don't know where to start as you are just scribbling and finding your own process through the book. It is an acknowledgement of how important art is in the world, how powerful it can be and how transformative It can be for people"

With the launch of the book Almudena has also been invited by Dry Water Arts in Amble to have a solo exhibition from the 22nd of September to the 21st of October. "Drawing through emotions" looks at Almudena's drawings and art pieces over the years, It will highlight the importance of drawing for her as well as looking at her development over the years and how her artwork has moved.

Almudena has already worked with the likes of Kleenex tissues, Better Help, Posca pens and Self Care is for Everyone. She holds a Level 3 counselling studies certificate as well as a BA HONS in sculpture and environmental art. She hopes to continue her studies by moving towards an art therapy degree.