Concesso is my senior thesis project, completed at Judson University during my last year of college.
This is all personal.
It was about three years ago. The summer after my freshman year here. And it was my brother’s wedding day. All morning I felt nauseous, a pit in my stomach, like something terrible was going to happen, but I figured I was just nervous because it was such a happy perfect day. The wedding carried on, and the pressure on my chest only got worse. Before I knew it, I was laying on the floor of the hotel bathroom screaming for my mom in a cold sweat, the room was spinning and I could feel my heart beating faster and faster. I genuinely believed that that was it, that I was going to have a heart attack on my brother’s wedding day.
I had a panic attack. And that’s when it all started for me. The scariest thing about panic attacks is the physical feelings that comes from your mentality. I remember thinking, What is wrong with my brain? Does it really have that much power over how I physically feel? That’s when I decided I needed to figure this out. So I studied and began to work on my own personal mental health.
Art. It allows us to live out our truest selves. Therapy, especially with art often seems reserved for those who have experienced trauma and loss. But everyone is capable and often in need of an outlet to be expressive. Artistic expression provides a healthy way, and sometimes the only way of revealing unknown and suppressed emotions in an individual. Artistic expression is healthy and needs to be accessible to all.
Negative emotions are often suppressed, and expressive ways of coping, such as traditional art therapy, are usually reserved for extreme cases. However, mental health practices apply to everyone—they apply to me, to you, and to your loved ones. If you’re not an anxious person, you still have feelings and emotions. We all have good days and bad days. And each of us have personalized ways of dealing with stress, anger, sadness, whether they be healthy or unhealthy outlets. We all could benefit from the cathartic effects of artistic expression.
My design process began with research, thinking of the very first human form of artistic expression. This became the inspiration for branding Concesso.
I developed a series of three different toolkits, made to address different needs.
breathe focuses on art through meditation.
Our thoughts can overwhelm us with fear, but they can also bring us peace as we reflect on the good in our past. Let breathe invite you into expressing memory and embracing nostalgia. Let your breaths dictate the rhythm of your art. Use the prompt cards as your guide, but feel free to go beyond the prompts and experiment.
see focuses on art through observation.
The world around us contains beauty that is meant to be admired. Observation gives the mind a healthy distraction, allowing rest and relaxation to overcome the stresses of life. Let see open your eyes to the benefits of artistic expression. Use the prompt cards as your guide, but feel free to go beyond the prompts and experiment.
create focuses on the art of making.
It is good to feel a sense of control, but sometimes letting go is most beneficial to achieve a sense of complete relaxation. create should be relaxing, fun, and a pleasant learning experience. Use the prompt cards as your guide, but feel free to go beyond the prompts and experiment.
Each box comes with 5 prompts, meant to guide and encourage users to fully embrace the given materials and activities.
I created a website made to give information and sell the boxes, which you can visit here.
Gallery exhibition at Judson University, March 27-April 8, 2017: