The Identity puzzle


Description: Individuals in the mental health system can feel like they are lost in the shuffle, just one more card to be put back in their place. This directive encourages individuals to express their identity through art while at the same time exploring the impact they have on their peers and vice versa. You do not fit into a box,  you are a unique puzzle piece that is necessary for the picture to be complete.

Materials:  You will need a large cardboard box from Home Depot (22in x 21in), box cutter, 18in ruler, cutting board, gesso, paint, markers, colored pencils.

Preparation: This project takes a lot of prep, but its cheap to make. Cut the flaps off the sides of the box (use the ruler to make sure the edges are straight) you should end up with 4 square pieces of cardboard. Gesso one side, let dry. Use a reference image to draw the puzzle pieces on the cardboard. I used a design that would yield 9 puzzle pieces. Then cut them out! this takes a while, but after you’re done you can use those pieces as templates for the next 3 pieces of cardboard if you choose to make that many puzzles.

puzzle 3

Directive: Give each person their own puzzle piece. Ask them to paint or draw something that represent them as an individual.  Allow time for each person to talk about their art, then have the group put the puzzle together! In this final stage each person is searching for their place in this puzzle, while working in harmony with the people around them. We all have the same goal, to find out who we are and where we fit!

This project is a metaphor for how we as individuals, along with all the people around us are seeking to find where we belong in this crazy colorful puzzle of life.

puzzle 5

You are an integral part of society, with all your strengths and all your weaknesses, you are not like the others and that’s what makes you you.

The image below is an art piece that served as the inspiration for this project. It was found at the Monmouth County Public Library, Shrewsbury, NJ

puzzle 4

2 responses to “The Identity puzzle

  1. This is the right blog for anyone who wants to find out about this topic. You realize so much its almost hard to argue with you (not that I actually would wantHaHa). You definitely put a new spin on a topic thats been written about for years. Great stuff, just great!

  2. I can’t thank you enough for your wonderful blog. It’s so interesting and full to the brim of amazing ideas. Currently working on a project for uni (studying occupational therapy) where i want to use art as a therapeutic medium for folk with psychosis, and you’ve definitely given me some inspiration!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s