June 23, 2019
This week definitely had a lot of ups and downs. I learned a lot during my sessions with clients, and was challenged by my administrative tasks, which involved a lot of advertising and marketing work.
My marketing madness began on Monday by organizing, logging, and photographing a large donation of art supplies given to ITA. I took several different photos that are going to be used on ITA’s website and Facebook page to thank our donors and encourage others to donate. Then I kept working on my marketing tasks for ITA’s 5th Annual Integrated Creative Arts Therapy Conference, which will take place in March of next year. I have been contacting different local and national creative arts therapy organizations and asking for prices for placing ads on their websites, in their newsletters, and at their conferences, among other things. I never really realized how much work went into advertising for conferences. It always just seemed to me like everything was put together the day of, and participants just showed up, which is most definitely not true. I have really enjoyed the fact that ITA has given me a major role in their marketing process, and given me a say in what they do to advertise their services.
The next day I went to an off-site music group therapy session that took place at a camp for kids with Autism and ADHD. It was really cool getting to see these kids heal through music. I am currently reading a book called The Expressive Therapies Continuum, which explains how healing occurs in the creative arts therapies via four different means, two of those being kinesthetic (learning through physical activity) and sensory (like hearing). Watching the children with ADHD get their extra kinesthetic energy out via moving and shaking a maraca or a tambourine was really interesting, as was seeing the children with Autism get stimulation from the sensation of hearing the Bruno Mars song the therapist played. Putting aside all the psychology, seeing the big smiles on those kids’ faces made my day.
I then helped out the other interns in completing the Dungeons and Dragons party decorations by putting together some banners with medieval symbols on them. We also couldn’t help but take a few photos posing with the swords and shields we made.
Unfortunately, I got pulled away right before we finished to complete another one of my tasks, designing flyers for the conference. Over the past two weeks I’ve been working on several different design ideas to try and fit the theme of the conference into the advertising images. The issue with this, however, is that the theme is difficult to portray in images. I must have designed at least a dozen different flyers to no avail; my supervisor sent me back to the drawing board each time, which has been frustrating. It makes sense though, these designs will be seen by hundreds of people across the country, so they have to look good. My supervisor also told me she wants me to walk out of my time at ITA with real-world experience in the world of marketing, with a portfolio of my graphic designs that I can show to potential future employers, which is cool. We have to pick a design by Tuesday, so wish me luck and send lots of creative energy my way!
Alexa is a psychology and studio art double major and art history minor from Chicago, Illinois.