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Stories from the Field
Stories from the Field

Roland's Story


When Roland walked into his first session with us, he was hesitant about the creative process because he didn’t have a lot of experience with art. He asked for just a small piece of paper and a pencil, stating that he didn’t want to waste our materials. But he wasn’t in the mood to draw after all.

I offered him a tray of colorful oil pastels and asked him to pick one. He selected orange, his favorite color. I then introduced him to the various mediums we had in that color: paint, markers, and crayons. He began testing them out cautiously, noting the differences in texture with each. “It’s not about right or wrong, it’s about exploring”, another youth reassured him. 

Soon, Roland was mixing together bottles of paint, creating vibrant shades of orange and dark splotches of purple.

“It’s weird,” he said, “I’ve never let my mind flow like this before.” His resulting piece is an abstract mix of hypnotizing swirls. Reflecting on it he said, “There are dark clouds around with sunshine in the middle. It’s kind of like how the world works. We all have an interpretation of why we have to do the things we do, like get out of bed in the morning or go to work. But in the middle, all of that goes away.”