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Arlo Parks launches art therapy initiative for global creatives

The South London musician is collaborating with Dazed and Converse to launch ‘Arlo’s Art Therapy’ for creatives who use their work as a release.

Arlo Parks is known for using her music to express vulnerability – performing dreamy, poetic vocals about the ups and downs of love and life over low-key, soulful beats.

The 21-year-old began writing as early as the age of eleven, penning out streams of consciousness, thoughts, and feelings that then transform into concise, thoughtful lyrics.

As a member of Gen-Z, Arlo believes ‘younger people at the moment are willing to just unapologetically be themselves, stand up, and talk about things without fear.’

Now, she wants to lift up other creatives who have also used their art as a form of catharsis.

This week, Arlo’s Art Program was launched in support of the suicide prevention charity Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM).

Her initiative is welcoming artists, writers, illustrators, designers and any other creatives to submit their work for a chance to have it flypostered around the major cities of London, Bristol, and Manchester.

All artists need to do to enter is submit a printable portrait image of a piece work that they found therapeutic to create, along with a short message describing its significance.

Submissions are being accepted at the Dazed website until the 18th of October, with three winners selected by Arlo Parks, and teams from both Dazed and Converse.

Those entering must be aged 18 or over and can be from anywhere in the world. Once winners are selected, posters of their artwork will be exhibited near venues where Arlo Parks is touring during the month of November.

In addition to the three winners, a number of other submissions will be featured in Arlo’s Art Therapy Journal. The collaborative journal will include meditative practices and guides to help encourage and promote the use of art as therapy.

The bespoke journal will be available for purchase on the artist’s website in December, with all proceeds going to the CALM charity. Featured creators will also be paid a fee for their works.

Speaking to Dazed about the project, Arlo Parks said: ‘I would like to inspire and encourage them to express themselves freely, courageously and unabashedly: I want them to understand that having empathy, caring about things and being sensitive is a gift.’

As our understanding and focus on mental wellbeing continues to grow, turning to art as a form of expressive therapy appears to be gaining traction. Those of us not keen to pick up a pen or paintbrush might find solace in prescribed trips to the museum.

For the more creative crew, think about submitting your works in the week ahead ­– submissions for Arlo’s Art Therapy will be closing in just ten days. Good luck!


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