What is Soft Pastel Nagomi Art?
Soft Pastel is a dry medium made of pure powdered pigment and a binder. Soft Pastel Nagomi Art is a style of art healing originally founded in Japan where it uses soft pastels and fingers to produce a gentle, warm and colourful piece of art utilising simple painting techniques.
The word ‘Nagomi’ means “harmony” in Japanese. It allows one be more aware of their state of mind and the emotions they are feeling in the moment. The outcome focuses on the process of self-acknowledgement and affirmation and not the final product. The process allows us to express our innermost emotions and thoughts onto paper through the expression of art. The process is relaxing, soothing and therapeutic.
Why did you want to do Nagomi Art? And how did you start?
By chance, I stumbled upon a Pastel Nagomi Art workshop in 2017 and found it so intriguing. Even with no formal art background, I found that the process was an easy approach and the outcome of the art piece was pleasing to the eye. The process reminded me of the blending application of eyeshadow when doing makeup. The calming feeling and creative outlet for self expression are some of the therapeutic benefits from doing Pastel Nagomi Art.
I resonated so deeply with this art form that I pursued the Diploma in Associate Instructor course and the Diploma in Advanced Instructor course consecutively. I am very passionate about this art form and have done numerous workshops and classes for all age groups and facilitated team bonding activities at companies using Pastel Nagomi Art. One of the more interesting experiences I had was having taught at the Singapore Prison!
The art making process allowed me to focus on creating “me time”. I began to find pockets of “me time” which allowed me to get in touch with my inner most feelings and the space to express my emotions and thoughts while painting. The process of choosing colours, grinding the powder, looking at the imagery you are trying to create, blending and erasing allowed me to realign my thoughts and feelings. At the end of the day, when I admire the final art piece, I feel a sense of accomplishment. My own personal life experiences and self-realisation, self-awareness and self-affirmation during the painting process, has motivated me to start up Touch Art Peace (www.facebook.com/touchartpeace
) to spread the benefits of Pastel Nagomi Art.
Who can do Nagomi Art? Who will benefit most from Nagomi Art?
Regardless of whether or not you have an arts background, from a pre-schooler to senior citizen, anyone can do Nagomi art!
Due to the relaxing, soothing and therapeutic nature of Pastel Nagomi Art, it is especially beneficial for people seeking healing, self improvement and personal development.
How does this form of artwork help parents and children?
Soft Pastel Nagomi Art can be a family fun activity where it creates time for family bonding and allows parents to bridge communication with their child through art. Through an interest based learning, children learn to be more focused as they explore their creativity.
The tactile feel of soft pastel is a new and sensory experience for the child which most children usually enjoy. The child is assured that it is alright to make a mess and even encouraged to get messy!
Most importantly, the process is more important than the outcome. Children should enjoy the process of exploration and dare to be adventurous by trying out new things. With encouragement and affirmation, the child generally tends to perform better.
What is the collaboration between you and Art for Good?
My collaboration with Art for Good is very meaningful to me, as I resonate with the same mission in using art to do good. I conduct the Soft Pastel Nagomi Art workshops at Art for Good, in hope to spread the mission of “renewing the sense of self” through self awareness and self realisation through the art making process.
How can I start?
Find some quiet time at the end of the day and spend about 15 mins to reflect on your day to get in touch with your feelings. Start by using colours that attract you and begin by drawing in a journal.
“Sometimes it helps to close your eyes and simply just feel.”