Image by Vojna Andrea
bluewall_edited.jpg
Render WHITE blue shadow.png
To cause someone to be in a particular state. 
To represent in a work of art.
 
To give something to someone. 

WHY RENDER?

Over the years of working as an Art Therapist, our founder Drew started to seriously question why creative engagement is not widely accessible as an important pathway to health and wellness.

 

Many of us are looking for ways to support our mental and emotional health, and just as often, we intuitively pursue creative engagement for personal well-being.  At Render, we do both (and we have fun doing it). 

 

With us, it's not about passing any judgement on what you make, but about the practice and experience of exercising your creativity, self-awareness, and tools for stress reduction in an enjoyable and satisfying way.

As is often the case, words just don't capture the whole picture...

Come Render, and see for yourself.

Image by Kelly Sikkema
Drew%2520Teaching%2520Full_edited_edited

DREW SMITH

Drew is a Licensed Certified Art Therapist and Founder of Render.  She has spent the last 15 years working in various community arts and healthcare settings including museums, community mental health, and private practice.

 

Over the course of her career, she noticed that while many of us feel pulled towards creative pursuits for our own well-being, we often still struggled to find the time, mental and physical space, and inspiration to keep our creative engines healthy and running.

 

Non-inclusive narratives about creativity and art-making also stop many of us from even getting started. Often, our mental health suffers as a result.

 

She knew it could be different. And so Render was born to provide an inviting and engaging creative healthcare service, always anchored in the latest research on psychology, mental health, and creativity. 

Drew is committed to making sure you feel welcomed, calmed, a little challenged, revived, and inspired. She completed her Master's Degree in Art Therapy at the The George Washington University, and is also a Licensed Professional Counselor in the State of Oregon and member of the American Art Therapy Association.

OUR APPROACH

Here at Render, the main focus is on the process of creating, not the final product.

That’s why we spend just enough time on material instruction to make sure you can feel pretty comfortable getting started. We design all of our experiences to be engaging and manageable no matter how much or how little experience you have with making art.

 

It might feel a little scary to not have all of the answers up front, but in the end you’ll realize there is no right way to be creative. You’ll probably end up with something we never would have thought of, and that fuels and inspires our whole community.

Directing your own experience also creates opportunity for personal learning and self-awareness that is unique to you. That's when the good stuff happens for your mental health. 

We NEVER judge, critique, or assign aesthetic value to art created in our space, and we expect everyone who joins us to do the same. Think of it this way; would you ever turn to your neighbor in yoga class and correct their down dog pose? Same rules apply.

By emphasizing the act of creating, we help you move past an inner critic and tap into the moments of freedom, surprise, self-awareness, and joy that arise in the process.

WHAT TO EXPECT

We offer a few distinct experiences, but from the very first minute, you can expect to be welcomed, encouraged, and valued for the creative force that you are. 

Every class starts with an overview and orientation to the art materials and process, so that you feel comfortable working largely on your own. The amount of time on demos and orientation is slightly flexible depending on questions that come up, so we can makes sure everyone has what they need to get started.

 

You'll then have designated time to independently create something with the materials we have provided. An Art Therapist will be on hand to answer questions, refill materials for in person experiences, or provide any support that's needed. 

Generally speaking, artists are asked to keep talking to a minimum during the art-making portion of classes (unless you have a question for one of our staff) so that everyone can sink into their process and access those amazing benefits of intentional creative work. We always end with a guided reflection and discussion to help you digest your creative experience and carry it with you beyond our time together. 

WHY IT WORKS

Research has shown that engaging in art making for as little as 45 minutes can improve mood, decrease stress, and positively impact feelings of capability. Creative engagement in the arts can also lead to improved physical outcomes and strengthened creative thinking skills . These are good things, and we’re here to help you access them.

It’s important to note that having a largely self-directed artistic process is a crucial factor in experiencing those health benefits.

Our structure and approach facilitates a unique flow experience and gives you the opportunity to access the health benefits that are dependent on the elements of problem solving and activation of multiple brain regions. Our mindfulness tools help you reflect on your experience in a fun and easy way. 

Sometimes, just gathering materials, finding the time, and getting started are half the battle, which is why we’ve designed our  experiences to be accessible and enjoyable in as little as one or two hours, with lots of scheduling flexibility and no extra material costs or prep time required. We'll brush away those pesky barriers and deal with the logistics, so you can just drop into your process and Render away!