What’s Prescriptive Art?

Prescriptive Art for Meaning-Seekers

Healing Dreamscapes are custom-created for one person, one couple or one family by a fine artist trained in meaning-making and prescriptive art. The prescriptive artist is skilled in visualizing positive self-belief stories and preferred stories with and for clients. These clients may be about to complete therapy or else they are about to use photographs and memories as part of their life review with a therapist or support group. Typically these individuals are referred by therapists and life coaches, bereavement staff, clergy and spiritual counselors because the time is ripe for them to re-matriculate. The Healing Dreamscape provides that helpful nudge, reflecting a picture of self-confidence that helps them practice being the new people they want to be.

From experience I see that candidates for prescriptive art are generally people who have not yet found hope or meaning from individual or group therapy, and who have opted out of expressive arts therapy and life in general.

My particular medium as a prescriptive artist is digital photomontage.  A client’s existing photos are fashioned into a preferred story that visualizes a happier outcome for a better tomorrow (or better yesterday in some cases). This story takes shape during our first meeting, whether in person, by phone or Skype.

While I am a digital artist employing all manner of special effects using photo manipulation software,  I would never be able to conceptualize a prescriptive photomontage (“Healing Dreamscape”) unless I was a good listener, asked pointed questions and read between the lines.  Because the therapeutic goal is not merely to create artwork that restores one in the wake of loss or regrets, but to create an enduring story that compels usto see new things in our Dreamscape every day.

If that doesn’t excite you, this will.  Only a prescriptive artist:

  • critically selects your photographs on the basis of quality, not quantity (seeking symbols and metaphors suitable for a story with layered meaning)
  • extracts and re-juxtaposes elements for both aesthetic and conceptual reasons (to convey body language and object placement that is critical to the story)
  • gives special consideration to hierarchies of lighting, scale and skin tone (to give the impression of commonality among featured subjects in your story)
  • searches for fresh images with geographical/historical accuracy (remaining true to genealogy or oral history)
  • injects humor and irony into the artistic composition (to create a parable with contradictory ingredients that allow us to laugh at oneself), and finally
  • helps you decide how to tastefully take your healing artwork to the next level, by configuring it as a poster-sized tribute; as a thank you note (to donors or funeral attendees) or as a sympathy photo gift

Engaging a prescriptive artist may be a brand new experience for you. But regardless of your needs – whether it be healing artwork or a memorial portrait – fine art standards and the therapeutic goal are treated with equal respect. The more believable the Dreamscape, the more attainable is the prescriptive art.