Deann Acton is deeply inspired by her Latinx heritage, her children, and her own anxious spirit. She graduated with a Bachelor's of Fine Art degree from the University of Texas and received her Masters Degree in Art Therapy and Marriage Family Therapy from Notre Dame de Namur University outside of San Francisco. When Deann is not creating art, she is working as an art therapist and marriage family therapist in private practice helping others to use art to heal.
As an artist, Deann uses art as a means of exploring her identity and let go of expectations. Drawing from a bicultural background steeped in Indigenous Mexican and Catholic archetypes, she is deeply interested in how symbols can be both personal and universal. She is also interested in how symbolism can be utilized in manifesting internal changes and creating joy where sometimes there is pain.
The use of playful imagery as a means of working through internal struggles can be seen in her fascination with sea creatures and sea monsters. Carl Jung famously explained the archetype of the sea as representative of our unconscious. What creatures live in the unconscious? Some might be playful and mysterious - whereas others might be terrifying. Sea monsters hiding below the surface of the water, become a representation for internalized anxiety which can at any moment, emerge from the unconscious and send your ship asunder. Mermaids become representations of a desire to explore the deep waters of the unconscious.
Deann is also a lover of art challenges. In monthly art challenge, Deann uses prompts to challenge herself to create art on a daily basis. She tries to do at least three art challenges a year, including "Inktober". Art challenges allow for a daily practice of art making which can feel meditative in nature. As I often tell my clients, twenty minutes of art making can lower levels of cortisol in the body. The desire to create a piece of art each day also requires a letting go of perfectionism and internal judgment. And at the end of the month, it can be incredibly satisfying to see your accomplishments and notice your improvements.
Deann's preferred medium is watercolor and ink, but she also loves using acrylic paint on canvas. Deann has also been exploring using embroidery in her own practice and with her clients as another positive coping strategy and creative outlet.