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Edgar Velazco

GRAPHIC DESIGNER

Edgar Velazco embodies the spirit of a passionate and imaginative graphic designer, driven by an innate curiosity and a deep love for the art of creation. His journey into design began at a young age, where he found himself mesmerized by the magic of production processes that was fueled by an insatiable desire to question the ‘whys’ and ‘hows’ behind every design element. For him, design isn’t just about aesthetics; it’s about forging meaningful connections between people and the products they interact with. Edgar’s career is a testament to this belief, from working with Microsoft employees on their projects to helping small businesses with their creative direction, he has learned that there are no such things as mistakes and that each unsuccessful solution gets you closer to one that will eventually work.

Art Therapy App

Therapeutic art exercises in the palm of your hand.

Project Overview

Art Therapy is a mobile application that allows users to engage in therapeutic art exercises designed to help with relaxation, self-expression, and emotional regulation. The app includes creative exercises based on various themes and resource tools to guide the user through their journey. Although primarily a therapeutic app, it will also have functionalities similar to those of a creative educational app, including hotlines, directories, and affirmations. The art direction is inspired by Mexican folk art, known as Artesanías, which translates to handcrafts.

Process Work

RESEARCH

My research began with a market analysis of direct and indirect competitors, which helped identify the type of application I would be developing and the content it would display. I reviewed various types of apps during my research; some were insightful and informative, while others were essentially just drawing apps. I paid close attention to applications like “Headspace,” examining their layout and composition to help me create my own version.

After researching other companies, I conducted a few interviews that helped me understand the significance of my app. One of my interviews was with a licensed professional art therapist named Melissa. Interviewing Melissa provided a clearer understanding of what art therapy entails and how she conducts her sessions. She was informative and provided helpful resources and feedback, such as the ideas to include hotlines, a journaling section, videos, and audio recordings.

Following my interviews, I created a persona and an empathy map based on the discussions from all three interviews. My persona wants to use this form of therapy at their own pace and on their own terms, with the intention of managing stress, expressing emotions, and exploring new forms of creativity.

DESIGN PROCESS

I started the design phase by doing the “crazy 8” exercise, which helped me consolidate my ideas and concepts onto a single page. After repeating this a few times, I gained a good sense of how I wanted the app’s layout to be presented. I then began sketching wire-frames, focusing on my user goals throughout the process. I experimented with various end goals and scenarios in which the user could utilize my app. Taking a step back, I carefully considered who would be using my app and for what purpose.

The next step was transitioning the wire-frames to low and mid-fidelity prototypes. This step helped me determine if the user goals were effective and easy to communicate. I concentrated on the layout, ensuring I used a grid to align the content properly. Throughout the design phase, I continuously updated the app until I felt it was coming together.

After several weeks of refining the mid-fidelity prototype, I advanced to the high-fidelity phase. During this phase, I focused on the app’s theme and consistency. I had already created a logo that I felt resonated well with the platform. I aimed for a consistent color scheme that not only stood out but also aligned with the app’s art direction.

Deliverables

My final deliverables consist of a functional high-fidelity prototype that showcases the user flow and possibilities of the app. I included a functional resource page, as I felt it was crucial for an app focused on mental health issues and therapeutic exercises. Along with the functional app, I created a short motion graphic video featuring a logo animation, transitions, and a walkthrough of the app.


Conclusion

My end goal was to bridge a connection between art therapy and Mexican folk art, and I believe I have achieved this. I think this app can play a significant role in today’s society, where depression and anxiety are at an all-time high. Being able to do therapeutic exercises at your own pace and will is highly beneficial, and I would personally consider trying these exercises. They would help with my anxiety and stress levels, as well as help me connect with my cultural heritage in a creative and expressive way.

This project has taught me a lot about what it takes to create a functional platform with deeper meaning. Additionally, it has provided valuable insights into myself, showing me that this was more than just a senior project. It reminded me that work I am passionate about doesn’t feel like work.

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