This is an interesting example of how art, as well as being an important means of expressing oneself and one’s perception of the world and of others, can become a great opportunity for professional training.

Since its foundation, the Community of San Patrignano has published a historic monthly magazine, the SanpaNews, in which issues relating to addiction, youth discomfort and in-depth analysis alternate with life stories directly written by the young people in the community, and each story has its own illustration.

Silvia Mengoli, director of the magazine, has launched a collaboration project with the young people in the community who are passionate about art and drawing, involving them in the creation of the illustrations of the stories and the graphic design of the magazine.

It is very important to involve the young people and help them to understand and also to exploit their own potential. Experiencing that they are capable, that they are able to come up with a project and realize it, be it a drawing or a text, is fundamental to their recovery process. Because it makes them aware that they are capable of doing well, even in life’.

Some of the young women and men who have taken part in this experience over the years have gone on to undertake related studies or training, becoming graphic designers, authors, social media managers and decorators. And their words, what drawing has represented for them in such a complicated and tiring life time as recovery pathway in the community can be, is the best way to explain it to you:

“The more the brush runs across the canvas, the clearer, more transparent, more natural and simpler everything becomes for me. Life is complicated, sometimes a little scary, but drawing is simple, easy. While the canvas is coloring, I feel safe and comfortable. The rules are clear. Yellow and blue make green, if I put red in the yellow I know orange is coming. It’s easy, much more so than in life. When the canvas is full, I stand back, look at it and realize that in that colored rectangle there are also ideas, emotions, intuitions. I am represented there. R.