Calming COVID anxiety with Brush & Flow
ARTrageous Brush & Flow in Germantown is helping people cope on canvas.
Moneek Pines was just a child when she discovered she was suffering from anxiety.
While looking for a hobby to relax her mind, she began painting, and it became a natural remedy for stress.
Years later, Pines decided to open a small business in the same vein that could bring people together and curb unwanted anxiety.
She bought a van and traveled to local churches, schools, and rec centers to promote the importance of art therapy.
Pines eventually found a space to call her own and named it, ARTrageous Brush & Flow in Germantown.
“June 17 will be the fourth anniversary of opening a storefront. Prior to that I was doing it mobile as a side job,” Pines said in a recent interview with AL DÍA News.
Pines has built her small business from the ground up and received positive recognition throughout Philadelphia.
“I have a goal of people coming to the space as a stranger and leaving as a friend,” she said.
Customers who are usually reluctant to start painting immediately experience the calming qualities it has to offer.
“I get many customers who say, ‘I didn't know that painting was so therapeutic,’” said Pines.
When the COVID-19 pandemic made its entrance to Philly in March 2020, many locals found themselves overwhelmed with debilitating anxiety and depression that still lingers on their minds more than a year later.
Rather than sit by and potentially be one of them, Pines is using her time to offer virtual classes for people looking for a creative outlet to get their minds off of the pandemic.
“Just doing a brush stroke on a canvas is therapeutic,” she said.
Pines believes that painting can curb the racing thoughts that are common occurrences to people with anxiety.
“When you are painting you aren't thinking about what bills you have to pay, or for me, the pandemic, I am just mixing my colors, painting, and having a great time,” she said.
When the pandemic initially started, Pines was worried her business might be in jeopardy.
Instead, she thought fast and pivoted for more virtual business.
“I was able to sell painting kits online, and then my customers asked for me to do some virtual lessons, so I began doing that, which was very exciting for me,” said Pines.
In the recent year, Pines was also able to provide fun and engaging events. One involved getting families together virtually to follow one of her art lessons.
“The virtual events do help other families who are miles away from their family members,” said Pines. “Families who lived in different states were able to do a fun activity together even though they are miles away.”
As COVID-19 restrictions start lifting in the city, Pines is now excited to share her space with others.
“I recently had a big Mother’s Day painting party, which was very fun,” she said.
Pines also hopes to bring lessons to family functions, such as bridal showers, family reunions, and barbecue parties.
“I still travel with my paint mobile for events and gatherings,” she said.
For more information about ARTrageous Brush & Flow’s painting workshops, check out their website and book a class.