Expression Through Art


 In the heart of Lido, framed by the picturesque Newport Harbor and Pacific Ocean, is a gem of a studio, cheerful and inviting, devoted to nurturing our artistic souls. The enchanting art studio, adorned with colorful murals, hand-painted by owner and founder Diana Shabtai, and replete with an array of art supplies, is the inspirational space for those in want of creative mindfulness. 

Art Therapy OC is the local space for expressing yourself through art. The offerings are varied and tailored to the needs and desires of clients. Sometimes the studio will be packed with a group of excited children celebrating an art themed birthday party. Other times, through a swirl of colors, a single young child will be coaxed into expressing the feelings that may be difficult to articulate. Diana even hosts date nights for art loving romantics, workshops for youths dealing with common teen-related stresses, girl scout groups working on a badge, and corporate wellness events. The studio accommodates groups of up to 30 participants. 

“This is a creative space that is meant to be open to whatever sparks the imagination. I get approached by all types of groups asking about options that range from a social party to a team building event to a family bonding activity. Art lends itself to a diverse multitude of applications,” says Diana. 

“I have been painting since I was a child. Art is and always has been my personal self-care. The process of creating art is soothing,” explains Diana who obtained her master’s degree and board certification in Art Therapy so she could use her passion for creating art to engage participants with purpose. Diana also has a doctorate in psychology and her extensive education and training has enabled her to identify ways to use art as a coping mechanism and as a tool for emotional healing. She has been practicing Art Therapy since 2002 and has witnessed the successful use of creating art to foster self acceptance and promote better living. 

Diana sees her studio as a safe place where you can lose yourself in your art. The art projects that are offered are diverse, ranging from crafting wreaths out of succulents to canvass painted watercolors. She has even offered sessions that incorporate the creation of personalized journals and hand designed yoga mats. Themes include nautical, nature and more. Mosaics, clay, and an array of materials for collages are also on hand. And if there is something in particular that a group requests, Diana is willing to make it happen. 

But it’s not just about the completed art project. For Diana, it is about the process of creating art. 

“I wanted to create an environment where the focus was about ‘creating’ and to provide an outlet for all those emotions we feel. This is a place that offers a healthy therapeutic form of expression. People feel better after an art session,” says Diana, who especially enjoys being able to use her education and training to elevate the creative experience for children. 

“My young clients get so much out of these art workshops. Because of my unique training, I know how to use the art session to help nurture patience, focus, social skills, leadership, positive communication, and more. Children get so many benefits out of a well facilitated art session. I see shy children come out of their shells. It’s very rewarding and it’s also fun.” 

Art Therapy OC 
432 32nd Street, Newport Beach, CA 92663 
949.791.2065 | 
Follow on Instagram & facebook 


Rita Goldberg

Rita Goldberg, Editor-In-Chief, hails from New York, where she earned her degree from New York University’s School of Journalism and launched her career on the press room floor of Women’s Wear Daily. A long time resident of Newport Beach, she has served as Founding Editor for several prominent magazines and collaborated on two editions of The Art Lover’s Cook Book. She is a well ingrained community member of Coastal Orange County and is a Founding Board Member of The Newport Beach Film Festival and past Chair of The Newport Beach City Arts Commission. She brings over 20 years of professional journalism and editorial experience to Joli Magazine. A mother of three, during her spare time, she enjoys hiking, biking and taking advantage of the beautiful Southern California lifestyle.