Table 1

Overview of themes and sub-themes derived from journal and interview data

New or unfamiliar materialsExpectationsResponses to the MABSight change
Adding to the materials providedWhat’s in the boxPositive reactions‘Accessible’ materials
Familiar materialsExpectations of researcher or othersExcitementAssistance from others
Putting other art activities on holdFeeling encouragedSurpriseChange in/limited colour perception
Benefits of unfamiliar materialsExpectations of selfNegative reactionsNot wanting to experiment
AdaptabilityCreative circlesDisappointmentPast leisure activities
Experimentation with materialsSocialLack of motivationPositive impact on MAB experience
'Giving it a go', a new way of workingSharing of artOverwhelmingTactile nature of materials
Skill developmentWanting feedback or helpNot enough guidanceTechnology making art accessible
Negative reactions to new materialsA social outletNo clear end pointVI as a limiting factor
Concern over messLearning from othersNot sure what to think or doParticipants’ artwork
Giving upShared experienceImportance of timeFeedback from others
Intimidated by new materialsOverwhelmingNot enough/too much timeMeaning attached to piece
Limited by physical spaceBeliefs about own and others' abilitiesRight amount of timePositive self-assessment
When things go wrongFeeling judgedThinking timeAesthetically pleasing
Walking away/waiting a whileLimitations of virtual deliveryInitial reactions to MABColour, shape and composition
Positive impacts on the individualLogistical and technology challengesPlanning and progress over projectDoes not need to be aesthetically pleasing
A challengeMoodComparison to others’ progress‘At ease’ with medium
A new experienceImpact of art making on moodEngagement changing over timeNegative self-assessment
TherapeuticExpectations of researcher’s understanding of moodWhat is art?Quality, ‘bad’
Inspiring other creative activities (and vice versa)Mental healthArt experience and knowledgeSources of inspiration
FreedomDepressionColourArtists and other artwork
Keeping busy (COVID-19 context)JournallingHow is art talked aboutNature
Negative impacts of participationUnsure what to journalImaginationWhat’s in the box
RegretMethods of journallingIndividualInstructions
Self-expression through other art formsThe artistic process
Planning sessions
  • MAB, mystery arts box; VI, visual impairment.