The Art of Emotional Resilience

April 17, 2014

 Last week I had some art therapy fun while visiting Wisconsin again.  My first stop was a return to Edgewood College in Madison to spend some creative time with Janice Havlena and her students (ECATS- Edgewood College Art Therapy Students). Since my last visit to Edgewood’s campus in 2011, the art therapy department is now part of a brand new building (The Stream!), which includes an amazing papermaking and mixed media studio inside and a beautiful view of Lake Wingra outside.

edgewoodbuilding

During this visit, I facilitated an art-making workshop with the ECATS focused on making a mini book of strengths.  Janice had a great stash of abandoned art slides, which we re-purposed into an accordion style book. The plastic slide mount surface was also perfect to introduce the joy of playing with alcohol inks!  :)

edgewood1

edgewood2

If you want to learn more about how to create your own accordion slide mount book, check out this past post.

slidebook4

Identifying a variety of strengths were explored on the altered “pages” of the slide mounts , inspired by these Signature Strengths.  Remembering and activating our strengths can be a helpful way to empower us in times of challenge and distress.

It was awesome to witness the student’s books take form with these positive reminders.  Many thanks to Janice and all the students for hanging out and making art together!

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After my visit at Edgewood College, I headed to Milwaukee to attend this year’s Spring Art Therapy Symposium, The Image Has It: Art, Practice, and the Brain at Mount Mary University, also sponsored by the Wisconsin Art Therapy Association.  The Symposium’s keynote featured Lukasz Konopka, MD & Chris Belkofer PhD, ATR-BC who spoke about their neuroscience research and its implications for art therapy.

I also attended a variety of other inspiring art therapy presentations from Noel L’Esperance, Lori Mackey, Lynn Kapitan, and Bruce Moon…

mmusymposium

I was excited to be able to offer a workshop introducing trauma-informed themes, prompts, and the use of art journaling as a safe, contained space for nurturing and strengthening emotional resilience.  We made mini-art journals (also an accordion book style!) to safely contain inside a matchbox to explore the importance of social support and community:

SafePassageArtJournal

groupSafePassage

If you want to create your own mini matchbox art journal, here’s a simple how to PDF that you can download and print out:

artjournalmatchox

I really had a nice time while in Wisconsin on these art therapy adventures!  I’ve returned with new inspiration and energy, which is always a great win-win!

******

More Inspiration & Resources!

On Resilience, Strengths and Gratitude [Art Journal Pages]

Self-Care through Creative Practice & Intention: Affirmation

Happy Artist’s Life Art Journaling and More Creative Goodness


Have Creative Goodness, Will Travel : April 2014 Update from the Random Acts of Art Adventure

April 13, 2014

Originally posted on 6 Degrees of Creativity:

As a long winter in the US and Canada has started to slowly give way to the arrival of spring (more or less!), the 6 Degrees of Creativity Random Acts of Art Adventure continues to travel onward.

The pouch’s most recent stops (#22 and #23) have reached Wisconsin and Illinois:

Have Creative Goodness, Will Travel : April 2014 Update from the Random Acts of Art Adventure | 6 Degrees of Creativity

From Nancy in Waukesha, Wisconsin

Nancy in Waukesha, Wisconsin received these creative goodies from its previous stop in Minnesota with Thresa. Nancy shared, “I wonder where all of the materials came from…. I thought it was so interesting to use items that could have come from so many places, to come together and make something new.”

The pouch then left the creative hands of Nancy to travel to Heather at Suncrest Studios in Bolingbrook, Illinois:

 Have Creative Goodness, Will Travel : April 2014 Update from the Random Acts of Art Adventure | 6 Degrees of Creativity

From Heather in Bolingbrook, Illinois

Have Creative Goodness, Will Travel : April 2014 Update from the Random Acts of Art Adventure | 6 Degrees of Creativity

creative goodness delivered from Wisconsin

Below is Heather’s page in progress from the Pouch’s Passport Book that also travels with…

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Giving Your Dream Wings through Creative Practice

April 7, 2014

“…Those with imagination have wings…”

It’s an honor to be part of Andrea Schroder’s special Blog Hop launching this week…..

Give Your Dreams Wings | creativity in motion

The Give Your Dream Wings Blog Hop is a peek inside the process of how inspiring people make the magic happen. We’ve got some of the internet’s most inspiring bloggers sharing how they give their dreams wings – what they do that supports, nurtures and encourages their tender dreams to come to life. This is happening in celebration of the new e-course of the same name by Andrea of the Creative Dream Incubator.

The Give Your Dream Wings e-course shows you how to nurture and grow YOUR dream, for free, in only 10 minutes a day. You do not have to wait until you have more time or money! Click here to find out about the free e-course, and to read the other (super inspiring!) posts in this Blog Hop.

For me, creating art in the form of visioning collages, revo’lution making, or spending dedicated time on my 365 project has helped bring clarity, energy, and inspiration to those intentions & dreams I want to collectively manifest/receive/return in my life, work, and relationships.

3x5 365

3×5 365

As this year’s 3×5 365 project heads towards Day 100 this week, I am excited about this milestone (all over again)!

Give Your Dream Wings | creativity in motion

3×5 365 :: Day 75

Tending to this creative process everyday- whether it is 10 minutes, 30, or whatever amount of time I have- is important to me… and worth it for overall well-being, growth, and understanding.

Give Your Dream Wings | creativity in motion

3×5 365 :: Day 94

I continue to enjoy witnessing these artful, soulful messages surface for reflection and as a guide for my dream-filled adventures!

******

Related Posts:

The Altered Image: Ready to Create & Fly

Ready for Revolution Art Journaling eBook Now Available

Flying Free: Encourage, Wonder, Learn

 


The Joy of Art Abandonment

April 3, 2014

I was very excited to finally receive the new book, The Art Abandonment Project : Create and Share Random Acts of Art by Michael deMeng and Andrea Matus deMeng this week after promptly pre-ordering it back in February as soon as I read about it via this 14 Secrets Challenge.   (Thanks Lani!)

Wow! So much creative goodness fills this book’s pages!

The Abandonment Art Project

The Abandonment Art Project

Art Abandonment has a simple concept (but is so much more!) : to make art and leave these art expressions or creative happenings behind in various public spaces & places for others (to hopefully) discover and find.  Often these random acts of art share (but not limited to) visual and written messages of kindness, encouragement, and hope.  Art made for abandonment serves as a creative offering that extends beyond our individual artist self, but instead serves others, strangers, communities, and the universe.

This book is an inspiring how to guide about the wonderful purposes behind art abandonment, what it means to become an art abandoneer, ideas & examples of  art abandonment projects & challenges, helpful material and location considerations, as well as the meaningful and joyful impact art abandonment can have on those who stumble upon its gift.  Colorful photos of abandonment art and lovely testimonials from project participants and recipients also add to the book’s contents.  If you are interested in joining the Art Abandonment movement and meeting other Art Abandoneers, learn more about Michael deMeng’s Facebook group.

I’m looking forward to introducing & recommending this book’s creative goodness to participants involved in 6 Degrees of Creativity’s Random Acts of Art Adventure, as well as The Creative Deed Project.  It is a perfect companion for enhancing our creative fun and art journeys.  I hope keep sharing more inspired by this book!

*****

Related Posts:

14 Secrets Challenge: Adventure Supplies & Guerrilla Art for the Soul

26 Paper Hearts

Operation Random Acts of Creative Kindness


Everyday Courage: Artist Challenge Coins

March 27, 2014

This week’s 14 Secrets Challenge from Lani Gerity inspired the theme of my Artist Challenge Coins (ACC) for an upcoming 6 Degrees of Creativity workshop swap.

Lani’s challenge encouraged readers to create a medal for others and I thought Courage ACCs would be great to make for this prompt:

Courage Artist Challenge Coins | creativity in motion

Courage ACCs

On my wooden circle shapes above I used a combination of watercolor, glitter glue, dictionary words, ink, and metallic paint pens.

I also came across these epoxy clear domes at the craft store a couple of week-ends ago and they fit perfectly on top of the round 1 inch surface.  Each dome is also adhesive, so it was super easy to attach.  I can’t wait to exchange these five ACCs with members from the Creative Mail Art Collabs and Challenges workshop this spring!

While focusing on this theme for my ACCs, I also kept thinking about a favorite children’s book I enjoy reading in art therapy when also exploring this theme: Courage by Bernard Waber.

Waber reminds us:

There are many kinds of courage.

Awesome kinds.

And everyday kinds.

Still, courage is courage whatever kind.

Back in 2011 when I took Lani’s 6 Easy Lessons for a Happy Artist’s Life workshop during the first round of 6 Degrees of Creativity, I remember using Waber’s reminder on the below art journaling spread.  It was part of Lani’s second lesson: Showing gratitude to our strengths!

Courage

Courage :: circa 2011 6 Degrees of Creativity

Everyday Courage ACC

Everyday Courage ACC

Nice to re-visit this theme again and create more courage related creative goodness!  Many thanks Lani for the inspiration this week… :)

*****

Related Posts:

February Warm Up With Winter Fatigue Art

Creative Goodness Alert: Spotlight on 6 Degrees of Creativity Workshops

Mail Art & Dictionary Inspiration


Creating a Self Regulation Comfort Kit >> Relaxation Bottle

March 17, 2014

Over the last few months, I’ve been researching and collecting different sensory based activities and ideas (mostly on Pinterest) to support self-regulation and creative ways to foster relaxation in children & adolescents.  My long term goal is to create some kind of comfort kit that includes a variety of these hands on tools that I can use in my group work with school age youth impacted by trauma.

For more information about self-regulation, trauma, and children, check out these posts:

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I’ve started to move from the “collecting ideas phase” to the “making & experimentation phase”, embarking on trying out these ideas myself to see how they might work.

My first self-regulation comfort kit accessory I’ve started to work on and play with is a Relaxation Bottle. I became inspired by this idea through discovering this helpful post. I thought this type of relaxation bottle could be a soothing and fun way for group members to calm their minds and bodies, as well as help bring their attention to the here and now through focusing on the inside of the bottle.

I gathered these simple supplies: A plastic bottle, extra fine glitter, glitter glue, and clear tacky glue.

Creating a Self Regulation Comfort Kit >> Relaxation Bottle | creativity in motion

Then I followed these steps to make my prototype:

  • Fill the plastic bottle 3/4 full with hot tap water
  • Add glitter glue, loose extra fine glitter, and about half a bottle of clear tacky glue

The combination of the glitter glue and clear tacky glue creates a sparkly solution for the fine loose glitter to gently dance in. It is important the water you use to fill the bottle with is hot, as this will melt the glitter glue and will prevent clumping inside the bottle.

Group members could first release some physical energy through helping shake the bottle and then watch the glitter slowly settle to the bottom of the bottle. Discussing the impact of this activity in relationship to the youth’s body and awareness of sensations they experienced would also be interesting to learn more about (and express through art!).

 A helpful final touch will include making sure the bottle’s cap is permanently attached with some kind of superglue to keep the solution from getting out!

Creating a Self Regulation Comfort Kit >> Relaxation Bottle | creativity in motion

Having done this first test run, I think my next attempt will try a slightly smaller plastic bottle (it would be cool to have individual bottles for each group member to use), as well as include more glitter glue to make the solution inside a little thicker (I used a smaller sized bottle), but overall… the relaxation bottle idea was fun to make and I think will make a great addition to the toolkit I’m creating.

I will keep you posted on other self-regulation comfort kit accessories I try out as this experimentation phase continues!

*****

Related Posts:

Inspiration from the 2013 TLC Childhood Trauma Practitioner’s Assembly

My Trauma Informed Pinterest Board

Top 10: Impact of Trauma and Neglect on the Developing Child with Dr. Bruce Perry


WIP: March’s 3×5 Unearthing

March 14, 2014

“Do what you love. Know you own bone; gnaw at it, bury it, unearth it, and gnaw it still.” ~Henry David Thoreau

Here’s the first 2 weeks of March’s 3x5s for my 365 project… work in progress (!):

March 1: time + place = right now

I continue to play with materials within this daily space…. (distressed & alcohol) ink, collage, paint (watercolor, acrylic, pens), & wax mostly so far during month…

March’s first 8 days

I love the textures, colors, and layers…. and uniting these single cards together…

day 67 : In flight

day 67 : In flight

for a collective unearthing…

6 more days

contained in strength, spirit, and calling.

Day 72 : open reclamation

*****

Related Posts:

My 3×5 365 Art Adventure …in Progress…

3×5 365: 10+10=20 [ICAD]

3×5 365 Begins


Beyond the Walls: A Voice through Mural Art

March 6, 2014

This month kicks off the 38th Annual Cleveland International Film Festival (CIFF) and one of the films I am looking forward to seeing is the documentary Beyond the Walls.  This film, directed by Gayle Embry (who has a graduate degree in art therapy!) features the amazing global movement of mural art as a means for empowerment and giving a voice to marginalized and oppressed populations.

All over the world, people from different cultures instinctively go to the walls, painting their stories as a way to give voice to their life experiences. In Beyond The Walls, we enter the murals for a personal view of lives affected by violence, poverty or conflict. Beyond The Walls brings to life the impact of traumatic events on those who survive. (beyondthewallsthefilm.com)

Check out the film’s trailer here:

CIFF tickets go on sale to the public on March 7. Beyond the Walls is being screened on three nights: March 22, March 23, and March 24. Check out the CIFF site here for more information and how to buy tickets.

La Llorona by Juana Alicia in Beyond the Walls

La Llorona by Juana Alicia in Beyond the Walls

It’s exciting to see that there’s a growing body of work and projects about the benefits of mural and street art for advocacy, reclamation, transformation, and healing.

Here are some street and mural art news and projects from this Art Therapy Alliance Pinterest Board if you are looking for some more inspiration on this topic:

  • JR Projects : JR’s “work mixes Art and Act, talks about commitment, freedom, identity and limit.”

If you are in the Cleveland area between March 22-24 (or the film comes to city near you) Beyond the Walls looks like a great opportunity to learn more about this powerful form of expression as a tool for awareness, action, and change.

*****

Related Posts:

Advocacy & Empowerment through Art: Social Action and Trauma Informed Care

On the Go: Change, Transformation, & Action through Art

INOCENTE: A Young Girl’s Story of Homelessness and the Transformative Power of Art


Travel Update: Random Acts of Art Adventure Continues in Midwest

March 3, 2014

Originally posted on 6 Degrees of Creativity:

During this past month, the Random Acts of Art Adventure returned back to the US after an artful tour in Canada.

Below is some of the art created by Rosann in Edmonton, Alberta inspired by what she received with her delivery. Rosann created a little journal out of a paperback book that was in the pouch and used more creative goodness from the pouch on each of the pages!  Awesome idea!

Random Acts of Art Adventure | 6 Degrees of Creaitivty

Rosann’s book inspired by pouch!

You can read more about Rosann’s book and adventure with this project in her artStory post, The Pouch Stopped Here!

The pouch is now safely back in the US, starting its Midwest Tour with Stop #17 & Thresa in Minneapolis, Minnesota:

Random Acts of Art Adventure | 6 Degrees of Creativity

The Pouch Visits Thresa in Minnesota

This week the pouch was in route to Nancy in Wisconsin and will be heading to Illinois next!  The acts of adventure continues!  Yay!  Another update to…

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Artful Hands & Hearts: Honoring Community

March 1, 2014

This past week it was great fun and an honor to be the featured guest for 21 SECRETS LIVE!, hosted by the wonderful Hali Karla.  As introduced here before, this awesome event happening every Wednesday through June, celebrates five years of Dirty Footprints Studio’s 21 SECRETS art journaling- Yay!. Past workshop instructors have been invited to participate in a real time art journaling session with a live online chat audience.

Artful Hands & Hearts: Honoring Community | creativity in motion

Chatting it up with wonderful host Hali Karla!

Each week the featured guest introduces a theme for that evening’s broadcast to focus on.  Themes so far have been a combination of inspiring techniques and prompts to enrich our art journaling experience while hanging out with amazing artists such as Jane Davenport, Aimee Myers Dolich, Julie Fei-Fan Balzer, and Rachel Whetzel- and more awesomeness coming up!

The theme I chose for my broadcast was dedicated to the intention of community to honor what we receive from and offer to one another when in a group that we feel authentically connected to and a sense of true belonging.

I offered the idea of using our hands to symbolize this outreach within our art journals: one hand to express what we receive from being part of a community and the other hand symbolizing what we offer in our giving.

Artful Hands & Hearts: Honoring Community | creativity in motion

Let the [LIVE!] Art Journaling Begin!

While all working in our art journals together, we chatted about the benefits and value of community in relationship to art-making and creative practice. Helping decrease isolation, increase support, foster accountability, inspire growth, and cultivate connection among individuals with a common passion or interest were some of the topics discussed while we artfully concentrated on the theme.

Here are a few pages from that evening’s broadcast:

Artful Hands & Hearts: Honoring Community | Hali Karla

Hali Karla

Reflections about community as a positive, hopeful, and safe place to give & receive together were explored, as well as the different creative forms community can take, especially online.

Artful Hands & Hearts: Honoring Community | Dale Anne Potter

Dale Anne Potter

You can read more here about Dale Anne Potter’s reflections on community inspired by this prompt.

Artful Hands & Hearts: Honoring Community | Amanda Knapp

Amanda Knapp

Amanda added orange netting to her pages to represent a safety net- love this element!  Read more here on Amanda’s blog greatliveoak.

My Art Journal Spread- Together

My art journaling during the broadcast included using acrylic paint, collage elements in the form of maps and dictionary words, oil pastels, and some distressed ink, stain, and paint.  As I worked, the image started to become a guide of sorts of what I have re-discovered and learned about the meaning of community in my work, relationships, and art-making.

Many, many thanks to Connie for inviting me to be part of 21 SECRETS LIVE!, Hali for hosting, and the community of participants who attended the broadcast or checked out the post-show recording, and artists who allowed me to share their art here.

It was a very cool experience (and very fitting!) to explore the theme of community in this way!

Registration for 21 SECRETS LIVE! is now closed, but all the broadcast recordings will be available as a self-study bundle this summer. Yes! A new 21 SECRETS online art journaling workshop opens April 1 if you are interested in checking out this inspiring creative community!

*****

Related Posts:

Answering the Call: Cleveland Creative Women’s Circle

Open Heart Creating, Connecting & Community

Handmade Revolution Making Continues @ 21 SECRETS Art Journaling Workshop


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