Archive for the 'creativity' Category

The Role of Social Media in Creativity and Connection

April 10, 2017

This past week, I helped moderate an online Make-inar organized by Inner Canvas‘ Lisa Mitchell that brought together therapists, students, and professionals to learn more about how connecting with your creativity can be a great way to strengthen your experiences as a clinician and see your therapeutic relationships and work with clients from a new and fresh perspective. I love opportunities that bring people together through technology for a common interest and the way these experiences offer support, encouragement, and connection! I left feeling inspired by the energy of the group and had lots of fun connecting with everyone.

This Make-inar was a preview event for a larger offering happening next month. I am super excited to announce that registration is now open for CreateFest 2017: The Second Annual Online Creativity Festival for Mental Health Professionals being held May 19 & 20. I contributed last year as a speaker and it was a great! I am thrilled to return to CreateFest again this year- not only as a speaker, but as co-host too!  🙂

CreateFest is a 2-day celebration to empower therapists, awaken our creative spirit, and reignite passion for our work.  Lisa has invited 12 speakers, all of whom are passionately committed to helping revitalize and enhance our practice.  Topics will include how to manage creative anxiety, embody our intuition, use creativity to grow resources, integrating writing with painting, writing for healing, and more through speaker interviews and lively conversation.  Rick Hanson, Natalie Goldberg, and Kay Adams are only a few of the speakers in this year’s line up that I am looking forward to learning from. Attendees will also be invited to participate in interactive, hands on creative experiences from each speaker to further explore the content and concepts presented.  No worries if you can’t make CreateFest live—there will be recordings available to watch at your convenience after the festival! This is a great online CEU opportunity for therapists including LMFT’s, LCSW’s, LPC’s, LMHC’s, ATR-BC’s. For a complete list visit the FAQ section of the CreateFest website.

I will be speaking about the role of social media in creativity and connection; specifically how social networking can inspire us and activate our creative process.  I will be sharing examples of art’s ability to bridge the gap between digital and physical connection and offer an invitation for CreateFest attendees to participate in a fun art exchange.

 

A CreateFest early bird rate is available until April 28- and there is also a discount available for people who register together!  Check out more information here.

I hope you will consider joining us!

Make & Do Show & Tell

February 20, 2017

I wanted to offer a quick show & tell of some images from my Make & Do 365 journal.

I have found that this daily creative practice has taken on a new level for activating self-care and creating an opportunity of creative refuge. I’ve worked my way through filling the journal’s pages for plans and wishes… and currently finishing pages dedicated to the section on dreams. I use the valuable creative time I have committed to this journal and to myself as a way to connect to a sense of mindfulness, hope, and peace of mind – a process and act that I continue to have much gratitude for and hold sacred.

Make and Do Show & Tell | creativity in motion

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Creative Resilience Link Round Up

January 20, 2017
Creative Resilence | creativity in motion

make&do 365: Resilient Insights

I’ve put together a round up of recent links and posts that highlight the role of creativity in managing challenging times, finding hope, and empowering resilience. I hope you find them as inspiring and helpful as I have.  As I was reading these posts over the last couple of months, they have been comforting messages about the importance of creative expression to make sense of new shifts, uncertain moments, and distressing times. They have also been amazing reminders of the power art and creative expression hold to connect us to our voice and each other.

On this day, I am grateful for all of this.

 

Creative Resilence | creativity in motion

make&do 365: Change Agent: Artful Entry

 

Creative Resilence | creativity in motion

make&do 365: Creative Evolutionists

Creativity & The Arts in Healing

January 15, 2017

The UCLArts & Healing Conference in partnership with the Expressive Therapies Summit presents Creativity & The Arts in Healing to be offered this spring March 30 through April 2, 2017 in Los Angeles, California at the Hilton Los Angeles Airport. This 4 day conference is an opportunity to learn arts-based tools for facilitating communication, building connection, promoting positive emotions, fostering engagement, reducing stress, and managing the impact of trauma.  Offerings include 125+ workshops delivered by leading national experts in art, dance, drama, drumming, music, and writing integrated with mental health practices. Select any one or combination of days. Over 30 continuing education credits are available.

Creativity & Arts in Healing | creativty in motion

Specialty tracks include:

  • Mindfulness & Wellbeing
  • Children & Adolescents
  • Community Building & Social Justice
  • Expressive Writing & Journaling
  • Play Therapy
  • Special Populations

Creative expression invites self-reflection and dialogue that can lead to meaningful self-discovery, connection with others, and personal empowerment. Studies have shown that the arts—particularly when integrated with mental health practices—can yield social, emotional, physical and cognitive benefits. The nonverbal aspect of the arts transcends traditional barriers of age, ability, and culture. Shared creative experiences build empathy and community, which expand possibilities for action and transformation.

Creativity & Arts in Healing | creativty in motion

I am excited to be offering one of my favorite trauma informed and strength based workshops at this event: Tokens of Esteem and Affirmation, a mixed media art making session dedicated to making Artist Challenge Coins.  In the military, a Challenge Coin is a medallion symbolizing achievement or esteem. They are also given out to enhance morale and membership for members of the community. In the spirit of Challenge Coins, participants will learn how to make and use Artist Challenge Coins as tokens of affirmation, strength, and recovery.

Learning objectives:

  • Participants will describe 3 examples connected to the history and significance of Challenge Coins used to symbolize achievement, community building, and instill a sense of belonging;
  • Participants will state 3 ways Artist Challenge Coins (ACCs) can be adapted to use with a variety of populations and therapeutic settings.
  • Participants will describe a minimum of 1 value of using Challenge Coins with varied clinical populations.

Not only will we be making a series of our own coins, but participants will also  engage in a community art exchange with other workshop attendees.  I would love to have you join us- this half day workshop is scheduled for Sunday, April 2, 10 am-1pm.

To register and learn more about the Summit, its awesome line up of offerings and teaching faculty, check out www.expressivetherapiessummit.la. Early bird discounts are available through February 17!   See you in LA!

 

Creativity & The Arts in Healing | creativity in motion

Creativity & The Arts in Healing | creativity in motion

 

Creativity & The Arts in Healing | creativity in motion

 

 

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Make & Do 365

January 10, 2017

Happy 2017!   I hope your year has gotten off on a creative start!

I wanted to introduce the 365 project I decided to work on this year: Make&Do 365.  Right now I am using a journal I have had for awhile now, Things to Make and Do by Nikki McClure.  My intention is to work in it everyday through art journaling, altered art, doodling, and whatever other creative inspiration happens.

The journal is divided into several themes: plan, wish, dream, build, explore, learn, make, grow, give, and find. Great prompts to help guide me this year. Since January 1 I have been working on the pages dedicated to planning.  Seems super appropriate with the beginning of a new year ahead and thinking about & getting ready for what the next 12 months hold!  Enjoy!

Make & Do 365 | creativity in motionMake & Do 365 | creativity in motionMake & Do 365 | creativity in motionMake & Do 365 | creativity in motionMake & Do 365 | creativity in motion

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Reflections on 365 Making

December 31, 2016

Today marks the completion of another year of daily creative practice with my annual 365 project…. after being so curious what it would be like to take on this kind of challenge, I am so glad I embarked on one in 2013 on New Year’s Day…. Each year and creative undertaking since has graced me with something new to explore over the last 4 years… Towards the end of my first 365 project, I reflected on the discoveries and reminders it helped inspire.

I am re-visiting this list today to make some updates and to reflect more on honoring the lessons that continue to keep me committed to this important process:

Reflections on 365 Making | creativity in motion

1. I’m always amazed and astonished by the containment of small holding spaces in art making. Working within a small space has helped me make each 365 project manageable. Time and time again the power that this small space holds in its message, form, and process is awesome to witness.

2. Remember to slow down.  This reminder is only one of the important lessons that my 365 projects has gifted me. Taking time out to stop and pause for a moment to work on the day’s image is so important.  Sometimes it might feel like there’s no time or things are just so busy that taking this time seems impossible… but engaging in this process helps bring a grounding, focus, and presence that I have come to value and appreciate every day.

3.  Appreciate each day. Each creative piece and image is an expression of gratitude for another day.   It also allows me the opportunity to be thankful for the moment, which is important to recognize and not take for granted.

4. Trust the process. There are definitely some days that I have struggled to find time or don’t feel as connected to the image I have created in comparison to others, but at the end of the day it all works out.  The process of creating everyday outweighs the emphasis on the product. Just like art therapy!

5. I really do have 20-30 minutes everyday to create. Probably one of the biggest surprises after 4 years of consecutive creating!  It’s still true!  Some days it may have been 10 minutes, sometimes longer than a half an hour, but there was always time within each of the 1460 days.

6. Community: It has been inspiring to connect to and support others working on their 365 projects or daily creative practice through social media… 🙂

2016 also brought a couple of opportunities to share my 365 projects, which I enjoyed contributing to:

I thank everyone for their support and encouragement with this process over the last four years! It has definitely helped– ❤  I am looking forward to launching another 365 project for the new year ahead. I can’t wait to share it with you!

Happy creating in 2017- What are some of your creative goals to focus on in the next 12 months?

 

 

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Twenty16 Top Ten Year in Review

December 27, 2016

As 2016 comes to a close, I wanted to take time to reflect on some of the most read and favorite Creativity in Motion blog posts published over the last 12 months.  I am thankful for your ongoing support and interest in this blog and musings!  In 2017, it will be 9 years since I first started this blog– I’ve so enjoyed the connection, community, and creativity of the blogosphere and look forward to our future adventures! 🙂

Top Ten Blog Posts on Creativity in Motion:

illuminate365#10 — Steller: Storytelling Meets Social Media: One of the new social media platforms I have started to experiment with in 2016 is the storytelling site Steller!

Before#9 –File Folder Art Journal [VIDEO] How to Tutorial: I think this video tutorial from 2011 may be one of the most read/viewed archived posts on this blog! In August I re-blogged the post in celebration its “Top Read” status!

#8 — Cultivating Creativity, Connection, & Community: TEDx Ursuline College: In January, the TEDx talk I was invited to do for Ursuline College went live!  What an amazing opportunity to share my love of social media, creativity, and community building….

Growing Abundance | creativity in motion#7 — Art Bridges: This post from February features the online publication Art Bridges. I was super excited to be included in this resource from the Hildegard Center for the Arts. I contributed my Gratitude Tree activity first published on this blog in 2012. Art Bridges includes 70+ downloadable PDFs– great for art therapists to use with their groups or individuals, as well as teachers or anyone interested in creative enrichment with youth.

creativity in motion#6–  3 Good Things Takeaway: Creative, Messy, Contained Workshop: This post about June’s Mid Atlantic Play Therapy Institute described the fun I had attending Lani Gerity’s Visual Art Journaling Workshop…

Creative Refuge | creativity in motion

#5 — Creative Refuge: Throughout this year, I enjoyed putting together different images with creative quotes- this one was a popular one from July!

April28

#4 — Illuminate 365: Awakening & Renewal Photo Round Up

#3 — My Daily Treasure Hunt for Illumination:  Illuminate 365: I ended up documenting my 2016 365 project mostly on Facebook and Instagram this year, but here are some early posts from April and June I was excited to blog about!

Have Art Supplies: Will Travel | creativity in motion#2 —  Have Art Supplies, Will Travel: Summer 2016 Mobile Art Stash: As I was gearing up for some summer travel adventures, this post from May gave a quick overview about some of my preparation for art making while on the go!

Art Therapy: Finding Help, Finding Hope | creativity in motion

#1 — Art Therapy: Finding Help, Finding Hope: The most popular post from 2016 was in honor of this year’s Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day and spotlighting the value of art therapy for the teens I work with.

 

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A few of my favorite creative moments and collaborations from this year also include:

The Random Acts of Art Adventure returning back to 6 Degrees of Creativity Headquarters in March…

Introducing Ursuline College Counseling and Art Therapy students to Peace Paper

October’s Hope-filled Postcard Art Exchange!

These 2016 published writings:

Online art therapy groups for young adults with cancer (February)

Implications of National Trends in Digital Media Use for Art Therapy Practice (July)

Social Media and Creative Motivation (November)

Here’s to another artful year for us all with lots of creative goodness– Very best wishes to you and yours in 2017!  ❤

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Steller: Storytelling Meets Social Media

September 17, 2016

I recently began publishing on Steller, the mobile storytelling app that allows users to share photos, video & text to share experiences and moments:

Steller: Storytelling Meets Social Media | creativity in motion

Steller: Storytelling Meets Social Media | creativity in motion

I am curious to see this growing social media platform continue to grow and as a way for artists, creatives & art therapists to share their voice! 🙂  What do you think about its creative possibilities?

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Creative Refuge

July 25, 2016

Creative Refuge | creativity in motion

Truth.

 

For lots more artsy quotes and images , check out this collection on Pinterest.

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3 Good Things Takeaway: Creative, Messy, Contained Workshop

June 14, 2016

I had a great time at Lani Gerity‘s workshop this past week-end at the Mid Atlantic Play Therapy Institute: Visual Art Journaling for Teens and Adults in Treatment: Creative, Messy, and Contained.

creativity in motion

The day was an artful exploration of resilience building, flourishing, intention setting, strength reflection, and lots of creative goodness to fill our handmade art journals that we made from hanging file folders, basic manila file folders for the signature pages inside, and a simple pamphlet stitch to bind it all together.

3 Good Things Takeaway: Creative, Messy, Contained Workshop | creativity in motion

I really enjoyed using the various supplies I brought in my mobile art stash– as well as sharing them with my tablemates so they could experiment with them in different ways. It was very inspiring to work in this community. We even did a table exchange of mini art in the form of artist trading cards, index cards, and craft tags to honor the concept of art as a gift, one of Lani’s prompts to explore practicing kindness and sharing joy with others through our art.  I was lucky to be gifted this art from Mary during our table exchange:

creativity in motion

Art as a Gift

 Upon returning home, as I was unpacking my supplies, handouts, and art from the workshop, I reflected on Lani’s teachings from the day prior and the power of art making to help us cope in distressing and challenging times.

This reflection also prompted me to summarize a list of 3 good things (so many to choose from!) from content introduced during the workshop- and ways to help instill hope, gratitude, and self-care into our lives:

  • Three Blessings Exercise– Dr. Martin Seligman suggests this practice as a way to foster well-being and decrease depression.  This exercise encourages us to make note of three things (for one week) what went well throughout our day and to reflect on why they went well (i.e. “why did this happen?”). According to the research of Dr. Seligman, focusing (and dwelling) on our blessings (what is good, going right with life) helps increase our well-being and decreases anxiety, depression that dwelling on bad events can actually make a lot worse. Lani puts an art-based spin to this exercise by suggesting to create art about three good things (collectively in one image or in separate images).  In one of Lani’s Happy Artist’s Life Workshops a few years ago for 6 Degrees of Creativity I even made a Pinterest board to collect images and content inspired by things that made me happy.  Re-visiting this board made me thankful that I created it— and maybe it is a good time to start adding to it again.
  • Daily Creative Practice– Citing the work and practice of art therapy pioneer Edith Kramer, Lani shared that creating art everyday helps guide skillfulness (mastery). This type of practice has a direct connection to nurturing our resilience, regulation, and inspiring us to be and do the best that we can.  I love that this reminder was included as part of the day’s offerings- and very much agree with these findings!
  • Sensory Relief Art- This prompt (originally to create an image representing a mini vacation and to incorporate the senses) inspired a collage that was connected to the importance of self-care, focusing on the here & now, and finding refuge & breathe in this space. I used a photograph of an old collage I created, pieces of torn (blue) magazine pages, distressed ink, and paint pens. Lots of relief in this image!
3 Good Things Takeaway: Creative, Messy, Contained Workshop | creativity in motion

Self-Care © 2016 gretchen miller

Thanks to the Lani, all the participants I met at the workshop, and the small group of fellow art journalers that I worked with throughout the day.  I look forward to incorporating content we learned into my groupwork and adding it to my art journaling ideas and inspiration.

Related Posts:

Happy Artist’s Life Art Journaling (VIDEO)

The Art of Emotional Resilience

Journey to Resilience: Takeaways and Creative Offerings

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