Archive for the 'creativity' Category

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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Have Art Supplies, Will Travel: Summer 2016 Mobile Art Stash

May 29, 2016

I am starting to put together some supplies that I want to take with me as I prep for an upcoming workshop I am attending soon and other on the go adventures. It’s been awhile since I really assessed my traveling art stash situation. This was a good excuse to restock materials, get some new ones, and organize/re-discover existing creative goodies I can use while on the go.

This month Lisa Sonara also shared this inspiring post about art supplies and journals she packs when traveling and it gave me some great ideas and new suggestions to consider.

 In June I am looking forward to attending an art journaling Master Class facilitated by Lani Gerity. I was excited to receive her list of suggested art supplies to bring to compliment the basic supplies that we’ll be using.

Have Art Supplies: Will Travel | creativity in motion

I took one of the tips that Lisa offered about using a cosmetic bag for art supply storage. I usually pack my art supplies in my carry on so I tend to use pouches and organizers that can easily go in my bag, won’t weigh a ton, and I can use in the airport or on the plane. I was super surprised what I was able to put into the little black pouch above!

Have Art Supplies: Will Travel | creativity in motion

During the workshop we’ll be creating our art journal from basic office supplies, so I tried to include some of favorite materials also in this same category. I also included some materials that I use in my art therapy groups with teens and adults or in my own creative work. Here’s what I got in the bag (with a little room to spare!)

-Crayola’s Glitter and Metallic Markers (a favorite material of choice in my groups- available at Target!)

– Various blank artist trading cards, index cards, craft tags, smash pad papers

– Alcohol prep pads (love to use these for smudging and distressing)

– Double sided tape dispenser, glue sticks (of course!), liquid glue tube, mini wite out dispenser

– Glitter glue, plastic junk mail card (for spreading paint, glue)

– Various colored ink pens, MÅLA felt markers, white ink pens

– Black cotton cord and twine, thread & needle

– TSA approved scissors (important!), jet black StazOn ink pad (must have!)

– Washi tape

Have Art Supplies: Will Travel | creativity in motion

  IMG_6843

I also re-discovered a collection of mini ink pads that are perfect to bring along (one of my most favorite materials to use in my own art journaling), but will probably put them in their own small ziploc bag that will go into my suitcase!

IMG_6847

I am still working on gathering collage material that I want to bring. I have a ton of magazine photo collage stuff and different textures and patterns of paper that I could choose from. It was suggested by Lani to look for images that are connected to the population we work with.  Of course I’ll also be bringing my stash of dictionary pages and rub on transfer letters to use as well…..

Excited to discover what develops from this workshop!  🙂

Related Posts:

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

Twentythirteen Creating on the Go: My Mobile Art Stash

Creative Motivation: The Gifts of Online Community Participation

April 11, 2016

Creative Motivation: The Gifts of Online Community Participation | creativity in motion

As part of this year’s Spectrum (on its opening day May 2!), I am really excited and looking forward to chatting with Spectrum Organizer Hali Karla about the topic Creative Motivation: The Gifts of Online Community Participation. In our recorded video chat we’ll be exploring how to find your own rhythm and balance when using social media connections for inspiring & motivating your creativity.  As you may know, it is a topic I am super passionate about! I can’t wait to talk with Hali about it and have it included to kick off Spectrum 2016 as a bonus offering for this year’s participants- Yay!

How have you used social media connection to nurture or inspire your creativity?

Related Posts:

Social Media & Creative Motivation

Creative Motivation Quotes

Cultivating Creativity, Connection & Community | TEDx Ursuline College

My Daily Treasure Hunt for Illumination: Illuminate 365

April 5, 2016

It is now month four of my 2016 project: Illuminate 365.  Uploading all the photos and captures I’ve taken everyday over this first quarter was a wonderful (yet, a little overwhelming!) opportunity to reflect on the images, concepts, and messages they each convey.  This creative adventure has become a daily treasure hunt for illumination- revealed through rays of light, shadows of darkness, nature’s beauty, the morning sun, ordinary objects, warm candlelight, and many, many different places both outdoors and inside throughout this year’s winter season and now the fickle springtime that is upon us….

Many days honor inspiration such as, but not limited to: hope, grace, passion, courage, and creation…. other days provide a reminder or awakening of guidance, validation, and encouragement…. or a time embrace slowing down… while other days help me recognize that you cannot appreciate the light without the presence of darkness… each of the images below are all are sacred pieces and moments of this journey so far… (in no particular order):

My Daily Treasure Hunt for Illumination: Illuminate 365 | creativity in motion

My Daily Treasure Hunt for Illumination: Illuminate 365 | creativity in motion

My Daily Treasure Hunt for Illumination: Illuminate 365 | creativity in motion My Daily Treasure Hunt for Illumination: Illuminate 365 | creativity in motion

My Daily Treasure Hunt for Illumination: Illuminate 365 | creativity in motion My Daily Treasure Hunt for Illumination: Illuminate 365 | creativity in motion

My Daily Treasure Hunt for Illumination: Illuminate 365 | creativity in motion

My Daily Treasure Hunt for Illumination: Illuminate 365 | creativity in motion My Daily Treasure Hunt for Illumination: Illuminate 365 | creativity in motion My Daily Treasure Hunt for Illumination: Illuminate 365 | creativity in motion

My Daily Treasure Hunt for Illumination: Illuminate 365 | creativity in motion

My Daily Treasure Hunt for Illumination: Illuminate 365 | creativity in motion My Daily Treasure Hunt for Illumination: Illuminate 365 | creativity in motion

My Daily Treasure Hunt for Illumination: Illuminate 365 | creativity in motion My Daily Treasure Hunt for Illumination: Illuminate 365 | creativity in motion

My Daily Treasure Hunt for Illumination: Illuminate 365 | creativity in motion

My Daily Treasure Hunt for Illumination: Illuminate 365 | creativity in motion My Daily Treasure Hunt for Illumination: Illuminate 365 | creativity in motion

My Daily Treasure Hunt for Illumination: Illuminate 365 | creativity in motion

My Daily Treasure Hunt for Illumination: Illuminate 365 | creativity in motion My Daily Treasure Hunt for Illumination: Illuminate 365 | creativity in motion

I’ve taken all these photos on my iPhone- experimenting a lot with app filters (LiveCollage, iLeaker, Instagram, LightEffects) which is quite fun.  Another treasure hunt that accompanies this project for me is discovering quotes and inspirations that connect with the image.

As the spring starts to completely bloom and begins to give way to summer, it will be nice to take notice of a refreshed landscape with a greener scenery outside and the impact of longer, warmer days ahead. 🙂

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