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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Digital Art Therapy: Material, Methods, and Applications

November 28, 2016

If you are interested in learning more about current topics and practices related to digital art therapy, Jessica Kingsley Publishers just released a new book edited by Rick Garner entitled Digital Art Therapy: Material, Methods, and Applications.

Digital Art Therapy: Material, Methods, and Applications

As the field of digital art therapy rapidly expands, this book guides readers through the many applications of digital media in art therapy. With consideration of professional and ethical issues, expert contributors discuss materials and methods, with case examples to show how digital art therapy works in practice.

The text includes twelve chapters addressing a wide variety of art therapy approaches using and about digital media, such as stop motion, green screen technology, apps, light painting, and virtual reality.  Using technology in art therapy with youth who have autism, adults with traumatic brain injury, adolescents, as well as for supervision and assessment are also explored.

I am excited to also have contributed a chapter to this inspiring collection of content and co-authors. My chapter Social Media and Creative Motivation explores the relationship and impact social media can have on cultivating creative motivation, including considerations and examples about leveraging online and social networking sites as a means for inspiration, engagement, community, and connection.

My chapter was initially inspired by this blog post published on Creativity in Motion a couple of years ago.  That post reflected on archived Brainzooming content published by Mike Brown about how social media motivates creativity to create/make things/do creative stuff. Also included in my chapter are some of the collaborative projects I have worked on over the years, such as Spaces and Places: Where We Create and the Random Acts of Art Adventure. Examples such as Seth Apter’s The Altered Page and the Art Therapy Alliance’s Art Therapy Blog Index are also highlighted. The chapter offers an overview about how online activity in the form of collaboration, blogging, and social media sites can foster creative opportunities and encouragement.

I know I have inspired by so many creatives online and I am grateful for this connection! It was fun to write this chapter and I thank Rick for the invitation to be included in his book with such an amazing group of art therapy colleagues doing such great work related to digital art therapy.

I hope if the topic of digital art therapy interests you, you will check the book out!  🙂

Related Posts:

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

Cultivating Creativity, Connection & Community | TEDx Ursuline College

Exploring Internet Based Platforms with Digital Art-based Approaches

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Creative Deeding in Action

October 13, 2016

This past month has seen much creative deeding!  The Hope-filled Postcard Art Exchange that Nancy Lautenbach and I organized went super well with almost 100 participants swapping art across the US, Canada, Europe, Australia, and Asia— You can check out some of the postcard art submitted on the 6 Degrees of Creativity Facebook page and on Instagram — So much hopeful energy and positive vibes shared through the handcrafted images made specifically for this collaborative effort! These blog posts from art therapists who participated in the exchange described more about their process: Carolyn Mehlomakulu’s  The Power of Hope-filled Art  and Sally Swain’s Clouds of Hope.  Thank you to everyone who contributed to this project!

I also recently received word that undergraduate art therapy students at Millikin University implemented their own creative deed project for their Materials and Methods class, inspired by last year’s 365 project.  It was awesome to learn about their efforts from their instructor, art therapist Serena Duckrow and to see the art and creative goodness they were spreading to others on their campus.

 Millikin University Creative Deeds

In addition to the art that was made for the project, the students also used photography, video, and video editing to document the experience. They really valued the role that digital media played in their process. I love the idea of video being part of the project and seeing the different locations creative deeds were released. Below is a video that the students made to showcase their project, which they called #MUCreativeDeed. Enjoy this dose of uplifting art and messages of encouragement, self care, and support….

What is great about creative deeding is that anyone, anywhere, anytime can do it! Creative deed on! 🙂

 

 

 

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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 Deed Project: “Art-filled Hope” Postcard Art Exchange

August 29, 2016

A new 6 Degrees of Creativity collab has been launched! A Creative Deed Postcard Art Exchange called “Art-filled Hope”- Learn how to get involved and contribute below:

6 Degrees of Creativity

“When all else seems lost and steeped in hopelessness, the magic of creativity can still keep you going.” – Jyoti Arora

Earlier this summer at the national art therapy conference in Baltimore, inspiration for a new creative collaboration was sparked during a 6 Degrees of Creativity meet-up, as well as a focus group I led on social media’s impact on creative motivation. These initial dialogues resulted in art therapist Nancy Lautenbach and me to brainstorm ideas for a new creative collaboration. In the spirit of the Creative Deed Project launched by 6 Degrees of Creativity in 2014 and Nancy’s viewing of The Big Hope Show at the American Visionary Art Museum while we were in Baltimore, we are excited to announce a postcard art exchange called “Art-filled Hope”.

IMG_7980The project: Create 3 handmade postcards with original art that will be sent through the postal mail to three different individuals…

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File Folder Art Journal [VIDEO] How to Tutorial

August 4, 2016

From the archives– A Top Read today on the blog and one of my favorites! 🙂

creativity in motion

During a recent art therapy supervision session, I was re-introduced (thanks Mary!) to the technique of taking a basic file folder and re-purposing it into a mini book that could be used as an art journal.  I wanted to remember the folding sequence and steps involved, so I decided to do a quick, short how-to video and thought other creatives would also be interested in trying this fun, easy, and inexpensive idea.  Materials you will need to get started include a file folder (with side tabs, not a middle tab) and some glue:

Here’s some written steps:

1. Start with the tab in the upper right hand corner.

2. Fold the folder up from the bottom straight across so the tab curves line up.  This will create four pockets inside of the journal.

3. Next start with the right side and begin to fold this into the middle, making sure…

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

July 14, 2016

Implications of National Trends in Digital Media Use for Art Therapy Practice | Journal of Clinical Art Therapy

I am excited to announce that in the new issue of the Journal of Clinical Art Therapy (Volume 3, Issue 1) an article that I co-authored with Girija Kamal, Michele Rattigan, and Jennifer Haddy about digital media and considerations for art therapy practice was recently published.

Abstract: This paper presents an overview of national trends in visual art-making and art sharing using digital media, and, the authors’ reflections on the implications of these findings for art therapy practice. These findings were based on a secondary analysis of the 2012 Survey of Public Participation in the Arts administered by the National Endowment for the Arts. Survey findings indicated that increasing proportions of people in the United States are using digital media for creating, archiving, and sharing their art. Reflections by the authors on these findings include support for increase in use of digital media by art therapists for their own art and the need for research about, and, education on best practices for use of digital media.

You can download the full paper available via open access on the JCAT site here.

Many thanks to Girija for bringing us together to contribute to this publication, as well as JCAT’s Editor Einat S. Metzl and the JCAT Editorial Board for their interest in this topic.  🙂

Related Posts:

Exploring Internet Based Platforms with Digital Art-based Approaches

The Creative Leader & Creating an Environment for Innovation

Cultivating Creativity, Connection, and Community | TEDx Ursuline College

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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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