The Joy of Art Abandonment

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!

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Operation Random Acts of Creative Kindness

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Everyday Courage: Artist Challenge Coins

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… 🙂

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

On 14  Secrets this week as part of the Monday Fun Challenge, Lani invited us to think about what we would gather as Adventure Supplies when about to embark on a big journey. Yay….! This fit super well metaphorically and for real life travel creative goodness I already had in the works!  For the past week or so I’ve been working on art stuff for a little bit of Guerilla Art fun (inspired by 14 Secrets Challenge #20) during my upcoming trip to Chicago.

Adventure Supplies- Mission Guerilla Art: Part 1
Adventure Supplies

Not only are my Adventure Supplies for my Guerrilla Art that I’m stuffing into my suitcase and carry-on bag, practical for the experience (sidewalk chalk, gluesticks, Artsyville washi tape, a black sharpie marker, index cards or lil revo’lution tags I’ve painted), but I’ve also made special note of meaningful words and wisdom I’ve collected throughout this year from so many. These phrases have often instilled hope, nourished my spirit, and reminded me what’s really important. Not only is this act of gathering and including these messages with/for my Guerrilla Art a creative way to keep these soulful, positive messages alive out there in the universe & hopefully bring some kind of comfort, joy, or re-framing to others who will receive them… but it’s also an opportunity for me to express sincere gratitude and respect to those who shared this kindness with me.

Adventure Supplies: Gratitude, Hope, & Spirit
Adventure Supplies for the Soul

I look forward to sharing my adventure with you when I return– Stay tuned for more….

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Finding Safety through Art: Relaxation Inspiration

Over at Lani’s 14 Secrets yesterday, the Monday challenge was devoted to cultivating relaxation- a very nice way to start off the week!  The challenge’s prompt included creating an art expression that reflected a state of peacefulness & relaxation.

For me, when I make art and I am in that creative head & heart space…a sense of calm and pause embodies me that nothing else can quite do.  I created this artist trading card size image to represent this sense of stillness and balance the creative process renews in me:

Finding Safety through Art: Relaxation Inspiration | creativity in motion
This prompt also inspired me to do some reflecting on the ways I use creative expression with the traumatized youth and women I work in art therapy to best help support a sense of relaxation, peace, and empower their inner strength to create this safe space.

The experience of safety, which is often fluid and can change very quickly with survivors of domestic violence. This often makes it difficult to feel at ease and take refuge from a brain constantly scanning for potential danger and a body geared up to defend against the next threat.  Self regulation, managing strong emotions related to fear & worry, and self soothing are areas of challenge, as well as transformation that can benefit from using art as part of this process.

Finding Safety though Art  | creativity in motion

Sometimes in my work this can involve, but is not limited to introducing sensory based art interventions to restore a sense of power, safely contain paralyzing emotions, and experience the creative process as a here & now safe place to take risks, discover ones strengths, support emotional safety, and instill hope.

Other experiences I introduce for helping “calm our bodies and our mind” can involve guided imagery, deep breathing, body movement, and therapeutic books. This book simply called Relax I enjoy using in group with some of the younger kids I work with.

 Also check out these books and CDs by Roger Klein and Jeffrey Allen to help promote self regulation, positive self affirmation, and tools for relaxation:

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Finding a Safe Place: Creating Safety for Domestic Violence Survivors through Art

Experience Matters: Inspiration from the 2012 TLC Childhood Trauma Practitioner’s Assembly

14 Secrets Permission Artist Trading Cards Arrive!

I just received my Permission Artist Trading Cards from the 14 Secrets Permissions ATC swap organized by Lani Gerity.  I couldn’t wait to open up this creative delivery and behold the permissions that have been generously granted to me!

Contributors from the 14 Secrets for a Happy Artist’s Life Group who signed up for the swap were prompted to create artist trading cards that offered permission to do and be whatever we wanted to send out into the universe and for other Permission ATC Exchangers to receive.

 I thought this was an inspiring and creative way to turn the  moments, messages, or perceptions we face from ourselves, others, our surroundings or situations that are sometimes weighed down with not being “allowed”, “authorized”, or “having permission” into artful messages that are positive, validating & affirming.

I am grateful for all the ATCs and permission messages I received in my batch- Thanks to Susan, Lani, Petrea, Theresa, and Susanna for the ATCs you each created below:

I love that Theresa used the language “Permission Granted” in her artist trading cards!  Such calming colors and texture too!

Petrea‘s artist trading card was a nice, mindful allowance!

Susanna’s artist trading cards authorized  creative clearance  for travel, escape, to leave & visit!

I was really drawn to Lani’s Permission ATC to “create umbrellas for the rain”

Very important permission reminder by Susan!

You can check out and print out all the inspiring artist trading cards created for this Permisssions Swap with this awesome eZine download from Lani.  Lani suggests that you can use the eZine to have your own permissions, use as art prompts, or in your art journaling!   Great idea and resource!  Permission for everyone to enjoy!

Acts of Creative Blessing: Permission ATC Swap

This week I joined the Permission Artist Trading Card Swap being organized by Lani over at 14 Secrets for a Happy Artist’s Life.  What a great idea: swapping art and inspiring messages with one another in the form of a mini creative blessings!

Here’s the first batch of ATCs I have been working on to contribute to the exchange:

Permission to: Shine, Fly, Feel, Create

And my second batch…..

Permission to Grow, Follow Your Heart, Be True

Interested in joining the exchange too?  There’s still time-! Learn more information about how to participate here.

Creative Compass of Hope: Happy Artist’s Life Navigating, Reflecting

I have been starting to take in and review everything from Lani Gerity’s 6 Easy Lesson’s for a Happy Artist’s Life adventure in 6 Degrees of Creativity and now up to working on Lesson 5.  I am already very interested in one of this lesson’s concepts of walking through all the previous lessons to make observations and insights about my journey so far.

I have been reflecting about how much growth and awareness the lessons, Lani’s inspiration, and the Happy Artist’s Life community on 6 Degrees of Creativity have offered throughout the last few months around all the content being offered in this workshop.  I am still working on my lesson review, but so far I’ve already noticed image themes connected to happiness & my exploration of this in relationship to personal growth, time, direction, and sustaining a strong message of hope.

My next art journal page: My Creative Compass of Hope is dedicated to the lessons and concepts that have navigated me throughout all of Lani’s lessons exploring themes of kindness, goodness, resilience, and strengths.

I can’t wait to share more of my art journal from this workshop, as I finish up this lesson and more of my reflections.

If you’re interested in learning more about Lani’s Lessons check out Lani’s 14 Secrets Blog and on Facebook (14 Secrets for a Happy Artist’s Life) to keep connected to her wonderful community of inspiration and creativity!