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.
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! 🙂
It was an amazing opportunity to share my love of social media, creativity, and community building…. It was a great experience to talk about the possibilities social networking offers to connect all these passions together!
I’ve been able to creatively connect with soooo many through social networking– the art-based collaborations & gathering together that can happen online is always so inspiring!
How do you use social media to cultivate creativity, connection, and community?
Check out all the TEDx Ursuline College talkshere.
As part of this year’s offerings, I am excited to launch a new workshop dedicated to discovering the hidden creativity around us. My curiosity around this topic was first sparked by this recent post and something I thought would be a fun endeavor to embark on together as we search for uncommon or unknown ways, forms, and different examples of how creativity can present itself. I am also looking forward to the offerings that art therapy colleagues Sheila Lorenzo, Rachel Mims, and Heather Randazzo will be inviting participants to engage in as well, which include workshop topics on self-care through art & nature, recycled art & mail art fun, and yoga & art.
The Digital Landscape of Social Media: Thursday, July 9, 1:30-2:30 pm: I will be leading this focus group to stimulate dialogue and discussion about social networking’s important role in building community
and creating connection for art therapists worldwide.
Art, Transformation, and Trauma: Papermaking as Art Therapy: Friday, July 10, 10:15-11:45 am: I will be moderating this panel featuring the work of art therapists who use papermaking inspired by the social action and art-based mission of the Peace Paper Project. Panelists include Meredith McMakin, Rachel Mims, Amy Bucciarelli, Genevieve Camp, and Janice Havlena. Content will include papermaking as a form of trauma intervention, including vignettes addressing eating disorder recovery, managing illness and disability, grief and loss, and working with veterans.
Ethics of Identity in Digital Culture & Art Therapy: Saturday, July 11, 10:15-11:45 am: I will be contributing to this panel with art therapists Megan Campbell, Moriah Lancaster-Laird, and Natalie Carlton about topics connected to digital technologies and ethical considerations for the art therapy profession.
July 24-ADAMHS Board of Cuyahoga County Trauma Collaborative: I’ve been invited to present on Art Therapy & Trauma Intervention to members and agencies who attend this quarterly meeting.
Stay tuned for other updates and art from Creative Deed 365 and the Random Acts of Art Adventure, in upcoming summer posts as these creative pursuits carry on! And I hope to be able to share some of the wonderful work in the spirit of my Creative Covenants workshop happening over at Hali Karla Arts’ Spectrum too. And, right around the corner….Daisy Yellow’s ICAD 2015 begins June 1 – Wondering if I should combine my creative deed making with daily index card creating for this fun annual event? Hmmm…. more on this in my next post!
Hooray! Springtime is just around the corner— After this cold, cold winter I can’t wait for warmer weather, fresh spring air, more sunshine, and longer & longer days full of light…. Bring it on!
I wanted to share some of the springtime creative happenings & goings on I’m excited to be a part of over the next few months…as well as offer a First Day of Spring Giveaway to readers of this blog!
Until April 25- Human Trafficking in Art, an art exhibit at West Shore Unitarian Universalist Church in Rocky River, Ohio features art created at the Renee Jones Empowerment Center with survivor’s of human trafficking and at-risk teens I’ve been working with involved in the Center’s Project Red Cord. You can also read more about the exhibit here. On April 19, I’ll be speaking at WSUU’s Morning Forum to talk about the benefits of trauma intervention through art therapy to help trafficking survivors.
April 2- Strengthening Emotional Resilience through Art Journaling Workshop with The Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services (ADAMHS) Board of Cuyahoga County Staff as part of their Employee Wellness Program. This offering of art-making and creative expression will focus on creating a small, mobile art journal that can serve as a tangible reminder of emotional resilience, support and the importance of self-care for the work providers do in service & care of others.
April 18- As part of the Cleveland Association for the Education of Young Children (CAEYC) Spring Conference, “Creating a Peaceful Environment in a High Stressed World”, I will be facilitating the afternoon breakout session, Peace Begins with Me: Creating Peacemakers through Creativity.This session will introduce strategies important to facilitating group work that focus on peacemaking themes with children who have been exposed to domestic violence, bullying, and relational aggression. Content presented will help participants gain a trauma informed understanding about how these strategies and interventions promote safety, emotional expression, and coping. Registration is now open here.
Opening May 1: As I announced earlier in the year, I’ve been invited to participate as part of this year’s Spectrum Teaching Collective with 25 other artists and creative offerings dedicated to celebrating your Mind~Body~Spirit~Nature through art…. and I can’t wait! I am looking forward to introducing my new workshop, Creative Covenants to explore the values that are core to the way you create, practice, and live as a creative and artful being and meeting everyone coming together in this community! Learn more about Spectrum here.
Creative Deed 365: The beginnings of this year’s 365 Project definitely has helped bring some fun & more creative goodness to my (and hopefully others!) winter landscape, but I am realllly looking forward to leaving my creative deeds out & about without having to wear gloves and in more outside locations! 🙂 You’re invited to spring it forward with creating it forward by joining us in the Creative Deed 365 Group on Facebook to contribute your own art in the spirit of this project.
And…A Special Springtime Giveaway: To celebrate spring approaching, I am doing a give-away for a complimentary registration to this year’s Spectrum with free access to all the workshop offerings: 25 contributors, 26+ workshop invitations, 6 months multi-media online community starting May 1 and running to the end of the year. To enter this special giveaway, please leave a comment belowwith what you love about spring! From these responses, I’ll put everyone’s names into one big collection & randomly pull one winner to announce on the first day of spring. Be sure to enter by Thursday, March 19 at 12noon (EST) to participate! I will directly contact the winner with the e-mail associated with your comment posting profile. Good luck!
I just finished participating in this year’s Compassion Games with a team I organized through the 6 Degrees of Creativity community. Our Creative Deed Team included a dozen a.maz.ing members from all over the globe! For 11 days, we worked on a series of artful acts that I sent out each day of the games to inspire kindness & compassion. You can view the prompts for each of the Creative Deeds here.
For the team’s first creative deed, I thought it would be a nice start to have each of us photograph a heart in the palm of our hand, as a symbol and offering of compassion. Below is a pic I took of my hand holding a glittery paper heart in my creative space, with a quote connected to service, compassion, and supporting of others.
For our second Creative Deed, Chalking it Up for Compassion, it was pretty dreary, damp, and cold on my end, but getting out my sidewalk chalk & pastels to work on a rock I chose to create a message of compassion on, helped brighten the environment. My chalk art was inspired by the Dalai Lama quote, “Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them humanity cannot survive.“
My love for making wordles and word clouds inspired Day 3’s Creative Deed, as team members were encouraged to experiment with free, online sites like Wordle, Tagxedo, and Word It Out to create Compassion inspired word art. My image was made using Tagxedo (love their shapes), using words from the quotes that inspired me during Day 1 and 2.
Operation Random Acts of Creative Kindness inspired Creative Deed Day 4 and I made this art tag that I hung on a telephone poll along one of the busiest walking streets my city. My hope is that someone spotted it, took it, and enjoyed it! On the back side of the tag is the A.A. Milne quote, “You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”
Day 5’s Creative Deed was inspired by a concept introduced in Seattle for the Compassion Games, in which individuals are nominated as Compassion All Stars. The Creative Deed Team nominated individuals in our lives and then made an award to recognize him/her. I nominated Lani Gerity as a Compassion All Star I am grateful to have in my creative life as a friend & colleague— Just visit Lani’s blog to take in all her compassionate and artful ways.
The next day the Creative Deed Team embarked on a Compassion & Creativity Quote Hunt and we used online programs like Recite and Quozio to transform these words into graphic designed images. I chose one of my favorite resiliency based quotes from Ben Orki that I often use as an affirmation in my work.
Day 7’s Creative Deed was dedicated to celebrating everything and anything awesome through making Compassion Cards of Awesomeness for ourselves & others. I stashed this Creative Deed message inside a random book. I think there is much power and strength in this quote.
Day 9’s Creative Deed focused on mandala making with a compassion theme. A recent photo I took of a candle and its flame reminded me of a light bearing mandala and how light (giving & receiving) can bring an awareness of hope & clarity in times of distress and despair.
Sticky notes were transformed into Compassion Art on Day 10 as a way to publicly display positive messages of kindness. I left my sticky note art of hope on a restroom mirror in one of my favorite roadside travel stops on the way home from a trip. It included a message to have, trust, believe, and embrace hope.
The final day of the Compassion Games ended on September 21, International Day of Peace. The Creative Deed Team reflected on this CG post and was encouraged to create a Peace Flag to symbolize the power of peace, as well as what peace symbolizes to us and for the world. I used small fabric swatches to create a series of flags using fabric markers, acrylic paint, sharpies and ballpoint ink with some hand sewing.
It was not only meaningful and lots of creative fun to work on each of these days for the Compassion Games and to share these good vibes & intentions with others, but it was also really wonderful to connect with everyone on the Creative Deed team through art, service, and reflection over these 11 days. Lots of creative goodness!! I am appreciative of my teammates’ dedication & thoughtfulness, as well as the passion, support, and organization from the Compassion Games. Good times!
Below is some the creative goodness I put together for the couple of fun stashes I mailed to Nancy and Jessica. These packages included a variety of scrapbooking paper, tags, paper bag books, scrap collage bits & pieces, bingo cards, book catalog file cards and more:
Here’s a collection of awesome paper stashes I received from Jessica, Roseann, and Nancy (thank you!) which included lots of colorful printed paper, book & dictionary pages, maps, tags, tickets, and so, so much more:
The second part of this Paper Stash Swap is this month’s Show & Tell where we can share what we’ve created with some of the gifts & treasures we’ve received. I’ve used a lot of the stash stuff in my 3×5 365 cards during the past month. It was also really easy to take the stashes (contained in a large mailing envelope or plastic bag) on the go with me to create with. I really thought the patterns, textures, & colors of the stashes I was generously gifted with brought a new excitement and an inviting warmth to my 3×5 art. It was a pleasure to begin incorporating these positive elements into my creative practice and feel these meaningful additions come to life (each day and each week).
I look forward to seeing other Show & Tells from this exchange on the 6 Degrees of Creativity site and how what was received was used or what it inspired. 🙂
I hope this gathering will be a great space for networking & coming together through creativity!
Later on Thursday (5-7 pm), I’ll be participating in the Arts & Crafts Marketplace, offering some handmade pocket journals and books (created from miniature file folders, matchboxes, & inchies) for sale… Stop by table #5, say hello, and check out the creative goodness:
Following the Marketplace fun, I am looking forward to attending the free screening of Inocente and have the honor of leading a discussion following the film with audience attendees about the role and benefits of art expression in helping youth living with homeless. Don’t miss out on seeing this inspiring and Academy award-winning film from 8-9:30 on Thursday evening- I hope to see you there!
On Saturday morning (10:30-11:20 am), I’ll be facilitating a Focus Group on one of my favorite topics: Social Media’s Role in Cultivating Art Therapy Connection, Community, & Creativity. This focus group will stimulate innovative dialogue about social networking’s important role in building community, cultivating creativity, and creating connection for art therapists worldwide. Participants will engage in discussion about the power of social media to mobilize and engage a community, as well as how to leverage this participation to bring art therapists together for art-making, support, and crowdsourcing efforts. Discussion content will include websites, groups, and communities available on-line for art therapists and how to professionally get the most out the social media experience for networking, empowering creativity, and sustaining a sense of community and belonging.
And finally, if you want to join in on the conference’s social media activity while in San Antonio, AATA’s Social Media Committee will be hosting Pop Up Photo Taking & Hashtag Creative Fun in the Exhibit Hall @ the Marketplace of Ideas during Networking and Lunch Breaks Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. You are invited to stop by! Also, if you will be in attendance at the conference and want to share your updates, check-ins & photos, use the event’s hashtag #AATA2014 on Twitter, Instagram, and on FB.
I hope our paths will cross at one of these happenings or at another offering throughout the week if we are both in San Antonio!
Coming this Summer….. An Artist Trading Card (ATC) Exchange and Meet Up in San Antonio, Texas co-organized by Andrea Davis, LPC, ATR-BC and me….
Make, Swap, & Meet Up!
This Artist Trading Card (ATC) Exchange coincides with the annual American Art Therapy Association Conference this July in San Antonio, Texas. If you’ll be at this year’s conference, you are invited to participate and spread the word to others who might be interested in this swap and networking opportunity.
Meet up in a fun, creative way with others from the art therapy community to swap some art!
ATC Exchange Overview:
You will create 3 Artist Trading Cards to exchange with 3 other community members who are participating in this exchange in San Antonio. Create 3, Receive 3!
Please make sure your ATCs are created prior to the swap.
Your ATCs can include the same image, but all must be original.
This swap’s theme: Art Therapy Dreams: What wishes & dreams do you have for art therapy and your work as an art therapist?
The dimensions of your ATCs should be 2.5″ x 3.5″. Tips, examples, techniques, and more can be found via this how-to.
On the back of each ATC you can include your name, city, state, and contact information in the form of a blog, website, or email.
Exchange Site: Participants will bring their ATCs to the Conference’s Marketplace of Ideas (Exhibit Hall) on Thursday, July 10 during lunchtime. A great time to eat lunch, meet up, swap, and network together!
Gather to Meet up/Network/Eat lunch: 11:30-12:30
ATC Swap begins at 12:30.
To Sign-Up: If you’ll be in San Antonio for the Conference and are interested in participating, (or have any questions) please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your name and e-mail address to sign up.
Below is my valuable mind mapping guide I’ve been using for creating this round of 6 Degrees of Creativity online workshops.
Over the last year, I’ve started to use this visual technique to organize ideas and thoughts and have found it super helpful for projects, meetings or presentations, and things I need help in better understanding or making sense of. Simply said in this article from LifeHacker, “a mind map is basically a diagram that connects information around a central subject.”
The article’s author Melanie Pinola describes mind mapping is way more than “just note-taking” and “can help you become more creative, remember more, and solve problems more effectively.” She recommends that mind mapping can be used for an endless amount of thought related, learning, or planning activities.
One of the benefits she highlights is that creating this type of visual tool combining images and words can “be more memorable and enjoyable to create and review“. Pinola also points out the value of the Picture Superiority Effect: “the combination of words and pictures is six times better for remembering information than words alone“:
For my 6 Degrees of Creativity mind mapping fun above, the 6 workshops surround and reach out from the center with all their different parts….ranging from idea content, art making prompts, intention, PDF and video resources, as well as ways for participants to engage this workshop community.
Creating this in visual form was fun to organize everything (to focus on in pieces, as well as a whole) and provided clarity on the purpose of each workshop space.
It’s nice to see what is on paper now ready in virtual form. Lots more creative goodness begins here this week to artfully enjoy together during the rest of the year– Yay!