Posts Tagged ‘collaborative art project’

My First Fatbook

June 29, 2010

On Sunday, I participated in the final (and most exciting!) part of the Fatbook project I have been involved in with a group of local art therapists and interested participants. After several months of working on our pages, the group came together to exchange our pages and to put our books together. It was so much fun!

One by one, each person had the opportunity to spread out their pages for the entire group to view and talk about what they created for the project. We also reflected on the process of creating our pages and what it was like participating in this collaboration. For me, it was a powerful experience to hear everyone’s stories and intentions behind their pages, both from a personal viewpoint and the materials, media, or techniques used, as well as the dichotomy themes we each chose to focus on. Themes connected to loss, sight/sound, nature/nurture, mind/body, fertile/barren were some of the dichotomies explored throughout the fatbook pages.

Fatbook Pages by Molly

Fatbook Pages by Kathy

Fatbook Pages by Amanda

Fatbook Pages by Me

Fatbook Pages by Molly O'H

Fatbook Pages by Brian

I found the in-person sharing and coming together to exchange our art really valuable and I am glad I was able to attend and participate in this final part of the project. Not everyone in the project could attend the party, but some were able to get their pages to the project’s organizer and host so they could be included in the making of our individual books. Some late arrivals will also be mailed to everyone to add to our book.

My First Fatbook!

Thank you to Amanda (organizer and host!) for putting this collaboration together and to Molly for inviting me to participate with the group! I really enjoyed learning more about fatbooks, exploring the dichotomy theme, and the final product with the opportunity to come together and share. That was the best part!

I’ve had a few people inquire more about the details of this project so they could create and participate in their own Fatbook collaboration. Below are some basic guidelines that Amanda provided us for our project. Amanda’s guidance was really helpful for a fatbook newbie like myself learning more about this process.

  • Create a page for each participant– Your pages can each be different or all the same;
  • Each page should be 4 X 4 inches Leave about a half-inch along the left side of the page free from embellishments for easy punching and binding;
  • Use card stock, poster board, watercolor paper or another sturdy surface for your pages;
  • Create images/art to show your response to the book’s theme- Fatbook pages can be decorated with many different types of fun embellishments and creative materials;
  • After everyone’s pages are done, you can have a swapping and binding party to exchange pages and put together the book;
  • To bind: punch two holes along the left hand side of each page with a punch holder. Use 2 inch metal binder rings to attach to each page;
  • A cover for your fatbook can also be made!

You can also learn more about making a fatbook here with this simple overview. If you’re interested in learning more out my process related to my Mind/Body pages, check out some of my old posts filed under altered art.


Art Therapy Meets Artist Trading Cards: Let the Swapping Begin!

June 23, 2010

A couple of weeks ago I volunteered to put together an Artist Trading Card (ATC) exchange for Art Therapy Alliance members of the Materials and Media in Art Therapy subgroup on LinkedIn after this posted article featuring ATCs in art therapy sessions inspired discussion and interest to create and learn more about this type of mixed media art.  Very exciting!  To offer a quick overview, ATCs are miniature works of art in the dimensions of 2.5 x 3.5 inches and are meant to be exchanged to connect with other artists and obtain exposure to different techniques, media, and ideas. To learn more about ATCs and see some examples, you can visit Art in Your Pocket: A Primer on Artist Trading Cards by Joumana Medlej.  You can also view this quick ATC overview below:

Our swap’s theme is Art Therapy: Helping Others, Communities, and the World. The exchange has 53 art therapists, art therapy students, and other Alliance community members who will be mailing in four cards and receiving three back.   The fourth card will be used to post on the Art Therapy Alliance’s posterous to showcase this creative collaboration, provide an opportunity to promote art therapy, and the possible benefits of incorporating ATCs in art therapy.

Below are my three ATCs to exchange for this swap.  My ATCs are inspired by populations important to me and where art and art therapy are making a difference in the lives of others in need:


My first ATC was inspired by the work of The Combat Paper Project, which has appeared on Creativity in Motion before with my posts Combat Paper Project: Liberating Uniforms into Art and Make Paper, Not War.

This collaborative art project working with veterans to transform their uniforms into paper and reclaim their military experience is such important work.  I believe the work of CPP is a true testament to the process of art-making to help facilitate healing and coping through the act of transformation.


My second ATC is dedicated to the amazing community arts program RAW Art Works in Lynn, MA that works with at-risk youth through providing creative outlets for promoting and strengthening positive self-expression, identity, and community.


My third ATC is related to my own work as an art therapist working with children and also women impacted by domestic violence and the power of art to provide these survivors with a safe voice to share their experiences and memories when words cannot.

I am looking forward to seeing the other responses and reflections related to our art therapy theme and connecting more with Art Therapy Alliance community members through this exchange.  My mailbox is ready to go to receive over 200 ATCs over the next few weeks… Let the swapping begin!

Paying Attention to Creativity, Trust, Vision

September 14, 2009

Since the launch of the Art Peace Sustainability Interactive Event, postcard size art has been steadily coming in to the International Art Therapy Organization and Art Therapy Alliance.  Images inspired by these concepts have been very thoughtful, creative, and inspiring- I can’t wait to see more as the collection grows!  

There is a gallery building on the Art Therapy Alliance website and on the International Art Therapy Organization site, there’s a slide carousel of sets submitted through Polyvore if you are interested in checking out what great art has been created and become inspired to submit your own. Thank you to everyone who has participated so far in this global project and also helped spread the word!  Check out this inspiring “Creative Peacemaking” reflection from Silky Hart’s Wishcasting and this mention from Jamie Ridler Studios.

I finally finished a non-Polyvore image that I have been working on for this event:

Creativity Trust Vision

While reflecting more about the concepts of art, peace, and sustainability I was drawn to these definitions of creativity, trust, and vision. For me, these words are closely linked and are basic components to the event’s concepts:

Art –> Creativity: Able to imagine and create; using originality, stimulating the imagination; extending beyond the normal limitations.

Peace –> Trust: To have confidence in something or someone; to know something in your heart.

Sustainability –> Vision: Creative insight or imaginative foresight and wisdom; something that is seen in a dream.

I believe in the integrity of these words.  While there would be many more I might include, I know that I could have not done probably 99% of the work I do out there without paying attention first to these three. 

Focusing on creativity, trust, and vision this year in particular has had a significant impact for me in a positive way.  Cultivating this potential through connection, collaboration, and actioned intention has been liberating, energizing, and has given me the freedom to be in an entirely different space and with a growing new perspective about what’s really important.  

And finally, I continue to be grateful for the opportunities and people in my life that have contributed to and keep me on this rewarding path towards art, peace, and sustainability.

Think, Respond, Create: Art Peace Sustainability

September 1, 2009

Yesterday the Art Therapy Alliance and IATO launched a global interactive art event called “Art Peace Sustainability.”

The event includes submitting postcard-sized art works reflecting these concepts or making response art inspired by the following questions:

  • Does art therapy impact peace & sustainability on the planet?
  • How do art, peace, and sustainability intersect?
  • Does the creative process of art making resolve conflicts?
  • Does art therapy build and sustain community?
  • Is art therapy a “green” practice?
You can create as many artworks as you want to and participate here: submit your image to the Art Therapy Alliance group on Polyvore. The event’s concepts have important meaning to me personally and something I also try to incorporate professionally into my work as an art therapist working with children and families impacted by domestic violence. I regularly offer a community-based Peacemakers Art Therapy group for kids to help teach skills and empowerment related to peacemaking and conflict resolution through art-making, creative writing, and other activities to promote non-violence and sustainable living.
In this group, I implement art interventions that explore what peacemaking is, why it is important, and to help identify/develop peacemaking strategies that the child can use at home, school, in the community, as well as with family, friends, and bullies. The art therapy group also supports the child’s emotional expression, self-esteem, working together, and problem solving skills related to the peacemaking concept. The image below was inspired by this work and values I try to inspire in the kids I work with in the Peacemakers Group:
Make Art, Make Peace
How would you respond to the above questions? Time to make some art for a good cause!
%d bloggers like this: