25 Creative Quotes on Giving & Gratitude

20 Creative Quotes on Giving and Gratitude | creativity in motion

The Thanksgiving holiday will soon be here, which encourages me to reflect on & share this collection of new quotes I’ve gathered that embody the act of giving, creating, and gratitude.  These musings of thankfulness, graciousness & the power of art are wonderful to remember no matter the time of year!  I believe this lens can also help offer some creative counteraction to fear, judgement, and shame during times of distress, suffering, and sorrow.

What creative quotes or practices help ground you in gratefulness & generosity?

  • The essence of all beautiful art, all great art, is gratitude.  ~Friedrich Nietzsche
  • All art arises out of gratitude, a deep pervasive feeling that you are glad something exists outside yourself, that something can complete you.  ~Dorothy Koppelman
  • Gratitude is a way of creativity. ~ Apollo Matrix
  • The art of appreciation begins with self appreciation. ~Amit Abraham
  • Gratitude is an art of painting an adversity into a lovely picture. ~Kak Sri
  • Gratitude is the closest thing to beauty manifested in an emotion. ~Mindy Kaling
  • Gratitude in advance is the most powerful creative force in the universe. ~ Neale Donald Walsch
  • I have walked this earth for 30 years, and, out of gratitude, want to leave some souvenir.  ~Vincent van Gogh
  • Artists are among the most generous of people. Perhaps inherent in the appreciation of creativity comes a deep, underlying love of humanity and our Earth.  ~Kelly Borsheim
  • Gratitude opens the door to… the power, the wisdom, the creativity of the universe. ~Deepak Chopra
  • I will draw as much as I can for as many people as I can for as long as I can. ~Keith Haring
  • I am filled with gratitude for the ability to live the artist’s life. In my studio. Being an artist. Everyday.  ~Mickie Acierno
  • I’m very grateful for an entire lifetime spent involved in this creative process.  ~Ron Howard
  • Those works I have most profited by are the ones I have given away. ~ Joseph P. Blodgett
  • Music and art both spring from a grateful heart.  ~Katie Wood McCloy
  • Make a gift of your life and lift all mankind. ~David R. Hawkins
  • I want to thank anyone who spends part of their day creating. I don’t care if it’s a book, a film, a painting, a dance, a piece of theater, a piece of music. Anybody who spends part of their day sharing their experience with us. This world would be unlivable without art. Thank you for inspiring me. ~Steven Soderberg
  • Picasso said that the sale of every one of his works was like having a little piece of himself taken away. In this sense, he could be regarded as a very generous person. ~Marvin Humphrey
  • Gratitude is a many-colored quality, reaching in all directions. It goes out for small things and for large.” ~Faith Baldwin
  • Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow. ~ Melody Beattie
  • Art is the giving by each man of his evidence to the world. Those who wish to give, love to give, discover the pleasure of giving. Those who give are tremendously strong. ~ Robert Henri
  • There is no better opportunity to receive more than to be thankful for what you already have. Thanksgiving opens up the windows of opportunity for ideas to flow your way.  ~Jim Rohn
  • The essence of all art is to have pleasure in giving pleasure. ~ Dale Carnegie
  • An artist gives. Gives visually, gives through courses, or with free advice, through generosity of spirit and through a need to share.  ~Veronica Roth
  • The act of giving something to others is an art of flowering your heart. ~Vinayak

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours! Many thanks for everyone’s support throughout this year!


Gratitude Round-Up: Creativity, Resilience, & Well-being

I thought today would be a nice time to re-share some of my favorite archived blog posts about gratitude, creativity, resilience, and well-being. I enjoyed re-visiting these and I hope you will enjoy this round-up too:

These posts continue to guide me about the importance of having a gratitude practice and the role of creativity in helping support and express what we are thankful for– especially in times of uncertainty, stress, or conflict. Not just today or when times are tough, but beneficial for our well-being everyday.  A wonderful opportunity for us to activate daily creative practices with an attention to gratitude.  🙂

Creative Resilience Link Round Up

Creative Resilence | creativity in motion
make&do 365: Resilient Insights

I’ve put together a round up of recent links and posts that highlight the role of creativity in managing challenging times, finding hope, and empowering resilience. I hope you find them as inspiring and helpful as I have.  As I was reading these posts over the last couple of months, they have been comforting messages about the importance of creative expression to make sense of new shifts, uncertain moments, and distressing times. They have also been amazing reminders of the power art and creative expression hold to connect us to our voice and each other.

On this day, I am grateful for all of this.


Creative Resilence | creativity in motion
make&do 365: Change Agent: Artful Entry


Creative Resilence | creativity in motion
make&do 365: Creative Evolutionists

Art Bridges

This month the Hildegard Center for the Arts published an inspiring, free resource of art-based ideas chock full of creative goodness called Art Bridges— Definitely a great collection (over 70 downloadable PDFs!)  for art therapists to use with their groups or individuals, as well as teachers or anyone interested in creative enrichment with youth!

Some of the ideas were contributed by members of the art therapy community- including myself- I was delighted to be invited to add a favorite gratitude art idea that I featured on this blog in 2012.  Since this post’s original publishing, I’ve used this idea with youth & women I’ve worked with in shelter- as a creative, affirming way to explore the concept of thankfulness in their own lives.  Often instead of making leaf shaped “blessing tags”, we would make different size and colored hearts to write on and hang from the mason jar’s branches.  It was a great community piece– the tree kept “growing” with new additions as more people add to it.  Others can also read the reflections previously shared.

The Art Bridges resource also suggests that therapists could also use the idea as a Courage or Healing Tree… a great idea that I may introduce into one of my groups!

Growing Abundance | creativity in motion

Thank you Hildegard Center for the Arts for putting this resource together and making it so accessible to us all! 🙂

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20 Creative Quotes on Giving & Gratitude

Garland of Gratitude

Self Care through Creative Practice & Intention: Gratitude

Garland of Gratitude

With the Thanksgiving holiday approaching soon, this time of year is particularly meaningful to create handmade items to give honor and appreciation to what we are thankful for.  This week I am introducing some of my groups to making a gratitude garland as a way to explore this theme.

Garland of Gratitude | creativity in motion

I am keeping the garland construction simple: I’ve cut strips from 12 x 12 patterned scrapbook paper (different colors, designs), hole punched the ends to tie together with twine (rather than just stapling or using double sided tape- which is OK too!) to begin the making of a paper chain.  Before tying the ends of the twine together,  I wrote a list of what I am thankful for this year on the one side (which will become the inside) of the paper chain link.

Each chain link can also include an attached tag as a way to label with a significant word, quote or individual’s name. Letter stamping and using other rubber stamps to simply embellish can come in handy!

Garland of Gratitude | creativity in motion

For a group offering, garlands can be made together formed by individuals contributing their own paper chain link(s) to the collective piece or individuals can work on their own garlands in the same group space.  I also think adding an exchange of gratitude strips among group members would also be fun and add to a group’s supportive intention.

The benefits to engaging in a gratitude practice are many. Of course there is the wonderful byproduct of increased joy and compassion, but to also purposefully recognize what we hold appreciation for can help strengthen adaptive coping and empower a here and now awareness that we do have control over in our attitude, behavior, and actions with ourselves, others, & our experiences.

This article, Gratitude in the Midst of Trauma: Why Thankfulness Matters, especially describes the role gratitude can have in trauma recovery.

And…if you are looking for more garland inspired ideas, check out these artful ideas:

Misfits and Remnants: Grateful

Soulemama’s Gratitude Garland

Boho Gratitude Garland



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Guerrilla Art Meets Gratitude for Thanksgiving

Growing Abundance: The Making of My Gratitude Tree

On Practicing and Creating Gratitude

Guerrilla Art Meets Gratitude for Thanksgiving

On this Thanksgiving Eve, I’m super inspired by this news article I discovered today about the Gratitude Graffiti Project.

According to thegratitudegraffitiproject.com, this creative effort launched in New Jersey last month is “a forty day practice of purposeful appreciation of one’s life through interactive art.”  The project prompts participants to mindfully respond with an artistic or written response of about what you are grateful through post-it notes around town, community gratitude walls, sidewalk chalking, and storefront window marking to engage in the thankfulness together.

Check out #gratitudegraffiti on Instagram to view a growing collection of cool photos from people capturing the project:

Guerrilla Art Meets Gratitude for Thanksgiving | creativity in motion

I got out my post-it pad tonight to contemplate and honor what I am most thankful for in this moment….

Guerrilla Art Meets Gratitude for Thanksgiving | creativity in motion I honor loving kindness in my relationships, work, joys, frustrations, health, creative adventures, and so much more– I am truly thankful for the energy and patience of unconditional loving kindness I have been so very lucky to receive and grow from this year….  ❤

I look forward to sharing/posting this note of thanks with the world tomorrow somewhere on my way to/from my family’s Thanksgiving get together….

What would you share on a post-it note in the spirit of the Gratitude Graffiti Project?


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Self Care through Creative Practice & Intention: Gratitude

Through a Grateful Lens: Ascending Autumn Light Together

As fall transitions into winter here, I wanted to make sure I took the time to reflect on my captured autumn light throughout the last few months.  The fall season and months seemed to go by very quickly on my end and with this, it’s even more important for me to mindfully pause and extend my thankfulness for the light’s nourishment (which presented itself in so many forms, btw).

Light continues to become visible to me not only in the sky that surrounds us all, but seen brightly in others….though sincere intentions,  supportive relationships, and beautiful creative energy brought into our sacred shared space….

Through a Grateful Lens: Fall 2013 | creativity in motion

Several of these photos were taken while I was traveling this month in moments of still reflection and simple appreciation.

The moments and meetings of new or renewed connection I enjoyed with students, colleagues, friends, significant others, and creative souls inspired within me a deep sense of gratitude & hope that continues to ascend love & light.

As I continue on my path following the light, it is comforting to remember there are others on this shared journey…. following the light and the forms it takes to nurture a common, higher good…. together.

Through a Grateful Lens Posts: A Year in Review:

Through a Grateful Lens: Following the Light

Through a Grateful Winter Lens: A Sense of Sacredness Among the Ordinary

Through a Grateful Lens: Spring Light Simplicity

Through a Grateful Lens: Love & Light from the Spring Sky Above

Through a Grateful Summer Lens: Honoring Our Light

Twentythirteen A-Z Word Mandala o’ Thankfulness

One of the ways I’ve enjoyed making my practice of making gratitude lists a little creative is to turn them into Wordles.  I recently started experimenting with the word cloud site Tagxedo, where you can transform your words into even more shapes!

As the Thanksgiving season quickly approaches here, this is my annual A to Z gratitude inspired list…. in the form of word mandala:

Twentythirteen A-Z Word Mandala o’ Thankfulness | creativity in motion

A: Ascending & Abiding
B: Breath, Beginner’s Mind, Blessings, Balance, Boundaries
C: Creativity
D: (1) Day at a time
E: Energy (flows where intention goes)
F: Future, Firewalking, Freedom, Forgiveness
G: Grace
H: Health (ier), Healing, Hope
I: Intention, Inspiration
J: (2013’s) Journey
K: Kindness
L: Light, Love, Life
M: Mercy
N: Namaste
O: Openness, Open Heart
P: Patience
Q: Quiet time
R: revol’ution making, renewal, recovery, resolve
S: Silence, Soul, Stillness, Simplicity, Shift, Sacred, Space
T: therapy, treasure
U: understanding
V: voice, values
W: wings, wholeness, witness
X: x-tra ❤
Y: yellow (sun)
Z: zen moments

No amount of tagxedo words can fully express the love & deep appreciation that this list embodies, including so many individuals, adventures, and experiences that have inspired, nurtured, and brought clarity to my 2013 journey.  Thank you!


Related Posts:

Twentytwelve A-Z Wordle O’ Thankfulness

My Gratitude Wordle Collection

Trauma Stewardship, Gratitude, and Wordle Making


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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Creative Pay It Forward Adventures

Back in January, I answered Lani Gerity’s invite to play Creative Pay It Forward.  Part of this fun included not only receiving an awesome paper stash surprise from Lani, but also keeping my commitment to spread the creative goodness to at least 5 other people throughout 2013.  So here’s an update on this adventure…

10 people answered an invite through this blog and on Facebook to also join in on the fun- Yes!  Since January I have been mailing out art to one of the individuals on my Creative Pay It Forward list.  At the beginning of each month I would randomly select someone from this list to send art to: Sarah (January), Emery (February), Erin (March), Julie (April), Rachel (May), Peg (June), Susan (July), Janet (August), Claudia (September), Bailey (October). Art goodies that I made and sent included a slide mount accordion mini book, an altered domino, a sock monkey, artist trading cards, paper stashes, an altered index collage card, and a mini canvas painting. This Creative Pay It Forward effort reached 8 different US states and 2 countries. I hope the creative giving just kept on (and keeps) going from there!

Creative Pay It Forward | creativity in motion
2013 Creative Pay It Forward

All of these art gifts were a joy to create and send throughout this year!  The paper stash of collage and magazine photos I received from Lani earlier in the year I still regularly use with gratitude in my 365 revo’lution making and smashbooking.

Many thanks to everyone who played Creative It Forward with me throughout the last ten months… I look forward to more creative adventures inspired by kindness and eudomonic happiness… Stay tuned for more!

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