Posts Tagged ‘happy artist’s life’

Everyday Courage: Artist Challenge Coins

March 27, 2014

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 :: 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… 🙂


Related Posts:

February Warm Up With Winter Fatigue Art

Creative Goodness Alert: Spotlight on 6 Degrees of Creativity Workshops

Mail Art & Dictionary Inspiration

Notes on The Fine Art of Elephant Training & The Happy Artist

April 27, 2013

Yay!  My copy of Lani Gerity’s Elephant Training and the Happy Artist arrived this week!


I was super excited to re-visit Lani’s Elephant Training lessons from her blog transformed into book form. This time I took notes while reading each chapter! 🙂 The 24 chapters include lots of Lani’s inspiring art, reflections,  links, and take aways from the teachings of Christine Carter, Christine Arylo, Rick Hanson, Kelly McGonigal and others.

Elephant Training and the Happy Artist focuses on many helpful and encouraging ways to develop or strengthen your creative (or overall well-being) practice from a positive psychology, reward driven and neuroscience lens. Reflections on self-compassion, mindfulness, willpower, and gentle ways to cultivate motivation & change are presented through Lani’s narrative, as well as creative prompts you can use to explore these concepts in your own art-making.

These writings from Lani have been a huge support for my revo’lution manifesting this year, including my 365 project, which continues to focus on the intentions simplicity, stillness, service, trust, honor, light, and simplicity.

Here are only a few of the Elephant Training and The Happy Artist gifts from Lani I found valuable to remember (and re-remember):

  • The process of change– i.e. transformation of what we do (or what our brains do) takes time & practice (lots of practice sometimes) to re-wire- and it’s okay if it’s “super hard” and to appreciate that making even the smallest steps toward this change is just as important.  (small change –> leads to big change  (page 12)
  • The act of rewarding yourself and creating a reward driven system to keep giving yourself a regular dose of motivation, dopamine and not to underestimate the power of simplicity when trying to create change…  for me, this has become visible in my 365 project… (page 12)
  • Value your strengths and incorporate them into your reward system- Yes! (page 17)
  • Simplify:  Let go of what creates distraction & spend your focus and energy freely on what contributes to what you love to do (page 36)
  • Practice, practice practice: Learn from your mistakes, show patience with yourself, and find small ways to help strengthen your practice towards revo’lution making (page 23).

There is sooo much more!

You can order your own copy of Elephant Training and The Happy Artist here.  It’s available in paperback, as well as in an electronic format (easy to access to all the links!) via

Below is my daily practice of 365 revo’lution making: Day 117…. Dedicated to the fine art of Elephant Training!

365 Revo'lution Making- Day 117

My Happy Artist’s Life: Art Journaling [VIDEO]

February 20, 2012

This past week-end I finished Lesson 6 of Lani Gerity‘s 6 Easy Lessons for a Happy Artist’s Life, one of the workshops being offered as part of 6 Degrees of Creativity.   Lesson 6 was dedicated to the theme “Be Here Now” and the importance of being in the present moment as a way to cultivate happiness.

One of Lani’s prompts encouraged us to focus on the sensory aspect of what we were creating for this image, as a way to stay connected to the present moment.  I did this through the materials I chose to use for this lesson’s spread: mulberry paper, grunge paper, thread, as well as  distressed and stamp pad ink.

I find great joy in how some of these materials feel.  I am drawn to the texture of mulberry and grunge paper especially. I also love, love to handsew paper, which I did throughout my journal for many of the lessons.  I find the repeated action of whip stiching the edges of my journal pages (or ATCs or sock monkeys!)  very relaxing, calming and an enjoyable process that helps keep me centered in the  here and now.

I also loove the smell of Tim Holtz’s grunge paper– I don’t know what it is…. the smell to me is sorta like a rubber like scent… This spread for lesson 6  includes a full sheet of grunge paper which makes my art journal smell great and a sensory reminder that brings my brain into “be here now” focus.  I also really enjoy the almond like scent of Staz-On’s black ink pad, which I often use to distress the edges of my pages.

I tried to keep the page for this lesson simple with not too many words or images.  Creating more open space for this image was refreshing– it reminds me of the sky with a very freeing feeling and a reminder to just be.  I included an artist trading card  as a visual and sensory reminder for myself to also just breathe.  I try to take moments throughout the day to practice this, which usually helps bring me to the here and now.

If you’ve been following Creativity in Motion, you are probably familiar with my posting of pages from my art journal since October 2011 dedicated to this inspiring workshop.  In celebration (and to express my gratitude) I put together a short video of all my art journal pages from all the lessons:

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

February 4, 2012

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!

Operation Random Acts of Creative Kindness

December 2, 2011

I have been continuing on with Lani Gerity‘s workshop 6 Easy Lessons for a Happy Artist’s Life as part of 6 Degrees of Creativity and just spent the last month focusing on her lesson about sharing joy with others, practicing kindness, and the health benefits of behind altruism.  In the spirit of these practices, the lesson also encouraged us to find creative and fun ways to bring unexpected joy and happiness to others.

I was inspired by Lani’s challenge and after some brainstorming some ideas I decided that I would create a series of six Artist Trading Cards (ATCs) focusing on this theme and launch what I started to call Operation Random Acts of Creative Kindness. My plan was to leave these mini works of art at various places for others to hopefully find by surprise.  I left them at places such as the neighborhood convenient store, a church downtown, a community arts center, restaurant, and even slipped one in between the pages of a 2012 day planner/organizer at a local office supply store.

In addition to the ATCs, I also created a spread in my Happy Artist’s Life art journal to document this lesson:

From My Art Journal

I have no idea if any of the ATCs were found or taken, but it is my hope is that each ATC was received by someone with the message of kindness and joy it represented.  It felt good to share and release this positive energy in artistic form- especially with the intention of this gift being left behind and received by someone I did not know.

It is also inspiring for me to see others engaging in this practice of paying it forward through art making.  While I working on this lesson, I discovered news about this community art project in Connecticut encouraging people to “Look for the Good” and send in postcard art about what they are grateful for.

I look forward to reading and seeing more from 6 Degrees of Creativity community members responding to Lani’s third lesson and sharing their own artistic responses, reflections, and creative activity.  I’m also really interested to hear if any Creativity in Motion readers have engaged in their own Random Acts of Creative Kindness!  🙂

On Resilience, Strengths and Gratitude [Art Journal Pages]

November 1, 2011

I’ve been busy art journaling my way through 6 Easy Lessons for a Happy Artist’s Life and Lesson 2, which focuses on finding your strengths and exploring how strengths can be a source of resilience during difficult times.  Lani‘s second lesson highlights the work of Positive Psychologist Martin Seligman who identified 24 signature strengths and traits valuable to human culture.  Working on this lesson was a really powerful experience for me.  It challenged me to think about hard moments from a strength based perspective and what traits are core to helping me not just cope/survive, but to also thrive.

Here’s a series of spreads showing gratitude to my top 5 strengths (Belief Strengths Test):

Showing Gratitude to My Strengths






Happy Artist’s Life Art Journaling and More Creative Goodness

October 23, 2011

I have  been working on Lani Gerity’s 6 Easy Lessons for a Happy Artist’s Life, one of six workshops part of 6 Degrees of Creativity and I wanted to share some of my progress so far!

I have decided to focus on each lesson through art journaling and so excited to use a handmade journal I received as a gift a few years ago that was made by Lani:

I am also incorporating my love of Pinterest and Gratitude Wordle Making as lesson companions to help me focus and reflect on all the good stuff Lani’s workshop has to offer.

I started pinning images, words, and phrases on My Good Things Board inspired by my daily good findings and at the end of the week I made this Good Things Wordle:

Good Things Wordle

In my art journal I have my first page done from Lesson One:  a spread focusing on seeing the beauty and good things around you:

Lesson One: Finding Goodness

This past week I started the next lesson focusing on resiliency and celebrating your strengths:

Lesson Two: Seligman's Signature Strengths

I have a few journal pages in the works that I am working on related to my top five signature strengths.  I enjoyed taking some time this week to sew some of these pages’ edges:

Sewing Paper Makes Me Happy!

I am looking forward to working more on this art journal and continuing with Lesson Two this week!

You can learn more about Lani’s work and inspiring offerings focused on positive psychology, resiliency, self-care, and art as transformation at Lani’s Secret Annex.  Here you will fnd a virtual treasure chest of more creative goodness, including Lani’s blogging, e-courses, e-zines, and more!

%d bloggers like this: