I wanted to offer a quick show & tell of some images from my Make & Do 365 journal.
I have found that this daily creative practice has taken on a new level for activating self-care and creating an opportunity of creative refuge. I’ve worked my way through filling the journal’s pages for plans and wishes… and currently finishing pages dedicated to the section on dreams. I use the valuable creative time I have committed to this journal and to myself as a way to connect to a sense of mindfulness, hope, and peace of mind – a process and act that I continue to have much gratitude for and hold sacred.
When I was a senior in college (1994), I joined the American Art Therapy Association. As a member, one of my favorite benefits was receiving Art Therapy: The Journal of The American Art Therapy Association. As a young student getting to know this profession, reading the literature inside was always inspiring. I also really enjoyed seeing what art graced the cover. Often the very first thing I would do was open the issue and look for the masthead about the art and what art therapist created it.
This week, I was able to see and hold this issue in actual print while mine is still in route- a copy I received from the current President of the Buckeye Art Therapy Association (thanks Molly!).
Wow! A very surreal moment on lots of different levels!
Artist Statement: My Own Beautiful, but Altered Brain (2012) | A few years ago I came across the art and story of Elizabeth Jameson and was so very moved by her work, research, and interpretation of taking her own medical imaging and brain scans as a personal expression and inquiry to understanding and coping with her diagnosis with multiple sclerosis, as well as help others with the disease and educate the medical community through her art. Jameson put a call out for people living with brain inflicted illnesses to “feel how ugly it is and how beautiful it is”, and this invitation, in addition to personal communication with Elizabeth inspired me to explore my own experience with the same disease. In 2012 I started to use my own MRI films & brain imaging collected over the last 13 years to create digital art, mixed media, and altered book art as a way to process, manage, and share this health related journey.
I have been working on some new digital art, after having another MRI done this summer of my brain and spinal cord. While standing barefoot in my thin medical gown after my testing was over, I enthusiastically explained how I make art with my imaging, its purpose, showed some examples on my phone, and inquired about how to get these new images. The radiology staff was super helpful and eager to supply me with a CD on the way out of my appointment!
I was excited to start working on some new images and taking control of my illness again through this form of art making. So empowering and affirming to do in response to such an unpredictable and frustrating disease. I first converted my MRI imaging into JPGs. Then I did some digital painting using ArtRage and photo editing with PicMonkey:
My experiences with this chronic illness in the last couple of years has taught me new lessons & gifts around patience, vulnerability, openness, and to respect/listen to my body’s voice. I’m also so thankful for the kind support I’ve received in response to this series and the loving presence and understanding that surrounds me everyday. 🙂
In Chapter Three of their book, Kat describes that she and her father often worked in many, many journals back and forth with one another from 2002-2005. The intention of this shared experience was to help strengthen their connection, as well as manage and try to make sense of difficult events happening in their lives during that time.
The journal pages sent to readers is an opportunity for these expressions to be shared and have others in the community also become part of their process through the invitation to add to them. To hold some of Kat and Roar’s pages in one hand and their touching story in the other, I felt such gratitude and privilege to be included in their art-making connection.
Pages that have been added to and returned back to Kat for the Community Journal Project will then be exhibited at a Drawn Together event! What a great idea to celebrate the power of art, community, and connection!
Today is Instant Inspiration Monday, being led by Nicole Levesque over at her blog Inner Expressions Art Therapy. I love this collaborative concept she has created promoting creativity, the use of social media, and the fun of collaboration! Every Monday Nicole invites the blogosphere to “share an image of something that sparked your creativity or a project you are currently working on”. You can blog about it, upload a photo with Instagram, or share your inspiration through other photo sharing sites such as Photobucket or Flickr. Wonderful!
My contribution to Instant Inspiration Monday is my growing love of anything SMASH related. My SMASH inspiration started with a few stickies and a SMASH pen (one end pen + one end glue stick = brilliant!), but this week-end I added a SMASH mini-book, pad, and stamp to my growing collection for creative fun.
My combined interests in collage, creating portable art through artist trading cards, collecting paper, and making handmade altered books for art journaling led me to learn more about the idea of gluebooks. I am excited to add SMASH to this mix too! I am inspired by the concept of gluebooks to creatively share experiences, memories, and ideas through the daily collection of paper related discoveries that can then be transformed into art!
Check out the workshop that I will be offering at 6 Degrees of Creativity this summer: Creative Goodness with Gluebooks!
This workshop invites participants to learn all about the creative goodness of gluebooks! The foundation is pretty simple: gluebooks combine art journaling and collage- all you need is a book/journal, some glue, and stuff to glue. Participants will be introduced to simple, fun, and unique ways that gluebooks can be created with repurposed and everyday materials. This workshop also includes an exchange I will be organizing of gluebook pages created by participants of the 6 Degrees of Creativity community, a paper stash swap, collage sheets to download/print for gluing inspiration, and fun ways to develop, collect, and use your paper stash! Fun, fun, fun!
All week I have been in denial that 2011’s 21 SECRETS is closing on December 31, 2011, but today that day is finally here. I still can’t believe it. I’ve sooo enjoyed being part of and teaching in this art journaling community organized by Connie Hozvicka of Dirty Footprints Studio…21 SECRETS has truly been a highlight of my 2011. The creative connections, art journaling ideas, inspiration, and encouragement have been amazingly wonderful and I will really miss this community!
With 21 SECRETS coming to a close, I’ve invited ready for revolution participants to share their 2012 intentions or any of their revolution art in the works:
I created this image on my computer to share my Revo’lution words for 2012. The background image is of a Pohutukawa tree flower bud. Here in New Zealand we call them the NZ Christmas tree as they have bright red joyful flowers that are out at Christmas time. This bud is about to burst open and “OPEN” is a big word for me this year. To be authenticially OPEN to vulnerability, love, joy, gentle kindness, compassion, gratitude, connection and belonging, so I can allow my resilient spirit to live whole-heartedly ~Janet
I have started my Revo-lution 2012 book, I’ve only done one page so far but I thought I would share it…The book is a 5″ by 5″ board book stripped back to the board and then gesso’d and I’ve used images that inspire me. The couple on the left are my parents who have loved and inspired me all my life; the sunset at Castara bay in Sunny Tobago (one of my favourite places on earth); a bit of an old map of Ryde which has a fascinating history; Albert Einstein – who was a genius, deep thinker and often a little playful, I would have loved to have met him; Joan Miro is one of my favourite artists and so is Keith Haring. The little image bottom right says Plant a Seed, because that’s what inspiration is – the potential for something great. I’ve included ArchBishop Desmond Tutu because he is another highly intellegent man, deep thinker, has a heart the size of a planet and a ‘wicked’ laugh. I would love to meet him. ~Janette
(See more of Janette’s revolution book making forthcoming on her blog.)
And this great idea from Phoenix was posted yesterday: I’m hoping to spend 12/31 contemplating and creating pages for my revolution journal for 2012. I ran out of time to make one during 21 Secrets, but my goal is to have photos of the pages on my phone or Ipod so I can look at them regularly and remember my priorities for the year. Honestly, thank you so, so much for your class. I’ve always been big on resolutions that vanish within a day or so of real life. I hadn’t realised just how exhausting it all was until I sat and watched your workshop and something inside me seemed to just relax at the idea of visual reminders of the direction I’m heading (not the dress size I’m wanting!!!)
I am so grateful that I take time to do this process. I find it so valuable. Identifying my intentions and creating a revolution book each year (this is #4) has helped me take purposeful and meaningful time to reflect on what I want to focus on within myself, as well as invite and attract into my life during the upcoming new year.
This year I also added a “2012 Revolution” Board on Pinterest to help further inspire my intentions. I still need to finish the book’s cover and back, but I look forward to this revolution book serving as a visual reminder, affirmation, and guide throughout 2012 for each of the intentions I’ve chosen:
Paying attention to one aspect of the environment while ignoring others.
A particular way of dealing with the external world, being faithful to internal rather than external ideas.
The ability to transcend traditional ideas, rules, patterns, relationships to create meaningful new ideas and forms.
A state of happiness or felicity, a source or cause of delight.
Attention to the choices of a context for opinions, beliefs and experiences.
To link or be linked together again.
Acting truly about feelings, thoughts, and desires.
The practice or quality of being kind.
Sooo..Bring on 2012! Wishing you all happiness, creativity, & goodness for your own revolution making & in the New Year…
I started working on my 2012 revolution book last night to hold the intentions authenticity, attention, creativity, joy, kindness, perspective, re-connection, and sincerity. This will be my fourth revolution book and engaging in this year-end tradition to create & invite chosen intentions into my life throughout the upcoming new year.
As I worked on each page, the feeling I had about this process and my intentions for 2012 was very powerful and full of so many good vibes. Beginning my work on this book was humbling and provided an emotional connection never experienced before in my past revolution making.
My plan is to still have my new revolution book finished in the next week and ready to go for 2012… I am looking forward to more work on each of my pages and continued connection with my 2012 intentions…my best revolution yet…
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:
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! 🙂
During a recent art therapy supervision session, I was re-introduced (thanks Mary!) to the technique of taking a basic file folder and re-purposing it into a mini book that could be used as an art journal. I wanted to remember the folding sequence and steps involved, so I decided to do a quick, short how-to video and thought other creatives would also be interested in trying this fun, easy, and inexpensive idea. Materials you will need to get started include a file folder (with side tabs, not a middle tab) and some glue:
Here’s some written steps:
1. Start with the tab in the upper right hand corner.
2. Fold the folder up from the bottom straight across so the tab curves line up. This will create four pockets inside of the journal.
3. Next start with the right side and begin to fold this into the middle, making sure the bottom of the tab lines up with the file’s center seam.
4. Fold the left side to the middle, lining up the upper left section with the center seam. Note the file’s tabs will be extending out of the journal.
5. Squeeze the folder/journal in together- Glue the middle together and the folder’s edges.
6. Embellish with paint, collage, fabric, and mixed media materials. The thickness of the file folder surface is great for painting, sewing into, and doing lots of collage! The pockets are the perfect size for Artist Trading Cards, tags, and other creative keepsakes!
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