Operation Random Acts of Creative Kindness

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!  🙂

Pinterest: Collecting & Organizing Happiness

21 SECRETS colleague and mixed media artist Debra Cooper recently introduced me the wonderful world of Pinterest, a social catalog site and community of virtual bulletin boards where you can organize and “pin” digital images of places, objects, people, and things you love and have interest in.  You can also follow boards and collections created by others who have styles and interests you like, as well “re-pin” images posted by community members on your own boards.  I’m already addicted!

Some of my boards

My first board was for a collection of Words.  I gathered quotes, phrases, and images through the site’s keyword search, as well as checked out what the Pinterest community and people I was following had pinned and re-pinned on some of their boards.  I also added the “Pin It” grabber to my toolbar to make it easy to get images anywhere on-line that I also wanted to collect.

As I began to create more boards, I started to notice how many of the images and objects I was pinning and curating into collections were associated with people, places, memories, and activities that make me really happy.  Lots of good stuff, good times, and good vibes. Containing all these things together in one place started to spark some kind of visual happiness.

I have also enjoyed the joyful curiousity and inspiration from looking at others’ boards and pins.  It’s been so much fun to follow Lani Gerity‘s pins and the cool finds she is collecting: art, portraits, dolls, places, and lots of chocolate!  I’ve also been keeping an eye on Debra’s boards which are full of color, design, artsy ideas, and textures.  Check them out!

Lani’s Board: Art Love
Debra’s Board: For Painted Papers

At this time, to join Pinterest you need to receive an invite. You can go to the Pinterest site to request an invite, but I am not sure if this involves some kind of wait list or what the turnaround time is to receive one. Pinterest community members can also send out a limited number of  invites as well.  If anyone is interested in receiving one of my invites (while supplies last!),  feel free to let me know in the comment/reply section of this post.