Posts Tagged ‘transformation’

Destruction & Transformation in Art & Therapy: Re-Framing, Re-Forming, Re-Claiming

October 1, 2014

My interest in destruction as part of the creative process for transformation in therapy first started as a new art therapist over 15 years ago, when I worked in a boy’s residential treatment center. Not only was creating, building, & constructing an important part of the work they did in the art room, but so was the undoing, breaking & pulling things apart to in turn mend, re-build, and put back together into a new form, with a different meaning and perspective.  I loved witnessing the creative process of  this chaotic discharge contained in the safety of our session and the pieces of this becoming the seeds of something new.

Destruction & Transformation in Art & Therapy: Re-Framing, Re-Forming, Re-Claiming | creativity in motion

Destruction & Transformation in Art & Therapy: Re-Framing, Re-Forming, Re-Claiming | creativity in motion

Sometimes this was done with tearing up an old, unwanted, or emotionally challenging art expression into bits & pieces and then using these remnants to create a new image full of possibility and discovery. In my art therapy work with women survivors of domestic violence, this same concept has taken the form of pulping/destroying past journal entries, unsent letters written to their abusers, or notes to their “old me” selves to create new handmade paper as a symbolic act of freedom, new beginnings, and personal transformation.

Destruction & Transformation in Art & Therapy: Re-Framing, Re-Forming, Re-Claiming | creativity in motion

Inspired by these experiences in my clinical work and its value in the therapeutic process, I am looking forward to dedicating an entire day to explore this topic in a Master Class I’ll be co-teaching with Art Therapist Mindy Jacobson-Levy next month.

Join us on November 6 at this year’s Expressive Therapies Summit in NYC to creatively examine concepts & themes about the therapeutic role of creative destruction and the reparation of images to foster self-repair and personal growth.  As part of our exploration, participants will spend the day working on an altered book as well as deconstructing objects of personal meaning into new forms and understanding.  I can’t wait!

If you’re in the NYC area or making plans to attend this year’s Summit, I hope we can make some art together here! 🙂

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Related Posts:

The Altered Image: Ready to Create & Fly

Exposing & Altering Vulnerability

[Buried Treasure] What Ought to Be: On Untangling and Putting Fragments Back Together with Art

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Firewalk Inspired Smashbooking

September 9, 2013

This week-end I participated in something I’ve wanted to do for years…the experience of firewalking.  Every September, Common Ground Center for Renewal in Oberlin, Ohio holds an annual firewalk and this year I finally made it…and wow…it was so very worth it…

Firewalk Preparation | creativity in motion

Firewalk Fire Preparation

For me, something about taking on this challenge greatly called to me as an unique opportunity for continued transformation and growth, as well as to explore trust & faith.

Our certified firewalking instructor Dave Tuscany led us through an amazing empowerment workshop while a fire 15 feet long burned for 90 minutes. A news piece about the evening can be read here.

Firewalk Feet | creativity in motion

Firewalk Feet

As I silently approached the sacred space of hot coals and embers, this glowing pathway was something I was surprisingly eager to travel on rather than fearful. There was such a strong energy and atmosphere of positive affirmation and intention that when it was finally my turn to walk, I did so without hesitation.  I felt no pain or burning on my feet…only a warm, nurturing & determined feeling coming from within and surrounding me.  Beautiful.

Firewalk Ashes | creativity in motion

Firewalk Ashes

As I was leaving the event that evening, I took some of the firewalk’s ashes as a special keepsake of this important experience. The charred pieces of ember were still smoking and full of heat as I shovel them into the wooden box I brought with me.

Firewalk Ash Create Hand | creativity in motion

Creating with Firewalk Ash

As I reflected on my experience the next morning in my smashbook, I did so with a shifted sense of freedom, peace, renewal, and astonishment. As I worked, my fingertips smudged the images and pages with the sacred pieces of charred embers:

Firewalk Smashbooking | creativity in motion

Firewalk Smashbooking- Filtered (Click to enlarge)

To help the young soul, to add energy, inspire hope, and blow the coals into a useful flame; to redeem defeat by new thought and firm action, this, though not easy, is the work of divine man.”         ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Related Posts:

Dictionary Art Inspiration, Branch Strengthening, & Smashbooking

Adventure Visioning: A Page From My Smashbook

Through a Grateful Summer Lens: Honoring Our Light

On the Go: Change, Transformation, & Action through Art

May 18, 2013

I’ve been prepping for some art therapy offerings I’ll be teaching and presenting on this summer that highlight the use of art as a tool for change, transformation, and action:

In June, I’ll be teaching Advocacy and Empowerment: Social Action and Trauma Informed Care as an intensive summer course for graduate students in Ursuline College’s Art Therapy & Counseling Program. This course will introduce students to trauma informed art-based strategies and creative applications that can be implemented into a socially engaged therapeutic practice with individuals, groups, and in the community.  Students will discover how creative expression helps provide a voice for women & youth survivors of domestic violence, families living with homelessness, and learn more about the role of art-making for empowerment, peacemaking, craftivism, and social action.

Advocacy & Empowerment: Social Change and Trauma Informed Care

In July, at The National Institute for Trauma and Loss in Children (TLC)’s Childhood Trauma Practitioners Assembly in Clinton Township, Michigan I will be presenting the workshop Peace Begins with Me: Creating Peacemakers through Creativity. This offering will focus on strategies important to facilitating group work about peacemaking themes with children who have been exposed to domestic violence, bullying, and relational aggression.  Participants will be introduced to sensory-based interventions, therapeutic books, and art expression that fosters peacemaking concepts, as well as cultivates possibilities for social change. In addition, content presented will help participants gain a trauma informed understanding about how these strategies and interventions promote safety, emotional expression, and coping.

I am looking forward to sharing my work, as well as other inspiring programs, projects, & initiatives with students and professionals interested in these topics. Lots of opportunities to get more involved with social action through art and the creative process!

And on a related note, I’m also thrilled to share this interview I did with Jocelyn Paige Kelly for Realizing Your Creative Life about using art for change and transformation. It includes some reflections on my passion for art therapy, my work with survivors of trauma, the artist trading card exchange Pocket Change, art based socially engaged projects that inspire me, and more.  Check it out! Thanks to Jocelyn for the invitation to contribute to this interview series!

Peacemaking & DIY Papermaking

September 15, 2012

Inspired by my work with and the mission of Peace Paper, over the last few months I have been incorporating handmade papermaking with some of my art therapy work with youth who have been impacted by trauma and loss.

One way we used the transformative process of papermaking over the last few months included expressing some of the emotional burden of experiencing or witnessing someone being bullied. Youth ages 6-12 created and then tore up images and hurtful messages about bullying to destroy in a blender for pulping.  The pulp from this was then used to form new sheets of handmade paper that would become decorated as Peace Flags.  The process of destructing the negative & re-constructing it into something positive was really powerful.  The Peace Flags also served as a visual reminder and a way to dialogue about how each of us can choose to engage in peaceful and less hurtful behavior with one another.

Below is a short video I created about this process:

If you’re interested in learning more about the papermaking steps I implemented, feel free to check out this DIY Papermaking How-to Sheet that you can save, download, or print out through SlideShare:

Also check out the work of Peace Paper, their papermaking tools, tutorials, and resources at www.peacepaperproject.org.

Ringing in the New Year with Revolution Art Making

December 31, 2011

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!

I will especially miss everyone who participated in my 21 SECRETS workshop ready for revolutionIf you haven’t already checked out this post from November, it features many of the revolution art journal pages and books created since 21 SECRETS opened in April.  So inspiring!  Definitely worth another mention (and watch)!

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:

Janet's 2012 Revolution Intentions

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

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Janette's 2012 Revolution-Page 1- Inspire

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.)

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Lani's Revolution Page for Joy

I was also very excited to see Lani Gerity share her completed 2012 revolution book on her blog.  Check out Lani’s wonderful revolution book for twentytwelve and reflections on her intentions here.

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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 looooove all these good vibes for ringing in the New Year with revolution art making….  and here’s some more good stuff for art journaling in 2012:  A new 21 SECRETS line up has been announced for 2012 and goes on sale January 2.   Yay!

Happy 2012!

ready for revolution twentytwelve

December 29, 2011

“You must give birth to your images.  They are the future waiting to be born.”  ~Rainer Maria Rilke

It’s here!  I’m ready to reveal and share my revolution for twentytwelve— Take a look:

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:

Attention: Value. Energy. Worth.

Paying attention to one aspect of the environment while ignoring others.

Authenticity: Real. True. Genuine.

A particular way of dealing with the external world, being faithful to internal rather than external ideas.

Creativity: Strength. Connect. Grow.

The ability to transcend traditional ideas, rules, patterns, relationships to create meaningful new ideas and forms.

Joy: Happiness. Gratitude. Heart.

A state of happiness or felicity, a source or cause of delight.

Perspective: Choice. View. Forward.

Attention to the choices of a context for opinions, beliefs and experiences.

Re-Connection: Strong. Hope. Inside

To link or be linked together again.

Sincerity: Open. Truth. Clarity.

Acting truly about feelings, thoughts, and desires.

Kindness: Choose. Forgiveness. Love.

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…

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Want to discover what your twentytwelve revolution looks like?  Learn more here.

ready for revolution eBook

Peace Paper: Papermaking, Art Therapy, and Social Action On the Move in 2012

December 12, 2011

A new project and team that I am very excited to be involved with is Peace Paper, founded by Drew Matott and Margaret Mahan to empower bereaved international communities through engagement in collaborative art processes addressing peaceful reconciliation and positive forward thinking.  Through paper, writing, book, and printmaking activities, Peace Paper workshop participants transform significant articles of clothing into works of art which broadcast their stories.

Peace Paper announced its 2012 Tour Schedule last week, which includes a variety of workshops, conferences, teaching, and training across the US (Massachusetts, Michigan, Washington DC, Wisconsin, Ohio, New York , Kansas) as well as international visits in Eskulan, Kosovo, Turkey, India, and more with the project’s amazing creative team.

There are a few art therapy focused offerings for 2012 that Drew, Margaret, and I will be facilitating:

  • May 14 – 18- Arts and the Military Conference, Washington, D.C.– As part of The Arts and Military Conference hosted by George Mason University, Drew and I will be offering a five-day papermaking workshop for art therapists and survivors of trauma. This workshop will focus on technical training, practical applications, and hands-on demonstrations of papermaking and implementation for trauma intervention.
  • September 6-8- Buckeye Art Therapy Association Symposium, Dublin, Ohio–  Margaret, Drew, and I will be in the Columbus area as part of the 2012 BATA Symposium. This will include a full day pre-conference workshop for a limited audience to provide participants an understanding about how the papermaking process can be beneficial with populations as a form of social action and therapeutic transformation in trauma and loss intervention.  During the BATA Symposium, we will present a keynote presentation on the topic of art as social action, focusing on lecture and visual content related to utilizing papermaking and creative expression as a cathartic process to give meaning, create transformation, and provide empowerment through releasing and reforming fibers into new stories and new beginnings.   A workshop offering entitled, “Expressions for Peace” will invite Symposium attendees on the following day to create their own reflections and expression for peace on handmade paper flags created from Peace Paper’s recent travels.
  • October 12 & 13- Kansas Art Therapy Association Conference, Emporia, KS– Margaret, Drew, and I will be conducting a two-day workshop for art therapists, including a lecture highlighting Art as Social Action and Papermaking as Trauma Therapy.  This event will also include an exhibit of Peace Paper artworks.
I am so looking forward to teaming up with Margaret and Drew again in 2012 for these events.  Save the date(s) and stayed tuned for more details on each of these offerings!  You can also stay connected to Peace Paper updates and news on Facebook, on the web, and follow the project’s travels through the Peace Paper blog.

Ready for Revolution Art Journaling Workshop Trailer

June 6, 2011

In celebration of  last week’s news from Dirty Footprints Studio about 21 SECRETS‘ registration being extended until October 1 and that this art journaling playground will now be open until January 1, 2012, I had some fun updating the trailer for my workshop ready for revo’lutionCheck it out and enjoy!

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21 SECRETS is an ONLINE, self guided, art journaling workshop where participants will receive the opportunity to learn different techniques, methods, and approaches to art journaling from a group of 21 artists through January 1, 2012. Registration is open until October 1, 2011.

My workshop ready for revo’lution will empower you to use art journaling to  explore concepts of transformation, creating change, and invite intentions of new possibilities through the power of collage, mixed media, journaling prompts & more.  Embrace your revo’lutionary spirit to imagine, create or reclaim your ideas into action!

What Does Your Revolution Look Like?

May 3, 2011

Ready for Revolution Flyer [PDF]

Wow!  There’s only a month left to register for 21 SECRETS! Registration ends May 31, 2011 @ http://bit.ly/gY9WFs

What does your revo’lution look like?

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21 SECRETS is an ONLINE, self guided, art journaling workshop where participants will receive the opportunity to learn different techniques, methods, and approaches to art journaling from a group of 21 artists through July 31, 2011.

My workshop ready for revo’lution will empower you to use art journaling to  explore concepts of transformation, creating change, and invite intentions of new possibilities through the power of collage, mixed media, journaling prompts & more.  Embrace your revo’lutionary spirit to imagine, create or reclaim your ideas into action!

Handmade Revolution Making Continues @ 21 SECRETS Art Journaling Workshop

April 25, 2011

Ready for Revo'lution @ 21 SECRETS

I continue to really enjoy seeing, reading, and learning about the revo’lution making happening in my workshop over at Dirty Footprints Studio’s 21 SECRETS.  What I am noticing so far is that many are not incorporating ready for revo’lution into just one  art journaling page, but are creating entire revo’lution books, which is really exciting to see unfold!

Check out some of the intentions and revo’lution pages created during the last couple of weeks:

Thanks to Amanda, Jane, and Janet for letting me share their revo’lution art and for all the thoughtful, inspiring work they have been doing with this concept.  It has been much fun to be part of this group and enjoy what is happening!   I look forward to seeing what future revo’lutions will be made!

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21 SECRETS is an ONLINE, self guided, art journaling workshop where participants will receive the opportunity to learn different techniques, methods, and approaches to art journaling from a group of 21 artists. Update: 21 SECRETS has been extended to January 1, 2012. Woo hoo!

My workshop ready for revo’lution will empower you to use art journaling to create your very own revo’lution!  Explore concepts of transformation, creating change, and invite intentions of new possibilities through the power of collage, mixed media, journaling prompts & more.  Embrace your revo’lutionary spirit to imagine, create or reclaim your ideas into action!  

Registration for 21 SECRETS is now open until October 1, 2011.

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