Creating in Community

November 24, 2014 in art therapy, creativity, inner critic, inner muse

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I have a confession, I have reached a point where I have run out of words. I know it won’t last but it is uncomfortable just the same. Here I am supposed to be writing something inspiring to you the reader- even that sounds drab and unexciting. But I could not think of what to write, that is until I began to write.

The act of writing in and of itself began to inspire me and the words that had not come to me before this moment began to flow. It doesn’t always happen this way. In fact, most times I just keep putting it off, stuck in my thoughts of “I have nothing important to say”. Does this sound familiar? Or perhaps your inner voice sounds something like “I have nothing important to create/paint/draw/sculpt/art journal (fill in the blank) about.”

When I was doodling daily it felt good; the inspiration came to me through the doing not the talking, and I was reminded why I chose the profession of art therapist rather than just therapist: it is the doing that shakes things up and gets creative juices flowing, not the other way around. You can’t actually think things into being until you actually act on those thoughts. And sometimes if we can just skip the (conscious) thinking all together we’ll surprise ourselves with what appears before us when we just begin to create.

A story that is not recorded either through written word, spoken word or depicted visually are just trapped thoughts until they are released.

Reading posts on creativity or viewing videos on connecting with your creativity may spark that inner creative fire, but it won’t sustain it. What sustains our creativity is creating- nothing else. It is the act of creating that gives us the drive and the hunger for more creating. It is not the thinking about it that keeps that creative spark lit.

This is where most people get stuck. The starting of the “doing”; the act of creating rather than waiting for that perfect time when nothing else is in the way. Too much planning and expectation can be the death of a creative spark. Over-thinking can betray our creativity.

Do you remember when you were a child how great it felt to share what you did? “Look at me” was your mantra. Family, teachers, and friends would gather round and give you your 2 minutes of fame, genuinely interested in what you had created. When we create in community, with others as our witness it can be reaffirming of who we are. Community is important, it is a part of what makes us human.

I know for me having accountability to other than myself can be motivating, for example saying I’m going to create daily doodles and then sharing them. Creating in community or with a witness can be a powerful process. Creating in this context is a sustainable practice.

It doesn’t have to be big or even daily, though a daily practice can certainly help. The important thing is that you create following your rhythm and flow. I’m not saying it is easy. But when you set the inner critics and busy mind aside, it is possible to reconnect with your creativity, sustaining it one brush stroke at a time.

 

21secrets_Fall   Opening To VisionLRGVJJ2014Collage

The Messy Stuff of Creativity

November 11, 2014 in art therapy, creativity, inner wisdom, mindfulness

invert people

 

I have been wracking my brain trying to figure out what to write my next blog post about and have been stuck.  After writing a little something daily and posting doodles for the past month of October my mind has come up blank.  I have my moments when I seem to have a lot to say and am on a role.  The same happens in my art making, I go through stages when I am making art all the time and then it just stops.  I use to panick  and worry that I was not creative enough to sustain my art making.  Now I try to just roll with it.  There is a natural ebb and flow that happens with creativity which often is forgotten.

When we are driven by product its easy to forget the importance of honoring the process.  This includes embracing the unknown aspects of our creative process, that which has not yet unfolded and which still needs time to grow.

Creativity is made up of many parts, which often occur under the radar of most people’s awareness.  We take things in from our environment and our experience of them can ignite a creative spark. The ideas  (for lack of a better word) may sit there, meditating in a sense until they are ready to come forward. Thus the seed is planted, nurtured, then germinates,  sprouts, and the seed grows becoming more than the original seed, now a living entity.

This is the messy stuff of creativity, it’s unpredictability. It pushes us to let go of our need for  control, our need to know.

The right environment has to exist for sure, one of acceptance and willingness to venture into the unknown, but also an environment which has just the right emotional temperature, and timing.  Timing can not be bartered with, the seed of the creative idea knows just when it is ready to sprout, and no two are alike.  This is the messy stuff of creativity, it’s unpredictability. It pushes us to let go of our need for  control, our need to know.

Creativity is of course more than a sum of its parts. It is a beautiful dance which occurs between the art maker and their creative fire. A letting go of expectations so that the dance can be danced without inhibition and with the utmost of expression.

When I am  comfortable with my unique creative pace  I am more prepared to  be patient with the unfolding and witnessing of creative ebb and flow in others.

Continuing Creative Practice

October 31, 2014 in art journaling, creativity, Doodleaday Challenge

#DoodleADay Challenge Day 31

 

Today the challenge ends but the practice continues.  I have been having a great time doodling daily and intend to keep it up. I feel like this daily practice has been a nice boost to my creative connection with self and my imagination.

 

#DoodleADay Challenge ends but doodling practice continues

 

If you are in need of some motivation to get started on your own daily doodling practice then I encourage you to read my posts 10 reasons to doodle , or the Doodle a Day Challenge here

Daily Doodle

October 30, 2014 in art journaling, creative tools, creativity, Doodleaday Challenge

#DoodleADay Challenge Day 30!

Thirty days of doodling daily has been fun- but there is at least one more day. At least because this is something I plan on doing more regularly rather than just at meetings or conferences.
#DoodlesADay Challenge at arttherapist.ca Day 30
If you are in need of some motivation to get started on the #DoodleADay challenge then you may want to read  my post 10 reasons to doodle , or the Doodle a Day Challenge here

 

Morning Discovery

October 29, 2014 in art journaling, creative tools, Doodleaday Challenge, inner muse, poetry

#DoodleADay challenge Day 29

#DoodleADay challenge at ArtTherapist.ca day 29

 

A few words about this morning’s doodle:

Rock froms mountain, and there she appears

resting quietly, gently reminding me of her presence

She was not expected

always welcome

waking

 

If you are in need of some motivation to get started on the #DoodleADay challenge then you may want to read  my post 10 reasons to doodle , or the Doodle a Day Challenge here

 

Creative Ideas

October 28, 2014 in art journaling, Doodleaday Challenge

 

#DoodleADay Challenge Day 28

#DoodleADay Challenge day 28

I never know what I am going to see appear before me on the blank page when I begin.  Though I generally work this way when I do my painting, doodles seem to free me up even more to express myself.  Surprisingly (or not depending on how you look at it) a good number of my doodles have turned out to be interesting enough subjects that I can see myself making them into bigger paintings.  So the doodle becomes the source of fresh ideas and new beginnings.  By taking the doodle further this way, I can explore its’ depth, symbolism and meaning in greater detail visually.

 

If you are in need of some motivation to get started on the #DoodleADay challenge then you may want to read  my post 10 reasons to doodle , or the Doodle a Day Challenge here

 

Breaking Out of Old Patterns

October 27, 2014 in art journaling, creativity, Doodleaday Challenge

 #DoodleADay Challenge Day 27

 

#DoodleADay Challenge day 27

 

After doodling for 27 days repeated patterns emerge in many of my doodles. Each time I doodle I have opportunity to observe them. Not just in my symbology of images, shapes and visual metaphors used, but also in the way that I approach the doodle.    I notice where I lean toward a certain style and my comfort level and have opportunity to shift this by trying new things.
Even when judgement mind steps in, the swiftness of the doodle allows me to bypass any blocks that might otherwise slows down and take me in a different direction.
If you are in need of some motivation to get started on the #DoodleADay challenge then you may want to read  my post 10 reasons to doodle , or the Doodle a Day Challenge here

Leaving Judgement Behind

October 26, 2014 in art journaling, creative tools, Doodleaday Challenge, inner wisdom, mindfulness, Self-Love

 

 

#DoodleADay challenge at arttherapist.ca day 26 Leaving Judegment Behind

#DoodleADay Challenge Day 26

 

I have to admit that not judging my own art work is a work in progress.  Today’s doodle (and here comes the judgment) I’m not particularly fond of.  I thought I would try something that someone in the Facebook Virtual Art Circle group did: doodling with one continuous line.  She was right it was hard not to pick up my pen from the paper, but even more it was difficult for me not to judge the finished product as I had seen her example and in my mind was comparing the overall lack of (judgement) coherence.  It’s just a doodle right?

If we look at the process of making a doodle (for 25 days straight now) it’s clear to me that doodles can be many things: they can be:

  • Stress relieving,
  • Calming,
  • A release of tension,
  • Connection to self,
  • Connection one’s imagination,
  • Connection to one’s unconscious,
  • Connection to one’s playful side,
  • A way to focus
  • A way to gage one’s present state of emotions and
  • A way to practice acceptance of what is.

Today’s lesson for me was just that, an opportunity to practice acceptance of what is, leave judgment behind and trust the process.

If you are in need of some motivation to get started on the #DoodleADay challenge then you may want to read  my post 10 reasons to doodle , or the Doodle a Day Challenge here

Follow Your Own Lead

October 25, 2014 in art journaling, creative tools, creativity, Doodleaday Challenge, inner wisdom

 

Here is my #DoodleADay Challenge Doodle for Day 24:

#DoodleADay Challange Day 24 at ArtTherapist.ca

 

Funny enough shortly before making this doodle I was watching a video for 21 Secrets Fall by Canadian artist Veronica Funk on “Finding Your Wild Spirit” about art journaling your animal totem.  I watched with delight as Veronica showed us her process and the unique way in which she uses her materials, but by the end I still was not sure about my animal totem.  So I began my doodle and this is what appeared.  I’m still not quite sure if it is one animal as it seems to have wolf in the head, ram horns and a dear body.  This is what I love about doodles, how they can access unconscious material so quickly: I did not know what to draw, but yet a part of me did.  I am excited to explore this creature further in Veronica’s lesson.

If you are in need of some motivation to get started on the #DoodleADay challenge then you may want to read  my post 10 reasons to doodle , or the Doodle a Day Challenge here

Open the Doors to Your Imagination

October 24, 2014 in art journaling, creativity, Doodleaday Challenge, expressive arts

Day 24 #DoodleADay Challenge:

The beauty of doodles is that they access your imagination each time giving you new stories and perspectives. When we create, whether it be doodles or other creations, we are giving birth to something new, shifting thoughts, shifting emotions, creating new life.  A simple doodle is a door to the imagination. Sometimes I look at my doodles and laugh.  Sometimes I am confused (when I think too much about them usually).  Regardless I treasure these little bursts of creativity as they remind me of my ability to create change in the smallest of ways.

 

#DoodleADay challenge day  24 Open the Door to Your Imagination

 

 

If you are in need of some motivation to get started on the #DoodleADay challenge then you may want to read  my post 10 reasons to doodle , or the Doodle a Day Challenge here