“Therapeutic visual journaling” -Unfolding

Episode 3 of "Therapeutic visual journaling" takes on the journey of unfolding- once we open up to creativity and make first marks we are faced with...well let's say "reality of our own creativity". We start seeing first attempts of images, first layers, things are emerging and we do not always like what we see. This is the moment that many can decide to give up and do not continue, others will be faced with disappointment or just frustration. In visual journaling this is the initial stage, the first layer that despite how much it seems be difficult, in the end is rarely visible - still though very crucial to the process. It is the catalisator, an initiator, the kick that we need to accept and move on...

 Visual journaling used as a tool for self-discovery is parallel to many mental process we humans face in reality. The imaginary of journal is not much about the final image production but the connection created with that book itself. So the unfolding is the moment when images start to appear and show up but often not in the way we would accept. It is the dance between our control and lack of it, self-expectation and letting go, our hunger for perfection and full trust in lack of any control. Layers of visual journaling are built from collage, magazine cut outs, paints, inks, variety of marks. As we choose what we want to use it all somehow happens to have its own life on the pages. And this is that very moment we can switch to trust mode and let art to be a guide. It is not easy to be open to initial disappointment because first it makes us feel uncomfortable, second we are loosing control over the  the outcome...But how brave is it to trust that process?

Last month I witnessed few art journallers in the process during the live workshop with Anne-Marie (Ave Art) in England- and this is probably the reason I did not create a lot myself as was taken by the fascination of watching how people interact with their visual journals/altered books. It was so interesting to observe. How they throw themselves into the book, how bits of paper are applied and then taken off with new energy, how people sigh and stop, step back, ponder then return and carry on. Sometimes it takes time, even days before the moment of revelation is achieved. There is a moment when they see more what an image is representing- because what actually all that process been doing that time to them was happening within. Then finally at some point work is done, and they see in those images more that can be seen. What they see is a personal message strongly connected with inner interpretation where meaning is exclusively subjective. And this the magic so clearly put in words of one of the participants of creative therapeutic course I did back in July:

"It actually doesn't really matter what is created, what matters is what that process meant to me at that very moment and what I see in it."

Simple truth but at the same time how far, far away is that concept from a stereotypical artist creating on demand or being quite final result orientated. All simply does not matter, what matters is seeing you (and I would add also "beyond you") at that very moment of creating and being present for your own creative expression. 

Episode "Unfolding" is exactly about that moment and stage of honouring your creative expression regardless of how far it seems from your expectation of final outcome visions. It is about opening to possibilities here at the front of imaginary and trusting that at some point (even if it takes weeks!) will guide you somewhere where your art talks! 

 

Wishing you great unfolding!

Honorata

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