There are times in our lives when we simply, without wanting either willing, have to abandon creativity. Life gets tough, life takes over. The problem arises when this period becomes prolonged and we start struggling to actually come back to where we were. Our routines and creative habits are gone and we find it easier to find excuses to stay away from creating rather than going back. Then it takes longer again and we start feeling like nothing is worth creating unless it is good enough and that “good enough” is another obstacle resulting in fear of creating.
Paint and pain can be moved, pushed beyond boundaries, crushed into other paint, smudged and splashed. Pretty much like human emotions- isn’t it? Recently I started the journey of moving paint in my abstract visual journals in order to see how processing mental and emotional states of mind can be done this way. Can your emotions be pushed beyond boundaries just to be blended with contrasting one in seconds later? Sounds like a familiar state of mind? Sounds like a moving paint process…
What is an act of creating? How would you define it? Beyond the concept of art, on general perspective, act of creation is making things happen, making something from something else, making choice what and how to create. There is not a single act of creativity without freedom. Freedom is streaming through creativity like its constant companion and condition for things to happen. We need to feel free to choose what and how to create to have the sense of creativity being worth an effort. We need freedom to create and be free to create truly-that strong however simple realisation came to my mind recently after delivering expressive arts therapeutic session to dementia patients.
What is contained in our journals, personal diaries and books? What happens when instead of just words we start using a magic of visual language- the language above all spoken languages and the one of the most intense communication. What happens is the Inner Story being told on pages of the journals, images and colours and textures pouring out from the pages of the books. I am inviting you to explore it...This offer is specially designed to people wondering about art/visual journaling and those who would love to explore expressive techniques. This programme is based on one to one session and we agree the cost before the start depending on individual circumstances. Curious? Get in touch!
From Marta the programme's participant: " Meetings with Honorata also have a therapeutic aspect. Art journaling opens your head, sensitivity and creativity. Even after the end of the class I could not get away from creating new pages in my journal. It's like your artistic diary. With mixed techniques, you can document what you have in your head at the moment. It cleans your mind and is very relaxing."
I have never had the feel for planning, setting goals, over planning, hitting targets. Despite the fact that I can throw myself into creating like a mad person without limits and forgetting about eating I still could never been a "planner". Recently I came across an article that used visual and art metaphor for a different approach to how our mind function with future planning, when we employ rather "now" approach that has nothing to do with hitting targets. And that was a realisation for me that actually approaching life like I approach a painting at many occasions can work quite wonders! So again art is teaching me life...because as Socrates said "I know nothing except the fact of my ignorance!"
Why do we must create? I do not know but what I know is that I mentally die if I ban myself from creating. It is like breathing for some- the necessary force of lifehood. Creativity is here for me and more I am involved in it more I become aware that it defines my life. It is not like interesting hobby, or maybe joyful evenings activity. It is not "oh nice you paint in your spare time" scenario. I have no spare time actually. I have no time to loose, waste, or spend on meaningless activities of life that are pulling me away from the core of life- ART.
Some time ago, probably a while ago you were a child happily playing with toys, crayons, sticks or whatever you found in your environment. Maybe you were enjoying splashing in puddles or creating monsters from clay. Whatever you were doing there is one thing- you definitely enjoyed it. But do you remember it? Probably now you do, once you reading it, but in you current life- in the middle of never ending drama of adulthood you forgot. What you truly forgot is not actually the activity but the sense of joyful playfulness it brought into your life. The state of being there, just being without a worry about why/what for/what if. Where is that all gone now?
Our daily life, what is here on the surface is only a mere part of the whole …The big chunk of our thoughts and mind functions is hidden in subconscious part.
Subconscious part-the one we rarely dig in, deep container of desires, fears and psychological patterns as well as beliefs is the hardest part to access when we are tangled in tasks of mundane life, pulled towards pointless conversations or trying to be the helper of the world.
Create with me….Create from your own creative source...
- I run local courses for therapeutic use of expressive arts in Northamptonshire through Learn2b programme (Northamptonshire County Council Adult Learning programme)-those courses are free of charge and require self-referral- please visit Learn2b website for more details- Click HERE.
- Workshops in person-the latest “Soulful Expression” is now fully booked- please email me if you interested in future adventures.
- Online programmes: visit my You Tube channel “Artlysing” for free videos and inspirational clips.
- I also volunteer at local Mind-the mental health charity where we transform art studio into creative and healing space.
Examples of courses and sessions:
- Positive Me-Art- emphasis on emotional wellbeing through creation of recycled cards, sensory exploration of colour, texture and pattern, work with words and images combinations.
- Jigsaw of life- visual journal work built around subject of life changes and transitions- images, collage, mandalas and mandorlas.
- Future Me- vision boards as exploration of self. Introduction to visual mind mapping concept too.
- The book of Me-6 weeks mental health programme with altering a children's book. Variety of techniques and creative adventures including mandorlas, collage, working from subconscious, painting, blind drawing.
- Intuitive Abstracts for healing-3weeks course with introduction to intuitive approach in paintings with layers.
- Soulful Expression- expressive exploration of creative voice, re-discovery of natural creativity- special one for those who say are not creative!
- Art Medicine- collection of therapeutic, creative techniques designed to use visual creative arts as healing practice. Includes watercolour expressive abstracts, mandalas, collage, doodling as meditation practice.
- Before and After- 6 weeks programme of working in a personal diary built around processing and reflection of personal grief.
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...