Creativity is one of my favorite subjects. So when I heard a creative reflection, How has Creativity Changed Me?, offered by Jamie Ridler of Jamie Ridler Studios, I decided to share this reflection with you, my dear readers.
I've always had a creative vibe since I was a child, drawing pictures of animals, people and faces over the years. Then I discovered watercolor (Yay!) about 6 years ago at the same time I started art journaling. I continue to enjoy daily doses of painting with watercolor as well as doodling in my personal journal each evening to summarize and honor my daily experiences.
My creative practice, which includes journaling, doodling, painting and writing as of right now, has given me a gift.
Do you know what that gift is? JOY.
Yes, JOY. Joy is a high vibration sensation and emotion that nothing else can trump. It comes from within. But I believe my creative practice elements give much greater space for JOY.
And JOY changes a person from the inside out. It lifts my spirit and makes me feel whole inside.
When I paint, the process of paintbrush to paper or canvas is an utter delight that exudes JOY. That's why I go back to it daily. Who wouldn't want to do that, some thing that enhances life so faithfully?
When I journal, I listen. I learn. I ask questions and get answers to how to create positive change where I need it most. And that positive change initiates JOY.
And sometimes just thinking about the JOY my creative practice brings gives me JOY!
You know what else gives me joy? Listening to the mocking bird sing. Listening to my grandson sing!
When I look at life through creative eyes, (which I find it difficult NOT to do), JOY is usually very close by ready to lift my spirit and leave me feeling fabulous.
Creativity is a GIFT that keeps on giving and bringing JOY that is full and lovely and oh-so-worth-it!
What brings you JOY? What thing can you do every day that will lift your spirit and make you feel whole? Make a list and then choose something to do right now that will enhance your day. YOU DESERVE IT.
Art Journal Prompt:
Use the word JOY as a prompt, choosing colors that bring you joy. You may want to doodle the definition of JOY and/or doodle what brings you JOY from your journal list. EnJOY!
Copyright 2016 Dawn Herring
I am excited to share with you my contribution to our January/February #JournalChat Live OPEN HOUSE (see link for details!) with our focused topic, Your Journaling: The Greatest Investment.
I will share with you why journaling and art journaling have been 2 of the greatest investments in my life and what these practices have led me to as one of the Greatest Investments in my life, especially in the past five years.
As an avid written journal keeper, I have found numerous benefits in my daily entries as I've discovered more about myself, my life, my world.
But one of the biggest Investments my journaling practice has been for me is in direct connection with my creativity: It has been directly influential in giving me creative clarity and direction (combined with prayer/meditation) toward building my creative practice, which is essentially regularly engaging in journaling, art journaling, doodling, intuitive watercolor painting and other creativity-based activities that keep me connected with my creative flow and light.
Journaling has enabled me to hash out what works for me creatively and what doesn't. I can be honest with myself and determine what I love and what doesn't float my boat.
One of the Greatest Investments I have discovered as a RESULT of my journaling practice has been my Intuitive Watercolor Painting. I decided to start using watercolor 5 years ago when I first began working in a sketchbook/mixed media book to create visuals with paint, image and text, what I now call my Art Journaling practice.
Watercolor and Art Journaling came into my life at the same time and both of those practices have become essential in my creative life. With both activities, I can listen carefully to my intuition and to my heart, which enables me to understand myself better, on a deeper subconscious level, which is incredibly powerful. I have been amazed with what comes out sometimes.
My watercolor painting that I do daily has become a way to play with color and apply it in my own artistic approach, both using the stippling method (essentially, dots of color in layers) as well as other paintbrush applications. This process for me is relaxing, refreshing, revitalizing and FUN. I have found my artistic style using the watercolor medium and that makes me very happy.
Journaling, both written and visual, have been conduits of wisdom, deep understanding, insight, and help with making decisions, including investing time in myself every day, even if it's just 5 minutes.
I highly recommend a written journal keeping practice as well as a visual one to invest time in yourself this year. But one of my greatest wishes is for you to discover what makes you happy and practice it every day. YOU WILL BE GLAD YOU DID.
How has your journaling practice been a wise and beneficial investment in your life? Detail how your life has changed for the better as a result of keeping a written journal.
Also, detail how your journaling practice has led you to the greatest benefit of your life. How did you discover it and how often do you engage in it? How do you feel about it afterwards?
Art Journaling Prompt:
Using the Greatest Investment as a prompt, create an authentic visual that honors what you love about art journaling or another activity that lifts your spirit and leaves you feeling fabulous. What do you love about it so much? Relish the process!
As you can see by the title to this post, I'm starting a new series of doodle/art related posts in association with an Art Journal Challenge I signed up for called Color Me Positive. :) They post a new challenge each week, and our first one had the theme, Gratitude.
As I have already noted, this is an art journal challenge. But I did not choose to use my current art journal as my substrate of choice. No, instead I decided to go the Doodle route and use a page in my art sketchbook where I take notes, make headers for my blog and experiment.
With the challenge having a focus on gratitude, I decided right away that I didn't want to use the word, Gratitude, in my visual. Instead, I came up with a way of expressing gratitude using different terms, so I decided to use: Thank You Very Much.
Once I determined what words I would start with, I then considered what I would include for the items I am thankful for. The three (good number!) I considered and used are: Creativity (but, of course, right?), Love, and Connection with Spirit.
Of course, creativity includes all of my Creative Practice Elements: Art Journaling, Journaling, Doodling, Watercolor Painting, Collage, Walking, Reading, etc. My creative practice has had such a positive impact on my life that I want to encourage every person to build one of their own. It can be simply life-changing. Why? Because it gives you a way to express yourself, go deeper with yourself and understand yourself better. Plus, it's FUN. It's a way to Play. And we ALL need more PLAY in our lives!
The second one is focused on Love, which includes my relationship with my husband, my daughters, and my grandson, as well as others who are dear to me, both relationally and based in quality friendships. Love makes everything more meaningful and purposeful. Love never fails.
The third, yet most important, in my list is my Connection with Spirit. I wouldn't have anything at all without it. And it is the basis for everything I do. It's where my Intuition and Inner Wisdom come from, it's where my creativity finds its greatest strength, and how I keep the LIGHT ON in my life so I can see the next step on my journey.
As far as process goes, I determined I would use wavy lines as my framework, and then I drew in letters for my message, determining spacing and design as I worked my way through. Then I determined what sort of embellishments I would use to create visual interest as well as what colors I would incorporate to help express what I was feeling the most authentic way possible.
I really enjoyed the idea of bright sunshine where my Connection with Spirit was located since this is the Light that shows me the way with every step. The rest of the embellishments are focused on geometrics, with squares and diamonds and circles, molding to the shapes around them. I had a lot of fun with this design creation.
What would be your focus with the words: Thank You Very Much? What top three dimensions of your life would you include if you made such a visual? Why would you choose those elements over others? What do these choices say about what's most important to you?
Art Journal Prompt:
Using the words, Thank You, create a visual spread that incorporates what you valued the most in the past year and why it was priority in your life. Use images and text that show the most heartfelt message that comes to you in this creation to honor your heart and process as you play in your journal.
As I decided to write a blog post for this week of Christmas, the first thing that came to mind was something we may not necessarily see as a gift, since it doesn't come in a box.
No, it resides in the heart. It's called...(drum roll...) Creativity!
And I'm not just talking about art-focused stuff like painting, etc. I'm talking about anything you do that inspires you in some way.
Creativity comes in all shapes and sizes and approaches...and the fun part is discovering what parts you like the most and doing them as much as possible.
You know, when creativity isn't seen as a gift, we sort of either take it for granted or don't bother paying attention to it at all.
And that is so very, very sad.
Why do we ignore it? Because we're too busy. Or we think we are. And I'm not saying we don't all have loads of responsibilities. I know we all do.
But we do have, say, 5 minutes? Take five minutes to do something you've been creatively craving.
So, how about it? Are you going to open up that GIFT of Creativity now that it's been brought to your attention?
Creativity really loves attention, because when you give Creativity its rightful place, it has lots of fun. And it wants YOU to HAVE LOTS OF FUN.
When was the last time you had lots of FUN?
Yea, that's what I thought.
So, five minutes.
GO do something you really love to do. Get lost in it. Forget all sense of time. (That's what happens when you take creativity for a spin.)
Then write about it in your journal. Or tell a friend. Or both. Or write a blog post about it. Or simply relish the moment, again and again.
Oh, and then take it out for another spin...and another. (It really is addicting once you get started; but that's a good thing.)
Now, doesn't that feel better? Now Creativity doesn't feel neglected anymore. And neither do you.
Merry Christmas. Happy Holidays.
Record the last time you did something creative, anything at all that made you happy, inspired, lost all sense of time. How did you feel afterwards? Guilty? Refreshed? Wanted to do it again? Reflect on Creativity as Your Inner Gift.
Art Journal Prompt:
Using a Gift with a bow on it as a visual, give honor to Your Creativity and show using your favorite creative colors why your Creativity means so much to you. Enjoy.
Copyright 2015 by Dawn Herring
Copyright 2015 Header by Dawn Herring
Here is my latest Periscope Refresh with Dawn Herring Broadcast where I talk about the elements of My Creative Practice, which includes journaling, art journaling, doodling, watercolor painting, and walks. And I talk about the importance of doing something you love every single day.
Dawn engages in many roles: As Writer/Blogger and Artist/Creative and Founder of Refresh with Dawn Herring: Where Art and JOY Align, She enjoys sharing from her vast experience as award-winning, life-long artist and leader in the field of written journaling, offering encouragement and proven tips to other journal keepers. Dawn's focus is on written journal keeping, artistic expression and finding your Creative Voice, and positive change that leads personal empowerment, encouraging you to leave your authentic and positive mark in the world. Dawn is a Commercial artist, hand letterer/illustrator and writer/blogger and enjoys sharing insights, humor, and encouragement as she shares from her life experiences as a woman, wife, mother of two grown daughters and as a Grandparent to a special needs grandson. She enjoys keeping a journal and reading spiritual texts to help keep the light on. May JOY Align with Your Creative Heart.