Here is the audio version of my book review for Creative Revolution by Flora Bowley.
Dawn's Great Reads: Creative Revolution by Flora Bowley
I discovered Flora Bowley through her first book, Brave Intuitive Painting, which I adored. Being an intuitive watercolor painter, I was immediately drawn to Flora's approach to painting and also to life.
So, when I heard that she had a new book out, Creative Revolution, I decided to check it out and see what else she had to share about this intuitive painting process and intuitive life in general.
And I am so glad I did!
Flora's zest for an authentic creative life is very inspiring to begin with. And her intuitive painting process really resonates with me as an artist. So I thought I would share my thoughts with you concerning her book, Creative Revolution, which I thoroughly enjoyed reading and digesting.
Flora breaks the book down into three parts reflecting the dimensions of life concerning mind, body, and spirit and how each of those dimensions directly impacts the creative process and the creative life.
She shares insightful parts of her own creative story, and she generously shows her painting process from start to finish.
She has provided many insightful and eye opening exercises to help you get in a better frame of mind as you ready yourself for the creative process.
She addresses the mind, the body and the spirit and shows how they complement each other and how they influence each other in a very positive way. And she also explains the importance of paying attention to each of those dimensions and addresses issues that you may find yourself facing that create challenges for your creative process.
I find her unique approach to the actual painting of the canvas to be interesting, fun, and eye-opening. Her primary medium is acrylic paint which makes the layering process very spontaneous and has ease of use. It's amazing to see how complex and dynamic her paintings develop through this many layered process.
I also like the fact that she turns the painting in order to provide a fresh perspective on what's already there on the canvas. It can help with the problem of painting yourself into a box!
As an intuitive watercolor painter, I am more deeply experiencing a new approach with gouache, and since it has a more opaque application versus transparent watercolor, it would be interesting and fun to try this layering process with gouache and see where it might lead!
I highly recommend this book due to Flora's deep insight into the creative process with mind, body and spirit.
I'm sure that it will encourage you, inspire you, and give you some new ideas to run with in your creative process. Flora also includes many images from her live workshops and from her personal painting practice, which is beautifully done.
What brave step are you eager to take in your creative practice to enhance your every day life? What does that look like for you? Detail this in a journal entry and determine what small step you can take that will open up new pathways for you.
Art journaling/Doodle prompt:
Using images that inspire your creative mind and heart or/and using brave as a word prompt, create an journal spread or doodle that showcases your dreams in your creative life.
Copyright 2017 Dawn Herring
Copyright 2017 Book review Header by Dawn Herring
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Hello dear Refresh Daily friends! This is my first post of 2017 after the relaunch of my new website.
Today I did my first Facebook Live video (after working with Periscope late 2015 and early 2016.) What is Creatively Inspiring You and Me? was our topic and we had a wonderful time sharing on both sides! I talk several times about our new Private Facebook Group, Your Path to Joy, plus other specific things that I've been excited about in my creative life.
The original video in it's entirety can be viewed on my Facebook profile as well.
I hope you get inspired to initiate more JOY in your life as a result of tuning in.
What is creatively inspiring you right now? Has this been repeated or is it something new? Write an entry to whatever it is, telling it what you love about it and why you want to do it again.
Art Journaling/Doodling prompt:
Use Creative Inspiration as your word prompt for an art journal spread or doodle the name of what is creatively inspiring you right now using the colors that bring you the most joy!
May JOY Find You in the Most Unexpected Places!
Copyright 2017 Dawn Herring
We have arrived at the end of yet another year. It's amazing to me how quickly 2016 has flown by. And the dimensions of my life are just as interesting and fascinating and challenging as they ever were. And it's that time of year to share with you some of what I have experienced so I can share my gratitude, my perspective and my refreshment, of course!
So, where shall I begin?
With Journaling, of course. Journaling continues to be a mainstay in my life, with am and pm entries and visual doodling, some of which I have shared with you here at Refresh Daily. My favorite techniques have been doing mind maps, dialogue (which I talk about here), list making and some stream of consciousness (where you just write whatever comes to mind without much concern if it makes sense.)
Most of my journaling has taken place in my personal journal, and some of it has been in a separate sketchbook which you can read about the beginnings of here. In this separate sketchbook, I've mainly focused on mind maps, list making, creating doodle headers for this blog, Refresh Daily, and making creative future plans.
I also discovered a book this year, The Creative License, by Danny Gregory, which actually gave me the nudge I needed to actually draw like I had planned to do in my initial sketchbook in a way that was more for drawing/studying objects and places with pen and watercolor. I share a book review with several sketches here. I'm so pleased to have found just the right resource to get me headed in this direction.
In continuing the #JournalChat tradition, I decided to create an ongoing #JournalChat OPEN HOUSE with the evergreen topic, Your Journaling: The Greatest Relevance. Here is my final 2016 contribution, Making Conversation. I also wrote one earlier this year titled, Creative Clarity. If you desire to make your Journaling Voice Heard, here are the refreshing guidelines. Also, if you'd like to join our #JournalChat Live Facebook Group, here's the link.
In other New News, I added an Instagram account to my social media and have enjoyed sharing images and video clips to share with you. I'm RefreshwithDawnHerring on IG if you'd like to follow me there.
I also added a new Your Life Refreshed! Private Facebook Group for folks to share, ask questions and give encouragement to others seeking to increase JOY and REFRESHMENT in their daily lives.
For the Art Side of things with my Creative Practice, I made two custom rubber stamps, one with my first name signature and one with my Dawn Herring Collection initials. I found creating rubber stamps a lot of hard work even with the right tools, so I haven't continued making more. I also made several of my own stencils, but again, I found it to be too much work. It's all about experimenting and seeing what you enjoy.
I also expanded the size of my intuitive watercolor paintings. I've done as small as 5x8 inch and actually went up to 24 x 30 inch, but my favorite size seems to be 18 x 24, which for me is not too big or too small. I tried a new brand of watercolor paper that was recommended to me, Fabriano, but I think I still prefer Strathmore for its durability with lifting and scrubbing off paint.
I also tried my hand at combining watercolor and gouache. The painting titled, Transition, is the result, in a 5 x 8 size. I also added another mixed media canvas with hand lettering titled, Glimpses. (You can view these below from the links provided.)
I also tried using gesso on both canvas and watercolor paper which I have found keeps the colors more vibrant. I still enjoy creating layers of paint with my intuitive watercolor paintings. You can view a sampling at the Dawn Herring Collection Art Gallery.
I've also added a new page to my website that focuses on my Doodle Designs and Hand Lettering which you can view here.
Earlier this year, I dove into a Fashion Illustration and Design Course with my teacher and good friend, Laura Volpintesta. I have enjoyed learning how to build the body through form and create my own designs.
As an artist, doodler and hand letterer, I have enjoyed listening to and reading many podcasts/interviews from Jamie Ridler to Meighan O'Toole to Lisa Congdon and Danny Gregory; they have all inspired me and given me encouragment in my artistic pursuits.
A special thanks to Jamie Ridler of Jamie Ridler Studios, for featuring my Creative Living Tip in one of her podcasts this year!
I also want to thank YOU, Dear Reader/Subscriber, for taking the time to read Refresh Daily blog posts and leave comments and feedback on topics I have covered and insights I have shared along the way in 2016. You continue to inspire me as I engage in my Creative Practice elements of journaling, mixed media, watercolor painting, doodling, drawing and hand lettering. I also continue to enjoy staying connected to Spirit through prayer, study and meditation.
I trust that 2016 has been a year of inspiration and refreshment for you in Your Creative Practice. I'd love to hear how what I have shared here at Refresh Daily has inspired you in your creative journey. You can contact me direct at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I wish you the very best 2017 where you find JOY and REFRESHMENT every day!
Journaling Prompt: Record three things you enjoyed most in 2016, especially ones that have had the most impact concerning creating positive change in your life.
Art Journaling Prompt: Using the word, REVIEW, or 2016, use an image that has had the most profound influence on how you see yourself now versus at the beginnig of the year. Doodle how you appreciate who you have become. You can also use this prompt as a starter for a mind map, recording any association you have with 2016. This can be a great way to review your year. You may be surprised as to what you remember. Have fun!
As the creator of a 21 Day Refresh Intensive Course, I wanted to get a Fresh Perspective on the course content and decided to engage with it once again. One of the things I appreciate about Refresh Intensive is the fact that it's evergreen, so it never grows old. We change every day, so each time we engage with questions we can answer or an activity that can show us something about ourselves, we can learn something new and profound.
I wasn't disappointed! I was quite amazed with the discoveries I made throughout the course; it really did reveal things to me I was unaware of and it also clarified and affirmed some things I've experienced before.
I don't mean to make this post an info-mercial for my course. My purpose is to simply share with you how I benefited from the journaling and other activities I engaged in and why I think it was a good investment of my time.
First, I determined to do each day's Journaling either before or after my usual personal journaling since it seemed to fit and resonate with that time the best. I was fresh and ready to dig in at that time, so I could get the most out of it.
One of the things I really love about each day's content/engagement are the options for further reflection and activity, such as art journal prompts, poetry ideas and more, and I felt like I could just run with something that really resonated and not feel obligated to do something that didn't interest me.
I think the use of COLOR was the most FUN element in whatever context it was contained in. I found the music topic to be revealing and even profound as I worked through the questions.
I think really focusing on my preferences and why I loved what I was drawn to so much helped me appreciate my own personality on a deeper level because of what I learned about myself in the process.
I've shared an image of items I found during two of my "Field Trips" I did for those portions of the course.
I had a great time following the directions and questions about my Field Trip experiences and what they had to teach me on a deeper level. I was surprised by how much I learned from these activities.
Journaling is a powerful tool that I use daily, and yet, engaging in the journaling exercises in this course showed me things I might not have otherwise discovered if I hadn't worked through those specific processes. I answered the questions as honestly as I could and I think that really initiated a more profound and enlightening "opening up" to Who I Am in the process.
Each activity truly gave me food for thought. And as I looked back on each one during my Wrap Up time, I was freshly appreciative of what I learned and look forward to going even deeper in the days ahead.
There are suggested ways to extend each activity, if it especially resonated with you. I found this especially helpful in the EMOTION days and the DECISION MAKING activities.
Of course, COLOR is a part of my daily life as a watercolor painter, so using it in a fresh context really made it fun and insightful and revealing into deeper dimensions of Who I Am.
I really look forward to more insights, reveals and fun fabulousness as I engage once again with a Refresh Intensive, with the purpose of always Activating My Intuition, Honoring My Preferences and Listening to my Life Messages. I always want to know what my Life has to say to me!
Creating Awareness and Appreciating Myself For Who I Am are key elements to Refresh Intensive, not to mention being personally empowered by recognizing things that I didn't realize before where positive change can be initiated toward a more refreshed life.
What specific choice can you make for yourself right now that will create more awareness of your preferences? How can you celebrate specific elements of your personality? What there something you did today especially that you can celebrate as a direct result of a choice you made today to honor your preferences?
Art Journal Prompt:
Create an art journal spread to show appreciate for a specific aspect of your personality that you don't normally like to pay attention to and give it homage. Do this from the heart without hesitation.
You're welcome to check out my 21 Day Refresh Intensive Course to see how it might benefit you.
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 had so much fun with this art journal spread, Bloom. I started the process by putting on my finger cuffs and finger painting with blues (unusual for me), purples and reds. I love doing finger painting because it gives me a very visceral experience with body to art which is highly enjoyable, dare I say, even blissful!
Once I had the finger painting part down, I decided to use some flower stencils to highlight various parts. Some I did removing the paint leaving it white for contrast. Others I used blue and red, sometimes layered over each other in different sizes. It was fun to determine where to put the flowers and where to layer them.
Once I had those down, I added bits of watercolor to add more definition where I felt it would be appropriate. I also highlighted the flowers with white Uniball pen and with red pen as well. I highlighted some of the finger prints with the white pen to give them more pop. I painted in a wash of red for a background color and I drew a red pen line all around the circumference of the fingerprinted area.
I decided to call the spread, BLOOM, since flowers were featured. So I cut out letters from colored construction paper to spell, Bloom, very organically. I did not use a stencil for the letters. I adhered them with matte medium, then I highlighted them with white Uniball pen and some purple oil pastel, and then outlined the letters on the background with white pen.
For the final application, I decided to write my insight from this spread in white pen which reads: Life happens in layers. Sometimes it's hard to see them all. It takes some excavating to discover the beauty within but it's there if you take the time to discover what lies beneath, and when you do, you will see that you're always in bloom.
Sometimes it may be hard to imagine when you don't feel like you're blooming, but I think that's where faith and trust in the process comes in. We are all beautiful inside; we just have to find that beauty, and it may come in ways we least expect. But when it comes, we KNOW. And it's a beautiful thing.
Describe a recent time when you really felt like you were blooming. What was the situation or occasion that prompted you feeling that way? Now describe a time when you felt like you weren't blooming. What did that feel like for you? What was the trigger of not feeling it? Now determine if this trigger came from within and if it's based in truth or a misconception of some kind. See what TRUTH you can reveal about yourself through this new understanding.
Art Journal Prompt:
Using Flowers as an image or using Bloom as a word prompt, do an art journal spread to honor the beauty within you. What makes you feel beautiful? You can commemorate a most recent experience that made you feel fully flowered. Recognize the beauty, whether it's obvious or not.
I want to ask you a question now that we're already in the month of February in this delightful year of 2016. Are you investing at least 5 minutes of time in yourself? How is that going?
I've been doing Live Periscope broadcasts and one of the issues I've been addressing is taking just 5 minutes daily to invest in yourself and do something that lifts your spirit and makes you feel fabulous!
Then someone said to me, but you can't really get anything done in five minutes. That can sound like a true fact. But, I am on a mission to show YOU that you can refresh yourself in five minutes. And, what I've recognized, is that, some activities don't require physical exertion on your part. We're talking relaxation and enjoyment on tap.
Are you puzzled? Wonder, what is this all about? Well, here are a few ideas!
I thought about different ways I refresh myself that don't take very much time but really refresh and inspire me. So, here is my list (and I'm sure I'll be adding more as I continue to experience refreshment and may not even be actively looking for it! That can happen, you know. What you focus on grows!).
Call these my Five Minute Refresh ideas.
My ways to refresh:
bird watching and listening (one of my favorites!)
squirrel watching right outside my window (super cute!)
watching a vocal audition (I see these linked on Yahoo or in YouTube emails or in my FB feed) (totally inspiring most of the time)
listening to a great song on my Spotify list
talking to my grandson
watching some Periscope broadcasts (some are short enough) (inspiring or informative or both)
reading a magazine article
doodling (although most of my doodles take longer than five minutes but you can doodle something in five minutes, right?)
adding one element to an art journal spread
adding another watercolor layer to an area of a watercolor painting
choosing an outfit that makes me feel fabulous
Quite the list, huh? I'm sure if you really give it some thought, you could come up with things you love you can do in five minutes and you might not even realize what you are already doing (and what you want more of!).
Of course, the goal is the find something simple that refreshes you that is easy to incorporate into your daily experience and expand on it...in whatever way suits you.
Once you get started, you'll be amazed how to how easy it is to get refreshed and no longer have any excuse not to...or have any guilt with it whatsoever. And It's all good!!
Take five minutes and enjoy...to the full!
PS. I am looking for 5 Minute Refresh Ideas from you, my dear readers! You can either leave a comment below with what you do to refresh in 5 minutes or email me direct at email@example.com. I plan to share these ideas on a Live Periscope broadcast in the near future, giving YOU a shout out! Do join me at @DawnHerring on Periscope and be a part of the refreshing fun!
Write a list of things you already do or that you want to do that only takes five minutes. You can choose to categorize them to get even more ideas. You can also do a mind map to expand your ideas and see what comes up naturally. Then go do one! :)
Art Journal Prompt:
Take one or two 5 minute refresh ideas and create a visual to showcases how they refresh you and why you enjoy these activities so much. Honor your value and your desire to refresh yourself and love yourself from the inside out.
I've been wanting to share with you something I've been experiencing in my creative practice that has given me some serious food for thought.
My Creative Practice consists of journaling, art journaling, doodling, intuitive watercolor painting, walks, and reading inspiring books as well as a deep spiritual practice that directly impacts all the other elements.
I've been keeping an art journal for five years (since 2011). I started with collage elements and watercolor, moved into stamping and a bit of stenciling, a dabble in transfers, then mostly just layering with watercolor and bit of collage to create fun, vibrant pages that speak directly to my heart.
In January of 2014, I started doodling a word or phrase that summarized my day in my evening journal entry and in November of that year, I started filling my doodles with watercolor markers.
I'm still trying to determine a shift I have felt in the frequency of my art journal time versus my daily doodling. I've tried to figure out if the energy I put in to my night doodles is "taking away" from my time at my art journal table.
I have noticed that my art journal spreads have been taking a lot longer to come together. Sometimes I'm simply not sure what the next step is or I don't have the energy/time to sit and do. I do still love to art journal, but I have noted this change in the frequency of my spreads. But another thought also occurred to me that the change I'm noticing in my art journal practice may simply be a reflection of how I am Processing what I am learning As I Create and that's why I'm not doing it as quickly. Some of my spreads have taken 3-6 weeks to complete, which has really surprised me. I still find my art journaling practice enjoyable and a great way to listen to my heart, so that's not the issue. But why the spread in time frames and lack of frequency?
So that's why I started looking at my daily doodle in the evening and how I've been making that a priority rather than my art journal practice being in its usual prominent space.
I have wondered and pondered about this for the past several months, have journaled about my thoughts on this matter, and thought I would share was seems like an apparent shift taking place in my creative practice.
So, it has given me some food for thought about the possible Shifts that can take place in our creative practice without our even realizing it at first. And how we might respond to such changes. Do we question it? Do we wonder, is this not working for me as well as it used to? Am I overloading myself? Expecting too much of myself? What's the deal?
Yes, I have asked all of these questions. And I think I've determined that it doesn't really matter how frequently I do any of my creative practices. (Although I did create a goal to paint with watercolor daily.) As long as I'm honoring Who I Am creatively every day, I'd doing good. As long as I'm listening to my heart, I'm on the right track.
These shifts may even reflect changes deep down on the inside of us, in the core of our being, showing us how we are growing and what is working for us. And that IT'S OKAY to let something we've been doing for a while not be as prominent as it once was while something else we are enjoying takes more center stage.
It's funny: I actually thought about my art journaling and my doodling competing with each other and vying for my attention. So, I suppose that's why it was sort of bothering me once I saw the change taking place. But, again, I realized, IT'S OKAY.
Our creative practice will have shifts that we create simply by following what interests us the most and what is speaking to our heart Right Now. And as we go deeper with what we are experiencing as we activate our creative center, we will notice growth and change naturally.
So, if you experience a shift in how you choose to be creative, simply see it as a reflection of Who You Are right now and just enjoy every minute of creating.
Have you ever experienced a creative shift and saw yourself doing less of one thing and more of another? How did that shift feel to you? Did it disturb or were you simply delighted with how you were spending your time? Why do you think this change took place, and were you happy with the shift?
Art Journal Prompt:
Using the words, Creative Shift, create a visual that shows any changes you have experienced in your creative practice and honor those stages to show what they have meant to you over time. You can also make a spread that showcases your favorite creative practice element right now and why you love it so much.
Copyright 2016 by Dawn Herring
Copyright 2016 Header by 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!
Here is my recent Refresh Daily Periscope Broadcast where I share 2 Reasons to Invest Time in Yourself in 2016, plus I discuss the #JournalChat Live OPEN HOUSE invite and then I give a Close Up View of my Intuitive Watercolor Painting, Flourish. Due to the video being based in Periscope, there are spots throughout where what I'm saying is cut out and it skips, but the message is still there! Enjoy.
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.