As I sat at my art space ready to work in my art journal I suddenly felt very uninspired. Usually the process of creating a spontaneous image happens pretty smoothly, so I felt a bit stumped. I decided to go with one of my favourite "jump start your creativity" exercise and I reached into my collage bin with just words in it and blindly picked out my inspiration..."grow". From that one word I would now create a picture. I have to admit I was a bit relieved to get this one since I have quite a collection of words in that bin and I know some would be difficult to conjure up an image from. But "grow" had me coming up with ideas right away. I am grateful I can lure my creativity out with simple actions and invite it to come sit with me awhile and be in the moment. In the end when I reflect on this image I know that it is the action of creating that is encouraging me to grow and this is what I plan on continuing to nurture.
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Monday, March 26, 2012
My favourite way to create in my art journal is to just sit down and start. I try to let the art material chose me. I usually am drawn to one more than another and I try not to question it. Then I begin. I have no idea what I'm creating, I just let it happen. I try to not think about the image too much and really I try not to think of anything too much. Before I know it something has taken shape and I sense when the image is "done". It is then that I reflect.
With this image I thought of layers, which lead me to think of my internal emotional layers. I see them as fluid, ever moving, allowing different things to come up at different times. Some are more dormant and may require less attention, while others seem to come up more often encouraging me to take a closer look.
With my art journal it is about the process. It's letting myself be creative without judgment. It is a time that I set aside just for me to self-reflect and learn.
Friday, March 23, 2012
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
I spontaneously started creating this drawing tonight and when I began I was honestly thinking of my "to-do" list (not very inspiring I know). Every little "burst" I was creating was reminding me of things that need my attention and I've been feeling a bit pulled in different directions and unsure as to where to start. But as I kept working on the piece it shifted and changed into something else. I quickly saw the "bursts" as flowers and as a whole, they then create a garden. My "to-do" list transformed into a great metaphor. As in a garden, each one needs care and attention to thrive and for me to reap the benefits. I feel my list is a bit less daunting now somehow...and my image ended up very fitting for the first day of Spring!
Sunday, March 18, 2012
Thursday, March 15, 2012
My own personal creative space currently consists of a corner of my children's play room. It is a space I can quickly make my own but when I am not using it, it usually quickly gets reclaimed as a play area. Today I had "Mr. Helicopter" watching over me as I sketched and my feet gently resting on a few abandoned Cheerios...life is good!
Project by the Art Therapy Alliance
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
The Art Therapy Alliance has a fantastic project going on called "Art Therapy Alliance on the Go" and I recently received my Favicard in the mail and worked on my submission...here it is :)
My name is Nicole Levesque and I am an Art Therapist in Okotoks Alberta, Canada.
I remember vividly the moment I decided I wanted to pursue Art Therapy as a career. I had always been interested in art since early childhood. I studied art throughout school and then at college and university. While I was taking an early art education course I had to do an assignment with a girl who was 5 years old. The assignment was for her to draw a picture for me, spontaneously, while I watched, and then determine if her drawing fit her developmental level for art making. I was immediately captivated by how much detail she had in her image. She spoke to me the entire time she drew...telling me what each part was. There was one area of her image that she created much differently and she didn't tell me about it while she drew. I gently asked her about it and she told me it was a dog but that she didn't want to talk about it. I accepted that and thanked her for doing her drawing for me. Her mother asked to see the image after we were done and I explained to her what her child had told me while creating it. I told her about the "dog" image and that her daughter had created it so much differently that then rest of her image and that I thought that was interesting. Her mother then informed me that her daughter had been cornered by a dog a few days earlier and had been very frightened by the event. I remember the feeling of being so amazed at how much the girl had communicated in her drawing without having to say a word. That evening I researched my options for studying Art Therapy and once I received my BFA from the University of Victoria in British Columbia, I continued my education at the Vancouver Art Therapy Institute.
I have since worked with children, at risk youth, adults and seniors in such settings as schools, hospitals, homes and resource centers. Collage is the medium I have seen the most interesting works created by my clients and I use it often myself in my own creations for self-reflection. I have recently started a blog (innerexpressionsarttherapy.blogspot.com) where I share some of my art and thoughts.
It was when I started my blog that I came across the Art Therapy Alliance. I was immediately excited at how much was being shared by other Art Therapists over the internet. I felt an amazing sense of being connected. I also follow the Alliance on Linked In, Facebook and Twitter and I often share their information with my audience in hopes of educating others about my profession as well as encouraging others to live their lives creatively. I believe that the images we make, when explored, offer a wealth of insight about ourselves and it is my hope to continue to encourage others to trust this process and see what they find.
Sunday, March 11, 2012
She is free, having fun,
looking straight ahead, not worried about what is below.
She is talented, confident,
unique in her approach to her obstacles and challenges.
She is creative, smart,
full of spirit and spunk as she strides forward.
She is not far...
She is in me.
Saturday, March 10, 2012
I've come to realize that if I am going to keep the commitment to myself to do something creative everyday, that I am likely going to have to share my creative space. I have two young boys and when the youngest is napping is a great time for me to get creative. My oldest is encouraged to find some "quiet time" activities to do on his own during this time, but he usually migrates over to my space and asks if he can join in. Part of me wishes I could just get into my own little bubble and not be interrupted with questions about what I am doing, why is the glue stick not coming out, why am I using the black pen that way and when am I going to be done. But in the end I am usually able to create something despite the barrage of questions and really being flexible with how that happens is still letting me meet my needs of making art. Besides, it is allowing him to explore his creative side too. It also lets me be very grateful for the times I can create on my own and use that black pen any way I want :)
Friday, March 9, 2012
Tuesday, March 6, 2012
Monday, March 5, 2012
Sunday, March 4, 2012
Friday, March 2, 2012
Thursday, March 1, 2012
"In order for you to feel more free with your creative work, what do you most need?" a question asked by Awaken Creatvity, a site I follow on Facebook. At the time I was in my local library at a work station with my laptop in tow. I had booked this day as a "work day" to allow myself to focus on my new adventure of being an entrepreneur. I have two small boys at home and finding time to focus on myself, my new business and my creative side gets the back burner most days to say the least. Turns out when I pondered the question above, what I determined I need is a quiet space. I need to be able to get into my bubble and get lost in the moment of being creative. I know I've had a good productive/creative day when I look at a clock or out a nearby window and I am surprised by how much time has gone by or how much the sun has changed position in the sky. An experience that happened to me today! So...what is it that you most need to feel more free with your creative work?