Do you ever have trouble motivating yourself to take the time for creativity? I’ve shared before on the blog that I often struggle with making time for art. That’s one reason that I love signing up for creative workshops and collaborative projects.
Back in June of 2013 I signed up for the Random Acts of Art project with Gretchen Miller and 6 Degrees of Creativity. Turns out so many people wanted to participate that the project has been ongoing for a couple of years…and I finally had my turn!
So what is the Random Acts of Art project? Gretchen put it together after coming across a canvas pouch stenciled with the phrase “Practice Random Acts of Art.” The pouch was filled with an assortment of art materials and mailed to the first participant, who then created artwork, added more materials, and mailed it on to the next person. Participants were also encouraged to give away their artworks in some way. Accompanying the pouch is also a “passport” with pages for each participant to leave their creative stamp.
It was a lot of fun to open the package and explore the materials in the pouch and box. It was also so neat to flip through the beautiful pages of the passport journal – which is actually passport #2 since the first one got filled up – and see all the amazing creativity from other participants around the world. (And bonus fun – my toddler loves getting packages, so he was excited to help me open it up and had a great time sitting on the floor looking through the passport.)
I’m amazed to see all the places that the art pouch has traveled – not just in the U.S. but to other countries as well. It’s fun to have a way to connect to all these other art therapists and creative people around the world. And seeing the artwork of everyone else was very inspiring!
Getting the art pouch was a great excuse and motivation to devote some time over a couple of weekends to creating art. It was also a fun challenge to incorporate the pouch materials that I received into my art pieces. I love working with new things that give me some inspiration and break me out of the artistic ruts that I am susceptible to. Materials in the box and pouch included textured paper, fabric, buttons, rhinestones, wooden cutouts, felt stickers, feathers, embroidery thread, and beads. I ended up using a felt bird sticker, some wooden cutout flowers, a collage word, textured paper, and wooden letters. I also incorporated some of my own paint, markers, paper, yarn, scrapbooking bits, stickers, brads, printed quotes, and wire. (See the Amazon link at the bottom of the post with my materials list.)
I haven’t given away my artwork yet, but plan to release them into the world soon. Like with the Random Acts of Creative Kindness project, I plan to leave my art pieces somewhere in the community (definitely one at my neighborhood park where I spend a lot of time with my little guy). Hopefully they will brighten someone’s day!
Want to experience some of this creative goodness for yourself? Try one (or a few) of these ideas:
Plan an art-making event with friends, counseling colleagues, or other art therapists in which everyone brings different art materials to contribute.
Collect a box of interesting collage material, bits and pieces, buttons, scraps, quote cards, scrapbooking extras, etc. Pull out a few items for inspiration and develop a piece from there.
Organize your own art materials swap and traveling art box with friends.
Create your own “random acts of art” by creating small art pieces and giving them away or leaving them somewhere to be discovered by others.
Want to see more creativity from the Random Acts of Art project? Check out the links below:
6 Degrees of Creativity: https://6degreesofcreativity.wordpress.com/tag/random-acts-of-art/
Creativity in Motion (Gretchen Miller): https://gretchenmiller.wordpress.com/?s=random+acts+of+art
I’d love to hear from you in the Comments below! How do you keep yourself motivated and inspired to make art? Have you participated in collaborative art projects?
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Carolyn Mehlomakulu is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Registered Art Therapist in Austin, Texas who works with children, teens, and families. For more information about individual therapy, adolescent and child counseling, family therapy, teen group therapy, and art therapy services, please visit: www.therapywithcarolyn.com.
This blog is not intended to diagnose or treat any mental health conditions. All directives, interventions, and ideas should be used by qualified individuals within the appropriate bounds of their education, training, and scope of practice. Information presented in this blog does not replace professional training in mental health, psychotherapy, counseling, art therapy, or play therapy.
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