Fall In Love With Stick Figures Again

This week was long, tiring, and freakin’ awesome.

I’m so amazed at the changes taking place in my life right now. I wanted to end the week by sharing with you this week’s artistic accomplishment, and also share a little bit about my life changing, soul fulfilling events.

To begin I want you to think about stick figures. Yes, the round headed, lines for body doodle. Remember drawing him in elementary schools or the occasional Hangman game?   Well, take everything you remember about it and throw it out the window. Really, this is going to blow your mind, and possibly get you addicted to drawing stick figures.

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This week’s Lifebook lesson was taught by the amazing Mandy van Goeije, a Dutch illustrator, artist, and teacher. She introduced us to a brand new spin on stick figure drawing. So whether you can draw or not, you will be able to create this simple doodle. The surprising part of doing so is the therapeutic message these little stick figures can add to your life. Mandy encouraged us to add as little detail as possible while creating a small storyboard consisting of two or three frames. In each frame, stick figures would depict our story, message, ideas, anything really. At first I thought “Hmm..really? How can I tell a story with so little detail?” Well, you can, and it turns out that letting stick figures depict your story is much more powerful than filling a whole page with words or painting a masterpiece. Below are some examples of my stick figures.

16195630_10155000430091323_3536615251610619902_nDrawing them made me feel like a five year old again….and for all the right reasons. You see, you NEED to approach art with a child-like innocence to express your true, raw, meaningful stories. When we grow up we have to become “responsible”, “sensible”, “wise”…and we tend to lose our child-like imagination. Art doesn’t work well with stern, methodical approaches. It yearns to be free, simple even, always expecting nothing but your true self.  When I connected with my fellow artists and we exchanged our stick figure stories, we saw how this process unlocked so many emotions.  Some expressed and processed grief in their drawings; others expressed gratitude; everything was simple, raw, and yet incredibly powerful.

I was so inspired by this process that I created a journal where I can add all of my stick figure stories, short frames telling about my feelings, my day, and my dreams.  And yes, even the silly and mundane moments, because they all matter and they add up to this thing we call life.

So why don’t you give these little figures a chance to enter your own life?  But I must warn you…they’re highly addicting.  You may find yourself drawing dozens and dozens of storyboards, stick figures becoming what words can’t express and the neatest companion you ever had.  Please share your stick figure storyboards with me, I would love to see what they have to say 🙂

And finally, I must say I’m so incredibly thankful for the events unfolding in my life right now.  I recently joined Devorah Spilman’s InStory group, where I have a mentorship for my creative visions, purpose in life, and soul calling.  Being mentored and supported by people who get me is an unbelievable feeling.   I have so many projects ahead and for the first time in a long time, I am confident in all of them, knowing that they’ll enrich my life, connections, and soul in so many ways.

And…..to add more sparkle to my life, I have also signed up for Over The Rainbow, Jane Davenport’s newest 8 week long art course, where I’ll be making Emerald City come to life, with all its darling (and some a little evil) characters.  I’m so excited.  Join me on this adventure, connect with me and other artists, and find your tribe.

 

Till next time, love yourself and others, honor the calling, and create like a child. XO

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2017: Hopes, Dreams, and Art

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2017 is here and like many of you I’ve been doing a lot of thinking. What did 2016 bring me and what am I happy to leave behind? There hasn’t been an awful lot of chaos in my 2016, but many things came to surface in regards to my health, spiritual, and self care needs. Although some of those factors were incredibly challenging, they also opened a door for healing and improvement.

I’ve never been a fan of new year resolutions. They always added pressure and stress, not to mention a fear of failing even before starting. Instead, I’ve always preferred to leave behind the hurt and the difficulties of the year before, keeping an open mind and a hopeful attitude for the year to come.

This year, I’ve done the same, except I went the extra mile and signed up for something so amazing, so inspiring, and so stinkin’ colorful that I giggle when thinking about it.

LifeBook is something I stumbled on by accident. I’ve always been a fan of mixed media and whimsical art, dabbling with my own versions of it here and there. I happened to watch a video from one of my favorite mixed media artists, Leilani Joy . She shared some exciting news about Lifebook 2017, another year long program starting in 2017. Lifebook’s aim was to heal hurts, grow in may areas of your life, explore and honor yourself, while finding harmony and peace within the world. The program would be hosted by its creator, Tamara Laporte  on Willowing , with a mix of guest instructors, each bringing you different mixed media lessons to enrich your skills and take you on a personal journey.

Because this seemed like a sign from above, I decided to check out Lifebook and realized that this awesome idea has been enriching artists for quite a few years. I signed up immediately and could barely wait for the year to end so I could begin the program. And here we are, on January 4th, and I’ve already completed my first art assignment.

“Star Girl: A Journey with Light”, represents my hopes and dreams for 2017. I have left behind anything from 2016 that doesn’t serve me anymore, yet honoring each and everyone of them, as it taught me something valuable. My star girl is the first attempt at Lifebook, which by the end of the year will be bound in a journal. The process of creating her was extremely therapeutic and endearing. Most lessons are accompanied by a meditation exercise, in which Tamara gently guides you into your subconscious. It is uplifting and insightful to look into myself and wonder what exactly I am looking for this year.

img_4117So here she is, my star girl, leaving behind fears, anxiety, judgment, over thinking, and self doubt. In her basket she carries her hopes and dreams for the year ahead. She wants to create, take care of her self, believe in the magic of living in the moment.

As the year progresses and I continue to embark on an artistic and self discovery journey through Lifebook, I will update you on my progress and discoveries.

I won’t ask you to make a new year resolution, but I do ask you this:

Are you ready to embark on your own journey, aiming to discover your inner worth, the best version of yourself, and the beauty and talent you can offer the world?

What are your hopes and dreams for 2017?

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