I began my art career as a sculptor, sensing and feeling the life-force energy running through the veins of my pieces as they came to life under my hands. It was an amazing experience! Creating from my senses in this manner lifted me out of my external view of life and drove me deeply into my own experience of life. Old patterns and behavior began to dissolve. It was from this place of “experiencing life through my senses” that I came to know myself, and became clearer about why I am here.
It was also during this time that I became aware that art is a form of biofeedback—meaning that the real paintbrush is my body/mind state. What I am feeling during the time of creation is what is transmitted into the piece of work. If I am clear, and the process transports me to a place of deep inner peace, then the piece will also have the capacity to transport someone else there too. On the other hand, if I am stuck in my head or I am in the midst of my own personal conflict, these emotions will be laid down on the canvas and ultimately impact the viewer. This can take place with activities as simple as scribbling.
Art became my healer, my guide, and my source of clarity and strength. It didn’t matter what my head said, if discord showed up in a sculpture or canvas I knew I had to face it and resolve my inner conflict to create what I saw with my heart. So, in many ways, art or the creative process has kept me honest and current with myself.
When I was growing up my father once told me, “There is only one person you need to care about when it comes to how others feel about you. Make sure you can face that person in the mirror in the morning.” I feel that art or the creative process does that for me.
Art, from my perspective, is not just about creating beautiful things for other people’s walls. Art is a process that allows us to discover the walls that are holding us back and help us find a way out. Art can facilitate self-discovery, realignment, and most importantly, help us reclaim our authentic nature. Through the creative process I have discovered that real joy exists in being myself and sharing my gifts with the world—no more and no less.
It was through my journey of experimentation and creating that I began to understand life in a different and more profound manner. I moved from feeling like a victim into the awareness that we create our life. I moved from being driven by the “shoulds” and “have to’s” I was raised with, into a life that was propelled by my heart and soul.
It is important to remember that you don’t have to be a trained or highly skilled artist to benefit from the creative process. The same thing can be accomplished by something as simple as scribbling. This is because art at its core is a language—a nonverbal form of communication that allows us to express ourselves in an unguarded manner. This alone can be restorative to the system. At the same time, when art is approached in an exploratory manner, not worrying about the outcome, it offers even more. (This is what the ICWIB program is about.) It can be used as a centering tool allowing both children and adults who have either focusing problems or self-control issues to learn how to self-regulate themselves. For individuals who have performance issues, it can be a simple and effective tool that allows them to destress and purposefully move their body and mind out of a fight-or-flight reaction and into the calm, critical-thinking oasis known as the conscious mind. This is where growth-promoting learning and healing takes place.
The creative process can also give both young and old an opportunity to discover the uniqueness of their own mind, and gain a deeper sense of self, which are the real keys to happiness and success.
If you are interested in exploring the creative process as a way to reduce stress, resolve inner conflict, or gain a deeper sense of self, the following I Create What I Believe! (ICWIB) activities are currently available on the website for free (just click the link to access an activity).
Just Scribble, ICWIB Activity One: Version One video
Just Scribble, ICWIB Activity One: Version Two video
Just Scribble, ICWIB Activity One: Version Three video
ICWIB Instructional Guide: Part One
ICWIB Instructional Guide: Part Two
Labyrinth, ICWIB Activity Four
Just Scribble, ICWIB Activity One (text):
Labyrinth, ICWIB Activity Four (text):
If you find the activities helpful and are interested in more, sign up for our FREE ICWIB newsletter: http://icreatewhatibelieve.com/newsletter/
For more information about the I Create What I Believe! Global Classroom:
For more information about teacher training via Skype: