"What we see depends mainly on what we look for." ~Sir John Lubbock

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Monday, December 19, 2011

Creativity Walk: Partner Mandala Making

Participants writing poem notes
from exchanged word lists.
This past weekend I led creativity walk in the beautiful La Quinta cove. On this particular walk we were blessed by a little desert rain, a rare event perfect for quenching our creative thirst. We began with a word gathering walk, followed by poem notes writing. As the rain started to fall a little heavier, we worked our way back to a shelter where we finished off our partner mandalas.
Inspired by a cooperative time-filler found in Family Fun magazine, I have found partner mandalas to be a great exercise for building creative confidence no matter what your artistic ability.
Two pairs of partner mandalas.

Each artist gets one color marker and a square sheet of paper. 
Partners begin by drawing a circle in the center of their paper, then they swap sheets and add an element to the design (a ring of dots, dashes, zigzag lines, or a more detailed element). Continue swapping and adding elements until your mandala is finished.
During our "hike" I encouraged participants to include natural elements in their mandala designs, drawn directly from our surroundings. Images of tracks, clouds, rain/water, palms, trees, flowers, rocks, lightning, snakes, bones, footprints, etc. emerged. The photos (to theleft and at the bottom of post) are of the partner mandalas created during the hike.
Try these alternatives!
  • Find a area with plenty of natural materials (rocks, leaves, twigs, petals, sand, etc.) and have each partner alternate turns adding a ring using these materials only.
  • Create a color page mandala. Use brown, grey, and/or black markers to create mandala designs you can transform yet again by coloring.
  • Create a family mandala during the holidays or a vacation. Leave a jar of colored pens or pencils along with the ongoing design out where family members can add their own ring related to their experience(s). You can assign each family member a color or let them choose as they go. *Try to keep colors alternating
  • Make a journal madala. During your next vacation, retreat, or as a personal journaling exercise, add a daily ring to your madala design to represent the emotion or experience(s) from each day.
  • Try this partner technique with your children, you might be amazed at what you both come up with, I enjoyed this process with my 5 year old son! We loved the designs we created together.
Partner mandala examples, nature inspired.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Don't Let Fear Get You

The other night I began a video project, using my scanner. I was inspired to do so through an HGTV show where a design client was a scanner artist, scanning various items and tweaking images in some way. It looked fun and I had to try it...and I suggest you give it a try too!

I started scanning my hands and fingertips, getting some cool effects. Then I moved to my face. The images revealed slightly distorted versions of me that came off with a cool, kind of creepy feel. This in turn inspired me to make the video below, using a succession of my scanned self-portraits.

It is a way to encourage fellow creatives like you to recognize your fear demons--let them motivate you, but DO NOT let your fears take you down. We should not put so much energy into our fears that they manifest into big, terrorizing, creativity-bashing monsters keeping us from our creative growth.

This is something we should remember, no matter where our "fear demons" emerge as negative blocks in our lives, creatively or otherwise. Please watch the clip below (1 min:11 sec) and let me know what you think in the comments!