More Art Therapy

About 6 weeks ago while doing some research I came across this website: Shelly Klammer -Expressive Art Inspirations. I immediately thought, “This is so cool, where have you been all my life?” Shelly is an Expressive Art Facilitator who guides people through therapeutic art processes to process their emotions. She sells e-courses (very reasonably priced) but she also has some free courses and resources.

Recently I’ve been following the weekly intuitive collage prompts from her free Year of Intuitive Collage program. I’ve learned a lot about myself and my relationship to imagery and thought processes by following her posts and prompts.

Week 50 – Jubilant

Now I understand why art is good for the soul. I’ve always been creative and have enjoyed a wide variety of arts and crafts throughout my life, but Shelly’s work teaching expressive art has given me a greater appreciation for the value of the creative process. It’s given me a broader and deeper reason to express myself creatively.

I’ve often struggled with the question: “What’s the point if you can’t sell it?” Not that I specifically wanted to create things to sell, but more that I gave up doing art and crafts because I felt I needed to focus on work that would support my family. Now I realize that was an idea that someone planted in my mind when I was very young. “You can’t make money doing art, and you have to make money to survive in this world.” Survive I have done; but at what cost? I didn’t need to sacrifice my creative aspirations to survive, I just needed to separate the purpose of my creativity from the need to earn a living.

Week 49 – Liberated

Being creative in any form is a birthright. Some people make money through their art form and others do it for the joy of it; a life enhancing activity. My husband was an art teacher and most of his older students were doing it as a hobby. He was earning an income through his art, and I was floundering in between. Although many of my jobs had some creative aspects to them and I enjoyed that, giving myself permission to pursue art for the pleasure of the process was not something I knew how to do. My options were blocked because of that survival mentality.

Through Zentangle my mind began to open to the idea that the process of doing any form of art was valuable for me. It was comforting, healing and made me happy. Now I’m trying to go deeper, beyond the fear of not being good enough to the realm of pure exploration. Reading Shelly’s blog and doing some of her courses is revealing many life lessons, allowing me to get more in touch with my authentic self.

Have you had a similar experience – put art aside to pursue a more lucrative career? Leave your comments below.

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