When I close my eyes I see colors, images, stories, dreams, ideas, and memories. Sometimes in a blink they are gone. I am endlessly trying to capture them in a masterpiece. In my minds eye they are vivid and alive. It amazes me how quickly they are gone or how difficult they are to render in an image. These images are persistent. I know that I must keep painting out my heart and my soul or I will dry up in vain if I don’t try. These images they speak to me, they inspire me, they torment me until I can transform them into some form of visual art.

Sometimes I wonder if all artists think this way. Lost in their minds, and unfinished pictures, looking for a visual story that has an ending. My hunch is that highly visual people function this way. They have an innate need to nurture the beauty they see and the images they hold onto. I believe this is why art collectively resonates with all the missing pieces and captures our unfinished stories. Maybe if everyone would strive to put their struggles and successes into the creative expression the world wouldn’t be so broken.

We are all wired to be creative. Some of us just need guidance finding the courage to let our stories free. As an art therapist I help people learn how to play again, with colors, shapes, music, movement; fine tuning their senses and developing mindfulness while they create new narratives. When a persons story is explored through the creative process the art itself provides a powerful outlet and vehicle for change. By allowing oneself to express feelings, unmet needs, symbols, or memories through the arts, one can gain new insights, problem solve, create change, inspire others, find hope, and improve their self view.

When I am in a creative block or struggling to find a way to let my visual stories out I turn to collage. I simply find images in magazines that inspire me or draw me in through symbol, color, shape, or line. I cut or rip them up and paste them in a journal. Through journal writing and the spontaneous act of arranging preformed pictures on a page, I am able to find meaning and gain powerful insights about myself, and my worldview.

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