The Themes for Each Month of the 2016 Year of Creative Discovery

Map of monthly blog themesEach month in the 2016 Year of Creative Discovery there will be a theme with prompts & projects for that theme. I thought I’d give you the low down on the year so you know what’s coming up. The list is incomplete for right now – I haven’t got concrete ideas for Oct – Dec yet.

Being creative is actually just being able to problem solve in ways that work for you. With art there is the problem of a blank page and how do I make something that I like. Self awareness comes as we ask ourselves what we really want out of life. For me, my creativity flows so much better now that I am getting clearer on my personal truth. That’s why I’m joining the two together – because it works better together. That is the essence of using art as a therapeutic tool. Art as a tool in your life.

January – Rest, Relax, & Rejuvinate

“A great way to get rid of stress is, every once in a while, do something totally different and unexpected without any prior planning.”
Franklin Gillette, The Secrets of Concentration and Mental Rejuvenation

We will be more successful in all our endeavors if we can let go of the habit of running all the time, and take little pauses to relax and re-center ourselves. And we’ll also have a lot more joy in living.

Projects: A mini retreat
Creative Focus: Collage
Explore: Crafting questions for yourself, what do you want from your retreat, what low grade stress does to your body & soul, putting yourself first (now there’s a sticky concept)
February – How do I love ME, let me count the ways
“Love yourself. Forgive yourself. Be true to yourself. How you treat yourself sets the standard for how others will treat you.”
Steve Maraboli, Unapologetically You: Reflections on Life and the Human Experience
“Our soul is like a soft and gentle flower, it needs to be nurtured, cared for, tended to, with sufficient sunlight, fresh air and freedom to bloom into its most precious and beautiful form. This, my friend, is self-love.”
Miya Yamanouchi, Embrace Your Sexual Self: A Practical Guide for Women
Projects: write a love letter to yourself, artist outing, and personal shrine
Creative focus: Doodling (on your collages)
Explore: Love all your parts, looking inward & seeing the symbols, you are enough
March – Trusting my gut
“I believe in intuitions and inspirations…I sometimes FEEL that I am right. I do not KNOW that I am.”
“Our bodies have five senses: touch, smell, taste, sight, hearing. But not to be overlooked are the senses of our souls: intuition, peace, foresight, trust, empathy. The differences between people lie in their use of these senses; most people don’t know anything about the inner senses while a few people rely on them just as they rely on their physical senses, and in fact probably even more.”
C. JoyBell C.
Projects: Look & feel inside/meditation, body scan
Creative focus: What’s my style
Explore: What bring me energy, your internal compass & intuition
April – The Rules I’ve Lived by – Until now
“You’ll learn, as you get older, that rules are made to be broken. Be bold enough to live life on your terms, and never, ever apologize for it. Go against the grain, refuse to conform, take the road less traveled instead of the well-beaten path. Laugh in the face of adversity, and leap before you look. Dance as though EVERYBODY is watching. March to the beat of your own drummer. And stubbornly refuse to fit in.”
Mandy Hale, The Single Woman: Life, Love, and a Dash of Sass
“The greatest crimes in the world are not committed by people breaking the rules but by people following the rules. It’s people who follow orders that drop bombs and massacre villages.”
Banksy, Wall and Piece
“Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.”
Pablo Picasso
Projects: Mask, Stop Doing List, Journaling Purge
Creative focus: writing
Explore: Negative self talk, people pleasing, my story – the past
May – My Journey
We have stories to tell, stories that provide wisdom about the journey of life. What more have we to give one another than our ‘truth’ about our human adventure as honestly and as openly as we know how?  – Rabbi Saul Rubin

“You take people, you put them on a journey, you give them peril, you find out who they really are.”
Joss Whedon

“All I wanted was to live a life where I could be me, and be okay with that. I had no need for material possessions, money or even close friends with me on my journey. I never understood people very well anyway, and they never seemed to understand me very well either. All I wanted was my art and the chance to be the creator of my own world, my own reality. I wanted the open road and new beginnings every day.”
Charlotte Eriksson, Empty Roads & Broken Bottles; in search for The Great Perhaps

Projects: Maps

Creative Focus: Making Maps

Explore: How your present emotional triggers relate to the past. Be in the present moment but understand where you’ve been.


June – My Passion is:        My Purpose is:

“In the beginning, God created the earth, and he looked upon it in His cosmic loneliness.

And God said, “Let Us make living creatures out of mud, so the mud can see what We have done.” And God created every living creature that now moveth, and one was man. Mud as man alone could speak. God leaned close to mud as man sat up, looked around, and spoke. Man blinked. “What is the purpose of all this?” he asked politely.

“Everything must have a purpose?” asked God.

“Certainly,” said man.

“Then I leave it to you to think of one for all this,” said God.

And He went away.”
Kurt Vonnegut, Cat’s Cradle

“Free yourself from the complexities and drama of your life. Simplify. Look within. Within ourselves we all have the gifts and talents we need to fulfill the purpose we’ve been blessed with.”

“Accept yourself, your strengths, your weaknesses, your truths, and know what tools you have to fulfill your purpose.”
Steve Maraboli, Life, the Truth, and Being Free

Projects: Vision Page

Creative Focus: fold out pages & pockets in your altered book

Explore: Finding your purpose and/or what brings you energy


July – Your Shadow Side

“I embrace my shadow self. Shadows give depth and dimension to my life. I believe in embracing my duality, in learning to let darkness and light, peacefully co-exist, as illumination.”
Jaeda DeWalt

“Every pain, addiction, anguish, longing, depression, anger or fear is an orphaned part of us seeking joy,
some disowned shadow wanting to return to the light and home of ourselves.” ― Jacob Nordby

“Your life will be transformed when you make peace with your shadow. The caterpillar will become a breathtakingly beautiful butterfly. You will no longer have to pretend to be someone you’re not. You will no longer have to prove you’re good enough. When you embrace your shadow you will no longer have to life in fear. Find the gifts of your shadow and you will finally revel in all the glory of your true self. Then you will have the freedom to create the life you have always desired.”  ― Debbie Ford
Projects: TBA
Creative Focus: TBA
Explore: How fear & doubt manifest and not being afraid of your shadow
August – What do I Want to Learn
Get over the idea that only children should spend their time in study. Be a student so long as you still have something to learn, and this will mean all your life. ~Henry L. Doherty
Give me a fruitful error any time, full of seeds, bursting with its own corrections. You can keep your sterile truth for yourself. ~Vilfredo Pareto
The purpose of learning is growth, and our minds, unlike our bodies, can continue growing as we continue to live. ~Mortimer Adler
Projects: Ted Talks and Podcasts
Creative Focus: Stencils
Explore: Lists and goals
September – When Life Throws Us a Curve Ball
There are some things you learn best in calm, and some in storm. ~Willa Cather
“We must embrace pain and burn it as fuel for our journey.” – Kenji Miyazawa

“Obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.” – Michael Jordan

Projects: TBA
Creative Focus: TBA
Explore: TBA
October – Keep Calm
November – Being thankful for who I am
December – Reflection
I will update the themes when I do a little more research or find that there is something our group wants to do.

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