Monday, April 21, 2014

Fun Monday Challenge #47 - 5:57 Min. storytelling experiment with Paul Zak

"Anything can happen" collage by Lani textures by FlyPaper.
This fun challenge is based on Dr. Paul Zak's storytelling, cortisol and oxytocin.  In an amazingly short period of time, Zak takes us through a story which raises both cortisol and oxytocin and explains his research into how vital it is for humanity to share stories.

He tells an emotionally charged, very short, touching story and offers a simple yet remarkable case study in how our brains respond to effective storytelling. As part of his study, Dr. Zak closely monitored the neural activity of hundreds of people who viewed this touching story. What he discovered is that even a simple and short narrative can evoke powerful empathic responses associated with the specific neurochemicals, cortisol and oxytocin. He found these brain responses can translate readily into concrete action such as generous donations to charity and even monetary gifts to fellow participants.  He comes  to some very interesting conclusions about storytelling and prosocial behaviors.

Now here's the art challenge part of this post.  I have observed my own creative pursuits seem to follow a similar pattern as his observations about prosocial behavior.  If I have a spike in cortisol and then oxytocin there seems to be no difficulty at all in the creative process.  It's almost as if this neurochemistry provides oil for my creative cogs and wheels.  So why not try this little experiment, watch Paul Zak's 5:57 minute video and then work on an art piece.
Have fun, enjoy your neurochemistry, and as always, feel free to share your work or play on Instagram by adding #14SecretsChallenge to your description, or by adding your photo to our Flickr pool

Monday, April 14, 2014

Fun Monday Challenge #46 - "Listen" and solve the unsolvable!

"Listen" collage by Lani textures by FlyPaper.
Lizzie Bellotto posted the above quote on her Facebook feed.  Well, it got my inner artist all excited, what would such a voice sound like?  Or what if there was a picture with no distinct image, what would a person see?
Try giving your conscious mind a little puzzle to work with while you create your art piece.  See what your unconscious mind does while your conscious mind tries to solve the unsolvable.
Want more inspiration?  The Rebelle Society has an interesting post here about the White Canvas and what a person might paint.  Alternatively you could wander through a few Zen Koans here.
Have fun, solve the unsolvable, and as always, feel free to share your work or play on Instagram by adding #14SecretsChallenge to your description, or by adding your photo to our Flickr pool

Monday, April 7, 2014

Fun Monday Challenge #45 - "Send more Love into the world"

"Create Beautiful Magic" collage by Lani textures by FlyPaper.
This fun Monday Challenge comes from Karen Salmansohn.  Wow, she's got such a nice website, app and books.  Here's her mission statement:
To offer easy-to-absorb insights and advice to help you bloom into your happiest, most loved, highest potential self – and have fun in the process – because I use playful analogies, feisty humor, and stylish graphics to distill big ideas (from the latest scientific studies to ancient wisdom) into short, easily-digestible, life-changing tips.
Nice, right?  Well, she has a page devoted to kids and anti-bullying ideas.  She has ideas in the form of posters for school buses and school hallways as well as little reminders for cell phones, that communications are a chance to send out more love into the world (what if we placed our bullying, gossip, and complaining with love?), and gosh, doesn't the world need just a wee bit more love?   So here's the challenge.  Create some art that sends more Love into the world and as always, feel free to share your work or play on Instagram by adding #14SecretsChallenge to your description, or by adding your photo to our Flickr pool.  That way your love will get out into the world!

Monday, March 31, 2014

Fun Monday Challenge #44 - "We must create what we most need to find..."

"Grow what you need" collage by Lani textures by FlyPaper.
I love Sabrina Ward Harrison's idea that "we must create what we most need to find."  It's so empowering and freeing.  We don't have to wait for someone else to tell us it's OK to wear a tutu when we run a marathon (If you have missed the whole tutu vs. Self magazine brouhaha, do have a look at this very heartening story here).  We don't need to wait for someone else to give us what we need in life.  The  amazing thing is we really can create the things we need, like friendship, love, kindness, fun and of course art. 
So look around your life today, what do you need?  Do you feel like it's snowed and sleeted just one too many times?  Perhaps you may need some spring color, and some fun (see above).   What ever it is you need, find a way to grow it in your fun Monday art piece.  As always, feel free to share your work or play on Instagram by adding #14SecretsChallenge to your description, or by adding your photo to our Flickr pool

Monday, March 24, 2014

Fun Monday Challenge #43 - Create a medal for yourself or a friend

"Take Courage" collage by Lani textures by FlyPaper.
I was having a little conversation with another art therapist the other day, and the Cowardly Lion came up, or his desire for bravery, and how he was given a medal so that he could feel his own courage.  Nice, right?
The Cowardly Lion's medal.

So here's today's challenge, create a medal for someone (and it could be yourself) so that they can feel their own goodness, or strength, or courage, or wisdom, or what ever you choose to represent with the medal.  As always, feel free to share your work or play on Instagram by adding #14SecretsChallenge to your description, or by adding your photo to our Flickr pool.  

"Take courage.  The way is not always easy.  Your heart will tell you the path to follow."

Monday, March 17, 2014

Fun Monday Challenge #42 - Life review in three found words

"I have been curious, wild, and brave" collage by Lani textures by FlyPaper.
One of the more interesting aspects of FaceBook is seeing how friends' lives have unfolded.  As a part of the Returned Peace Corps Volunteer community, I have been seriously impressed by our stories of resilience and curiosity.  That seems to me to be a common thread in most of our amazing life stories.  And then looking at various artists' groups, art therapists and old school buddies and I notice the same thing over and over again.  It seems that if we get to live long enough, we all get to experience the most amazing stories of strengths and fortitude.  (God bless us all.)

So here's the challenge.  Create an art piece that reflects your amazing story of strength and fortitude.  If you can, add found words to describe the story or yourself.  You could also try this same challenge using a person you admire.  As always, feel free to share your work or play on Instagram by adding #14SecretsChallenge to your description, or by adding your photo to our Flickr pool.  

Monday, March 10, 2014

Fun Monday Challenge #41 - Four Word Self Help


"We Need Play Time" collage by Lani textures by FlyPaper.
 Today's fun Monday challenge comes from Patti Digh's simple, lovely book "four word self help".  In it, she has created the simplest "self help" chapters, each based on four words and some art.  Really simple, really lovely.  And towards the end of the book, she says, "Though there are commonalities that make us all fully human and interconnected, each of us is living a different complexity, aren't we?  And so the most important four word self-help messages for you will come from you."  Of course she's right.  So here's the experiment:

Think of your own four word self-help message and create some art around it!  Want some inspiration?  Here's Patti's blog.

As always, feel free to share your work or play on Instagram by adding #14SecretsChallenge to your description, or by adding your photo to our Flickr pool.