Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Fun Monday Challenge #25 - (It's Tuesday I know) Found Photos and Quesions

Photo found at Midway Airport, Chicago
So many wonderful things to think about from the Illinois Art Therapy Association conference.  So rich in stories.  In my free time I wandered about a bit and I found the StoryCorps office in the Chicago Cultural Center.  They had a great list of questions painted on the glass of their rooms, which is also here and great for promote storytelling.  For today's challenge a favorite found photo and a favorite question and try creating an art piece based on the combination.


  • Who has been the most important person in your life?
  • What was the happiest moment of your life? The saddest?
  • Who has been the biggest influence on your life? What lessons did that person teach you?
  • Who has been the kindest to you in your life?
  • What are the most important lessons you’ve learned in life?
  • What is your earliest memory?
  • What are the funniest or most embarrassing stories your family tells about you?
  • If you could hold on to just one memory from your life forever, what would that be?
  • If this was to be our very last conversation, what words of wisdom would you want to pass on to me?
  • What are you proudest of in your life?
  • When in life have you felt most alone?
  • What are your hopes and dreams for what the future holds?
  • How has your life been different than what you’d imagined?
  • How would you like to be remembered?
  • Do you have any regrets?
  • What does your future hold?
  • Is there something that you’ve always wanted to know but have never asked?
  • Is there any message you want to give to or  say to your descendants when they listen to this?

Have fun with this 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, October 21, 2013

Fun Monday Challenge #24 - Adventure Supplies

"Adventure Supplies" collage by Lani, textures by FlyPaper.  
I'm heading out on the road for a bit, first of workshop and keynote in Chicago!  Hooray!  And then a workshop for the Summit in NYC and a smaller workshop for NYU.  So the prompts here will be shorter.  Here's the first one.  This collage was created with the idea of what I might bring, metaphorically speaking, on a big adventure.  Of course I would like for my adventure supplies to be somewhat offbeat, perhaps an umbrella, a sense of humor, and an elephant small enough to travel?

What would your Adventure Supplies look like?  Would they be memories, things that connect you to your roots, would they be tools for understanding a new environment.  Have fun with this 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, October 14, 2013

Fun Monday Challenge #23 - Self-Compassion Art

"Self-Compassion" collage by Lani, textures by FlyPaper.
This challenge is based on Germer and Neff's self-compassion research (you can download the paper here.)  Their belief is that we all have something about ourselves that we don’t like; something that causes us to feel embarrassment or just not “good enough.”  Of course we know it's part of being human, to be imperfect, but we often get swallowed up in our feelings of failure or inadequacy and forget that it is part of the experience of being a human so we berate ourselves.  We may imagine this will motivate us to work harder, do better, and fail less but Germer and Neff's research demonstrates that the exact opposite is true,  and that there is actually a high correlation between self-compassion and psychological flourishing and a reduction of depression and anxiety. After an 8-week training program in mindful self-compassion they found participants demonstrated a significant increase in self-compassion, mindfulness, compassion for others, and life satisfaction and a decrease in depression, anxiety, stress, and emotional avoidance. All gains in outcomes were maintained at 6 months and 1-year follow-up.  In fact, life satisfaction actually increased significantly at the 1-year follow-up, demonstrating a willingness to continue the self-compassion practices which in turn enhanced the participants' quality of life over time.

Enhanced quality of life sounds pretty good.  So I looked at the exercises Gemer posted on his website.  One of the  exercises was writing a compassionate letter to yourself (the exercise is here).  I thought why not create Self-Compassion Art?  Their research showed that repeating the exercise daily over a week was very helpful.  So I thought why not create "little Lani" collage elements and use them to create collages for a week, with the idea of expressing self-compassion in the collage.

So here's your challenge.  Use an image of a younger version of yourself and create an art piece with compassion.  You could try this exercise for a week, making it a part of your daily practice. Have fun 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, October 7, 2013

Fun Monday Challenge #22 - Collage Fun

"Animated with Hope, Gradually" collage by Lani, textures by FlyPaper.
Today's challenge comes from Christine Mason Miller.  In Desire to Inspire: Using Creative Passion to Transform the World Christine mentions a fun little "make your own inspiration deck" exercise.  So take this challenge as far as you like, from one fun collage to an entire deck of inspiration cards. 

Christine created a series of small collages to celebrate her most important values which she keeps in a bowl on her desk for inspiration.  Here's her simple methodology. 

Index cards, magazines for imagery, glue stick, scissors.  Pretty simple, right?
Her collage formula was equally simple and if you look at the above collage, you will notice it's pretty close to my "formula".  One image for the background (or interesting papers for the background), one or two images for the focal point (vintage photo and elephant in my collage), and one word or phrase (I often put a few words together).   Collect words that inspire you and then find images to go with them. 

Of course I add a layer of Photoshop and Flypaper Texture Fun to my work.  If you are interested in adding this sort of depth and fun do click here to see my Fotoshop Fun Zine (It's the last one if you scroll down).

Have fun 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