Transformations & Cultivating the artist within

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January. A whole new and exciting year looms before us — full of promise and possibilities. It’s a time of transition and change. Our promises to start exercising, read more books, take up gardening, make lists and grow spiritually.

Our lives are marked by change. As Elizabeth Gilbert said in “Eat, Pray, Love,” “One must always be prepared for riotous and endless waves of transformation.” We know change is always there, hovering in the in-between but our feelings about it are mixed. We resist and rail against it, we know in the end it’s good, but we like it best when we are the catalyst.

For some reason we believe, or have been told, that creativity for creativity’s sake is frivolous, a waste of time. This could not be further from the truth.

Julia Cameron, author of “The Artist’s Way” said, “No matter what your age or your life path, whether making art is your career or your hobby or your dream, it is not too late or too egotistical or too selfish or too silly to work on your creativity.”

Aside from the health benefits, exploring creativity just feels really good; it helps us experience gratitude, beauty and a sense of wonder and accomplishment. And so, I encourage you all to take on a creative project (or lots of them) this year.

Let your creative flag fly. Your inner artist could be sparked by taking a cooking class, learning to make soap, redecorating your bedroom or knitting a sweater for your dog. No matter where your creativity lives this year, plan to embrace it along with all the amazing transformation it can bring.

Don’t know where to begin? Here are a few ideas to set you on your creative path.

Lisa Dulany at Messy & Company has a mission to help people find and express their creative sides. She provides creative workshops, gatherings & adventures from intuitive painting to making tea blends and flower crowns. Check out messyandco.com for more info.
Art therapist Mary Ablao and her Studio Retreat staff are all about creative exploration. You can try mandala and vision board workshops, jewelry making, art journaling and so much more.

Discover creative journaling! Holly Makimaa at Your Transformational Journey facilitates journaling and writing workshops that focus on areas of healing, spirituality, growth and change.

Jane Reiter at TangleWrangler offers a variety of classes for anyone wanting to find a relaxing method of creative expression, including Coloring Club, finger knitting, Zentangle, you name it.

If you aren’t sure what your calling is or where you want to go next, check out the Carey On website, reginacarey.com. Regina Carey offers personal and group women’s coaching sessions that help women explore their transformation leanings.

If you need more information, you can also contact the Arts Council of Greater Lansing at lansingarts.org.


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Dawn Gorman

Dawn Gorman is a writer, connector and creative who lives in Old Town, Lansing. She is the communications and events manager at the Arts Council of Greater Lansing and loves attending festivals and arts events. She jumps at any opportunity to talk about creative ideas.