The January 2018 Art Journal Challenge is here!

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Join me on Monday, January 1st 2018 for my second January Art Journal Challenge!

The basic level of this challenge is free. This year's challenge is going to focus only on art journaling (as opposed to last year which was a combo of both blogging and art journaling). If you are a blogger, you can still adapt the prompts for your purposes.  This year's challenge is also different because I've added an additional coaching element for those who feel they want or need additional support, guidance and feedback. The basic level is free for everyone. The coaching package is $100 and includes a 60 minute phone session at the beginning of the month and email coaching through out the entire month. One additional new aspect of the 2018 challenge is that there is a theme! The month-long theme is: SELF LOVE. I am very excited about this theme, and self love is something I've been promoting and developing as an integral part of my own healing journey and in my work as a therapist, coach & teacher.

How does the 31 Day Art Journal Challenge work?

1) Sign up in the form at the bottom of this post with your email. Basic participation in this challenge is free.

2) If you aren't in it already, join my Art Journal Lab Facebook Group. The Facebook Group is where you will receive your art journaling prompt every day. I will post each prompt the night before. The challenge starts on January 1st and goes every day through January 31st.

3) Optional: Add the $100 coaching package by clicking the image to the right or at the bottom of this post. The coaching package includes one 60 minute phone session with me at the beginning of the month as well as email coaching with me for the whole month of January. The coaching offers an opportunity for you to identify your challenges, intentions & callings and to receive personalized attention, support and feedback on your writing, arting and self love practices. Note: Once you have paid for your coaching session, you will receive an email from me with a link to schedule your session and some questions to get you started.


4) Do the prompts every day in your journal. Use whatever supplies appeal to you. I recommend an 8.5 x 11 blank journal. If you are in Todos Santos, I have those journals for sale. Send me an email if you'd like to purchase one. Otherwise, you can order a journal like the one you see on the right, here.

Another exciting option is to participate in the Sketchbook Project at the Brooklyn Art Library in conjunction with this challenge. Sign up for the Sketchbook Project by January 5th, by buying a sketch book from them, which you can complete as part of this challenge. After you are done, mail your filled sketchbook for them to keep in their library, which features the largest collection of sketchbooks in the world!

5) Feel free to post your art journal pages, questions, process, or anything that relates to the self love or the topic of art journaling in the Facebook group. That is your space to connect with others as well as with me.

6) If you enjoy posting your pages on social media, please use the hashtag: #31dayjournalchallengejan18

I imagine everyone's reasons for joining this challenge will be varied. It may be because you want to get back into your writing and/or your art again in a daily way. You may just be to learn about art journaling. For some, it may be an opportunity to have a quiet moment to connect with yourself. And for others, it might a wild time to experiment, with no goal other than to unleash your creativity. And for all of us, hopefully, it is simply a way to practice and increase self love! You may discover some new reasons along the way.

For me, this year's challenge is about three things:

1) To promote the inspiring, creative & healthy practice of art journaling

2) To build online community through creativity and authentic connection

3) To promote the practice of self love

What is art journaling?

Art Journaling is a process that combines visual art (drawing, painting, collage, or photography) and words. Art Journaling can consist of intimate journal entries, poetry, doodling, hand lettering, free associative writing, list-making, goal-setting and planning. Putting those two aspects of our experience together on the same page: visual and verbal is the common ground for all art journaling.

My version of art journaling is unique in that it combines techniques, theories, and assignments from my work as an expressive arts therapist and creativity coach. For the past five years, I have been teaching Art Journal Lab, a class that combines these techniques, in Todos Santos, Mexico, near where I live. I teach people the tools, philosophy and basic skills they need to interact with the different parts of self, which I refer to as the inner family of self. I create a structure that makes it possible to connect to the invisible parts that we feel, but don’t always acknowledge or express.

I have a Masters’s in Counseling Psychology, with a focus on Expressive Arts Therapy, meaning I use drama, dance, music, writing and visual art as a form of therapeutic intervention with the goal of integrating the personality, healing trauma and practicing new ways of being. I also teach creativity, not only for all types of artists, but for anyone who wants to practice a more empowered, creative and compassionate way of being in the world. I believe the most important relationship we have is with ourselves, but this is often the relationship that gets shoved by the wayside as we tend to prioritize everything else: our spouse or partner, our children, our work, our home, our family of origin. I believe if we cannot engage in a creative, conscious, curious and compassionate way with ourselves, we are not living up to our full potential and cannot offer the full version of ourselves to anything we do. The more we know ourselves, and ultimately, accept and love ourselves, the more good we can do for our families, friends, communities and our world. It’s an inside out approach—which is the reverse of what we have been trained to do in our culture.

You do not have to be a trained artist or writer to do art journaling. Anyone who can pick up a pen or pencil and has a blank book can do art journaling. There are no special supplies that are necessary, though I will be sharing some of my favorite tools on the blog. One of my life's missions is to show how everyone is creative, and that the arts were meant to be used by all of humanity as a tool to discover the soul, and to engage in life in a more balanced, compassionate way. Through our engagement with the arts, we are able to make space for expressing the darkness, the unconscious parts of the Self, instead of acting those parts out on others. It is particularly this, this engagement with the shadow (the parts of us we do not see or do now want to see, or feel) that is the creative gold of this work. When we have the courage to bring our light of consciousness to our own shadow, we are able to unearth our previously buried psychic energy so we can make use of even our darkest pain.

I know this not only from the work I have done with my students and clients, but also from my own personal journey, which I have shared at two different presentations at Women Awakening, a women’s summit in Todos Santos, of which I am a co-creator. In my talk, I shared my philosophy, artwork, music and personal story, about what it means to be yourself, which is about being, and ultimately loving, all your selves. Sharing this talk was a personal revelation for me, as I discovered what it felt like to open myself up and share authentically, weaving my professional, personal, intellectual and artistic life in one space. My goal, more recently, has been to integrate these disparate parts of myself. I have intuitively felt that this way we separate our different selves is not just a problem for me, but for many others, and especially for women, who struggle so much with disappearing into our roles. The goal is not to disappear into any one role, but to bring your whole self to every role you do, so you have access to all your selves whenever you need them. I believe this is the goal of human development. And through our working with what we are, in an honest way, we also access our spiritual power. It has been my experience that when we contact our soul, we open up to spirit, which helps us expand into more love.

The reasons I host creative challenges it to help connect people to their creativity, passion and personal truth. Doing something every day creates a new habit that is affirming and helps you grow--expanding your sense of authentic self that you bring into the world. It is most certainly a challenge to do something everyday with out fail. But it is also very rewarding, and the sense of accomplishment from completing a whole month with a daily creative practice is a real thrill.

I can't wait to see what it might do for you!

If you want to join me in this challenge, subscribe below with your email.

If you would like to add the $100 coaching package for personalized guidance and feedback, click the button below the form as well.

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