Creativity for the Soul by Linda Wiggen Kraft
DEDICATED TO CREATIVITY
About five years ago I felt like something inside me was going to die if I didn’t create “art”. I was, and still am, a garden designer who has a fine arts degree, but I wanted to feel the touch of art materials both through my hands and my heart. What to do though? I had worked in so many different media: watercolor, acrylics, clay, printmaking, metal jewelry, etc. I wasn’t sure what to create and how to create it. My life was busy with my garden design business, my sons were in high school, my schedule left little time for creativity. I didn’t want to set up a studio, so I put a sketchbook in my purse along with some pencils and markers. I began to doodle and spontaneously the shapes took form. My doodles were all circular images in the mandala shape. All round with a cent! er point, inspired by flower shapes. After creating dozens of them I decided to recreate them in watercolor. During a January when gardens were resting, I began a meditative journey of creating fourteen large watercolor Fantasy Flower Mandalas. I used 300 pound watercolor paper I could tear to a 20 x 20 inch square shape. Over several weeks, I spent one entire day for each painting, transferring the small image onto a large space of paper and then playing with the watercolors as the colors emerged. In my quest to not have a studio and to be able to easily create, I worked on the floor of my meditation and yoga room. It was like being in an ashram dedicated to creativity.
I found that something deep in my soul had awakened and mandalas became my artistic journey.
I continued to create mandalas in varying ways sometimes spending little time and other times giving more time, but always coming back to that safe place of the circle. I began to combine journaling with the art, a unique way of art journaling. I soon realized I wanted to share the profound creative effects I was feeling from working with mandalas and words. I developed a workshop so they people could easily learn how they too could create in this way. I have had professional artists, art therapists, and people afraid to make a mark on paper, all who knew they wanted to awaken their creativity in a way that speaks to their souls come to my workshops.
LIFE IS WHOLE
I chose high quality materials they are playful and easily used. For my workshops I created a kit that has papers with circles already printed, papers for writing, art materials and a folder to hold it all. I sent people home with all they needed to create every day. I set up monthly mandala making get togethers where those who have taken my workshop can gather to be lead in a short guided meditation and spend time for creating mandalas and sharing. At times it is only once a month that I create a mandala, but anytime I work with the circle and words in this art journaling way, my life is whole.
Learn more about Linda's art and life at www.creativityforthesoul.com/blog