I am thrilled that so many people expressed interest in a Zenspirations® community art project, and I’d love to put together a project which we could all work on together. Years ago I organized a number of community art projects for children, which required creating something meaningful and attractive from the efforts of several hundred children of varying skill levels. I’d like to come up with something along the lines of the projects I used to do with the kids. Here are photos of a few past projects that I hope will give you an idea of what I mean.
The first year I chaired the community art effort, each child received a quilted fabric square to decorate. Volunteers assembled the squares into seven large quilts:
The next year each child was given a die-cut paper butterfly and was encouraged to write and illustrate a poem about freedom on their butterfly. The finished butterflies were hung in a local museum for a month.
One year we did a tile wall; 1200+ children and over 100 seniors each painted a tile, which were then combined into a 100 foot long scene of Jerusalem.
That same year we made an installation for the Walter Francis White Elementary School in Atlanta. The Orlando community painted a six panel mural, and the elementary school students each painted a tile which helped frame the mural.
Another year each child received a copper leaf, and learned how to do emboss metal. Metalsmith Pierre Haskelson created four handsome trees, each of which holds more than 200 leaves! The kids who participated are now having kids of their own… on occasion, I’ve seen them stop and point out their tile or leaf to their loved ones.
These community art projects were all done more than a decade ago– before I ever dreamed of Zenspirations; before I even started drawing! Being able to build community through the arts is incredibly special, and I am excited to embark on a collaborative journey with other creative spirits. We have almost 50 countries represented in the Zenspirations Create, Color, Pattern, Play FB group, and my goal is to come up with a project in which everyone, no matter where they live, can participate. One which could strengthen our individual creative skills and build connection to our local communities as well as to one another. Perhaps the project could focus on our group word of the year: HOPE. Or perhaps we can create a project to promote peace, love, justice and/or another shared value. This has the potential grow into a bigger project than I can handle myself, and I’m hoping that in addition to those who want to help create art for the project, that there are some people in the Zenspirations community who have the time, interest and organizational skills to help get it underway.
If you are interested in getting involved, please leave a comment with your answers to the following questions:
It’s a lot to think about… and I look forward to learning what you think!
January is trade show season for me, and I’ll be in Atlanta for the Gift Show from Thursday, January 12th until Sunday, January 15th. Then I’ll be attending the Craft & Hobby Association’s Creativation Show in Phoenix from Friday, January 20th until Tuesday, January 24th. I’ll try to remember to post my Creativation show schedule next week, so you’ll know where to find me. I’m eagerly awaiting the first copy of the new Bible Journaling book, and am excited to be doing several book signings in Phoenix. Stop by and say hi if you’ll be at the show.
which features some of the different word-of-the-year images I’ve done.
I’m also working on a gallery of short phrases, like the ones I wrote about in last week’s blog post 10 Ways to Stay Zenspired in 2017, but haven’t gotten all the images ready to post yet. Here’s a mini poster which I plan to include:
I am especially interested in seeking– and celebrating– sacred heart connections, and have tried to illustrate the concept in the design below.
I always feel blessed when my creative connections blossom into friendships, and since I love to celebrate my friends’ birthdays by making them personalized cards, I also added a Birthday Messages section.
Hope you’ll take a few minutes to look through the galleries. I’ll be adding more images over the next few months, so please let me know if there is anything in particular you’d like to see.
Color & Creativity Enthusiast Kim Flanegin is going to be celebrating her birthday this week. Purple is Kim’s favorite color, so I made her card in lots of shades of purple. Hope you have a great birthday Kim!
Before closing tonight, I wanted to update you on a few things. First, for those of you who are interested in a step buddy, you’ll be hearing from my friend Jill Goldsmith, who has volunteered to pair people up. Second, for those who expressed interest in a lettering/doodling prompt, I’m going to wait and see what ideas are suggested for our community project… I’m hopeful that someone (and it could be YOU!) will come up with an idea which combines them. But if we wind up doing separate prompts from a community art installation project, it would be helpful to know if you would rather have a daily prompt or a weekly prompt. Lastly, I want to apologize for dropping the ball on The Lettering Club lessons. Finishing the Bible Journaling book took ALL of my attention and energy. But now that it is done, I will work on lessons for the capital letters. If you haven’t finished the lower case letters, please do that this month. I’ll be posting the capital lessons in February.