Kindness & Kindred Spirits

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Hi Everyone,

Zenspirations® is my creative and spiritual journey, and this week marks a milestone: I have been sharing my journey with you in my blog every week for the past two years. In honor of this anniversary, I tried to take time to remember, reflect on, and appreciate where I have been, in hopes that it will give me a renewed sense of purpose as I embrace the path ahead. Naturally this reflection wound up in a piece of art!


Over the past year I have had a number of milestones; I’ve written several books, filmed a dozen or more video tutorials, created thousands of Zenspirations drawings and licensed my art for a variety of products– but what has touched my heart and brought me the most joy is being part of this amazing community of compassionate, creative people who share my passion for making a difference in the world.

As part of reflecting on the past year, I reread most of the blogs I posted, and wanted to share the August 4, 2015, one with you. I wrote “the new Zenspirations® Create, Color, Pattern, Play Facebook Group has had a LOT of activity in the past week. In two short weeks we have grown to more than 400 members, representing at least 10 different countries! This is a dream-come-true for me, because I’ve been longing for a community of people who are drawn to incorporate inspiration into their creative endeavors. I feel blessed to be collaborating with so many talented artists… thank you to everyone who has been sharing designs! I’d love to see this group become a forum where people can share their work, their hearts, and where we can support and inspire each other.”

Over the past nine months the FB group has grown to more than 3,000 from 50+ countries! We have 52 albums showcasing the incredible creativity of our members (well worth checking out if you are looking for some inspiration!). The FB group and regular blog followers form the core Zenspirations community, and together we have built something I feel is truly unique, meaningful and special.  My dream, as I expressed it in August, has come true, and I feel incredibly honored to have had a role in creating a forum where we can educate and inspire each other both artistically and personally.

Although I haven’t met most of you (yet!), I feel a heart connection with you, and am celebrating am celebrating a year of mutual growth, as well as the possibility and promise of the road ahead.


Although I don’t post often (other than my blog), I try to read everything everyone posts, and feel blessed to have connected with so many kindred spirits. It makes me proud that our Zenspirations community is a supportive, caring and kind one, where we can share ideas and ideals. My deepest thanks to each of for sharing your art, and your hearts.

I’d like to do something special to celebrate the 2nd Zenspirations ‘Blog-iversary’, and thought I’d get your input on what kind of celebration you’d most enjoy. Here are a few ideas:

  1. Do a ‘raffle’ give-away of some of my my new coloring (and other!) products, and include some of my favorite tools from Sakura of America.
  2. Host a ‘live-stream’ get together on Facebook, where I could fill you in on some of the things I’ve been working on, and you can all ask me (and each other) questions.
  3. Post new Create, Color, Pattern, Play™ designs for you to download and enjoy.
  4. Post an inspirational print that you could download, print and display.
  5. Post a set of ‘watercolor-colorables’, like the butterflies below, for you to download, print on watercolor paper and paint.   Zenspirations®_by_Joanne_Fink_watercolor_colorables
  6. Post something from my new Bible Journaling Jumpstart collection that you can download and either color or trace into your bible. All of the components are designed to fit in the 2″ margin area most journaling bibles provide. Here is an example:


I’m open to suggestions of other things we could do to celebrate. Please leave a comment letting me know which idea(s) you like best; next week I’ll do the idea which gets the most votes.


In closing, I wanted to share a small piece I doodled recently, brought in to PhotoShop and experimented with. I used four words which are important to me: Hope, Create, Connect, Love… I hope this week’s blog inspires you to reach out in love and connect with someone who could create something special with a little encouragement.


Thanks for all you do to make a difference in the world.

Stay Zenspired,



41 thoughts on “Kindness & Kindred Spirits”

  1. Thank YOU, Joanne…. And Happy 2nd Blog-iversary!!!

    All those celebratory ideas are super cool, I would be happy with Any one of them.

    Can’t wait to see what it is

  2. I like the idea of a live stream get to gether! After hearing how much Gail Beck ( she’s a friend) enjoyed meeting and spending time with you, I’m sure many of the members would enjoy this as well. I always try to color your designs posted in the blogs, but don’t always get them submitted, so please continue those. Really, I enjoy any of the things you do – you are an inspiration to all of us!

  3. What a great blog-versary. You created this group and you should, as you do, be proud of this caring community. You are an inspiration to so many. I just wanted to say I love your recent doodle. It’s surely a keeper!!!

  4. Joanne; Zenspirations helped me through a tough time in my life last year. Because of the words of encouragement and the passages of scripture, I was able to stay calm and focused on what I needed to do at the time. Now, a year later, I’ve discovered that there may be a small bit of”artist”in me after all and I’ve made so many new friends it’s incredible!. I love being a part of the Zenspirations family. I’m also very happy for your continued success and happiness!
    Of course I would love anything you wanted to do to celebrate!

  5. Joanne – I love your sentiments and am amazed at how often it feels as if you were talking to me personally! I too have been reflecting on my recent journey….5 years ago (May 22) our town was devastated by a massive tornado (1/3 of our town gone, personally lost 2 houses, my pets were all killed and my husband, his father and I rode it out in the bathroom of one of our homes). We worked to pick up the pieces, only to lose both my Father-in law and my Mother less than a year later. When we finally felt like we had our feet under us – my husband was diagnosed with Stage IV cancer in his neck. He went through a grueling series of chemo, radiation and finally surgery to remove his jugular vein and is now dealing with nasty side effects. But through it all we found our way back to church and have been surrounded by loving friends and family. Truthfully – it has been a rough ride, but one I wouldn’t change (well, I would love it if my dear husband wouldn’t suffer as much…). We have grown together and will celebrate 30 years of marriage this Oct. We count our blessings every day!
    The ray of sunshine that hits my in-box in the way of a post from you is always welcome and always feels so personal! Thank you for they joy you spread!!

  6. With over 3.000 members it is hard to run a contest with enough prizes, a tenth would still be 300 prizes.
    While an online chat is appealing there is a similar problem of scale. Also international time complicates things.

    The downloads seem the best idea so every one who want can celebrate with you.
    I like all your designs, any download would be wonderful

  7. My vote would be the Bible Journaling QuickStart package. I really enjoy your art and seek to use it in my journaling.

  8. My favorite one is number 6, the Bible Journaling Jumpstart. Since I do Bible art journaling, this would be perfect!

    I love all of your creations.

  9. I am so happy to read this…3000 + members is something ! 🙂 Congratulations Joanne..I like the first three ideas, but not sure for the second one, as in how many of us would be able to join the get together because many of us are in different time zone than yours. I will wait for the next week’s blog, till then byee!!!

  10. I would love for you to post a pic of the picture on this page about the journey and how far you’ve come for us to color. I lead a grief recovery group and we are winding up our session and that would be perfect for our participants. We have used coloring a lot through our grief journey. That pic would be a perfect ending! I have nearly everyone of your color books. Love them!

  11. HI Joanne!
    Congrats on 2 years! Glad to be just a small part of your over 3000 color enthusiasts! So cool! I have learned so much in the last 9 months and have developed so many new talented and caring friends along this journey as well 😉
    As for the celebration, I like the raffle give-away, the inspirational print, but MY FAVORITE is the watercolor-colorable “butterflies” or your “flower” designs as well or any other designs you do too!! 🙂 Regardless of what is everyone’s favorite and comes out on top, I would really still like this idea for the near future!! 😉
    Here’s to the next year of celebrating your blog and the CCPP group!
    A BIG HUG from PA!

  12. How wonderful- Zenspirations is the best.
    Something pretty to color and Bible journaling would be greatly appreciated.


  13. I just purchased a journaling Bible and so that would be a subject I’d love to see. I sure enjoy all your inspirations and appreciate your generosity!! Thank you!! <3

  14. Many congratulations on this milestone Joanne. It is through your blog that I “met” you and I treasure our friendship. It is wonderful how the Zenspirations family has grown in such a short space of time. Your art is inspiring to us all.Thank you for reaching out across world. Any of your celebratory suggestions are so generous.
    Keep Zenspired, Jane xx

  15. I just love reading your blog each week. You are like a breath of fresh air! Congratulations on your 2nd year of blogging! All of your ideas sound great to me. I’ve really enjoyed connecting with this group of people and look forward to more projects and coloring fun in the future!

  16. Hi Joanne!
    What a lovely post (all your posts are lovely and I look forward to them every week!). I love the idea of the live streaming, it would be so much fun to talk to everyone. But I can see where that might be difficult with so many followers now. My second choice would be the Bible journaling jump-start.
    Have a wonderful day and week my dear and I hope to catch up with you soon!
    Love always,
    Mary Anne

  17. Wow Joanne, I can’t believe it’s been two years. I feel so blessed to be able to have connected with so many in our group and you put it perfectly when you said our community is supportive, caring and kind. I thank you my friend for encouraging that, in sharing with us, and in giving us the opportunity to learn from you and each other.

    I like most of the ideas you have listed; my favorite if logically it could be worked out would be to do #2 a live stream where we can learn personally from you and each other. Give aways are always great also. Those are 2 things that would be extra special because it’s not some of the usual things you do.

    Most of the others also sound fun but I think could be more for future blog’s as they aren’t as unique for this special celebration.

    One additional idea I have is for you to make available some of the teaching workshop instructions you’ve done. I so wish there was a way for you to post in advance where you will be doing workshops, demos, trade shows, etc. I’m still waiting for you to come to the Metro DC area but until then talking to you is something I personally have treasured.

    I can’t thank you and our great community for all of the help, love and support we show each other.


  18. Thank you Joanne for all you doe. Love the idea of the Bible Journaling pictures/sayings! Keep up the great work I know the Lord is using you in great ways!!!

  19. Happy “blog” anniversary. Any one of those fab ideas would be great . Looking forward to many more years of your wonderful blog

  20. today you have been a life saver. I’m in Ecuador where an earthquake struck Saturday evening. Your chosen words “hope, love, connect, create” have given me a much needed feel of hope. Tank you

    1. Hi Susy,

      Thank you for your kind comment… I’m so glad that my words have brought you hope during what I know must be a very challenging time. Are you safe? What can the Zenspirations family do to help? What kind of supplies are needed? Are there particular organizations that are helping with the relief effort that you’d recommend supporting? Please know that you, and all of the families whose lives have been impacted by the earthquake, are in my prayers.

      Sending love, strength and courage across the miles,

  21. My dear mother taught me the love and appreciation of art. She also loved coloring in children’s color books with her 4 children. As the adult books came out we spent many relaxing hours coloring together. April 7th marked the first anniversary of her stepping from this life into Heaven. I am unable to express how much I miss her. In all things, God is good. Joanne your faith andlove has helped me look past the heart pain and enjoy wwonderful memories including coloring! I enjoy your blog so much and am glad you followed what I know must have been God’s leading. You are an inspiration! Keep doing what God gifted you with.

  22. Congratulations Joanne on your 2nd Blog-versary. I am so happy to have found your blog and your FB group. Of your ideas to celebrate – I like 1, 3 and 5 however anything you do will be greatly appreciated and thanks again for continuing to inspire all of us and sharing so much of yourself with us. You are a Blessing to us all!!

  23. Joanne, you obviously are an inspiration to all us in our journeys, be it grief, illness, family situations, etc. Like Deb, I would love a Bible Journaling Jumpstart. I’ve only been doing this for a couple of months but love it. My problem is the lettering. Any words or phrases you might offer that could be used for this would be wonderful. Many blessings to you for good health, continued good things happening with your beautiful gift of art.

  24. Joanne,
    I have enjoyed every bit of this journey with you! You inspire creativity, happiness, reflection, and profound spirituality in all you do, and I am blessed because of it! I cannot thank you enough for your sweet spirit! You create beautiful art and give so selflessly! Happy Blog-versary!!
    I treasure your books, utilize your videos, and devour your blog! May your blessings overflow!
    Thank you,
    Carol from Oklahoma

  25. I so look forward to the ‘brightness’ that your emails bring to my day Joanne! I really like the idea of an ‘inspirational print’. But tell me, can you suggest a water proof computer ink please.

    1. Hi Tracey,

      I think that you are having problems because you are using an ink-jet printer. If you switch to a laser printer, which uses heat to fuse the toner to the paper, you’ll be able to use wet media without making the ink run. Hope this helps!

      Stay Zenspired,

  26. 6 is my first choice then 5 and 3.
    I love your work and have especially enjoyed and used many times your little book on loss. I am so grateful that you put into words and drawings those pages of comfort. Thank you so much.

  27. I do love ‘give-aways’ but I live in a far country so they seldom apply to me which is very sad as they may be for products not available here! Second best is always downloads as those are easy for anywhere in the world – what about a download competition type thingy where each country gets to send you an element specific to that country, you add to it etc and make it available as a download to all? (Very vague idea but I can see such a wonderful variety!!)
    Congratulations on the 2 year milestone!

  28. Joanne: I fell in love with your latest publication. I was moved deeply by your desire to share your skills with us :widows. People have no idea how the heart hurts until they experience this pain.
    Therefore, with this being your 2 yr anniversary for your blog I would love to see something re: your Bible Journaling Jumpstart, is it sounds awesome. Waiting with baited breath. Congrats to you.

  29. 1, 3, 4, 5, 6
    1 would be my #1 pick with the rest in a close second.

    I’ve have people in my coloring groups liking the ones I’ve been working on. Where I live though we do not have a lot of craft stores and so they decided to stop putting the ads in our paper (which we were told if we subscribe we would get). The bookstore are also few and far between.

  30. I would be very happy with any of the ideas, except for bible journaling as that rules me out. Idea #1 is probably my favorite since it’s great to receive new stuff with which to play! Happy 2nd anniversary!!

  31. any of those would be great.
    I just adore your work. I love looking at every creation added to the fanpage. Hopefully when life slows down a little I will have more time to draw some for myself 🙂

  32. Happy anniversary! It has been fun and inspirational and I really enjoy being part of this group!! Nobody really ‘understands’ Doodlers and Drawers like the Group here!!!llll I would be happy with any of your celebratory ‘gifts’ to the Group!!! xoxoxox Thank you for all you do!

  33. Love your work! Im a newbie here and waiting for your Dangle book in the mail. I’m also just started personal bible study using Kay Arthur’s books. I then was interested in Bible Journaling so just ordered a new bible with wider borders. So I would love to see more of the bible journal stuff! I need to also check out your stamps/ where to buy. Now to have the time for all these new things-ha!

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