Can you think of any dreams you have had recently, even last night? Can you draw this dream? When we try to share a dream through speech, it is often quite difficult, due to the limitations of putting elaborate pictures into words. Our dreams often have so many elements to them that a drawing, even a simple one with stick figures and rudimentary forms, can help us make better sense of them. Dream analysis is an activity that spans many cultures and many thousands of years of our collective human history. Keep it simple if this sounds intimidating, by even just writing words for images if you don’t feel comfortable drawing. Sometimes seeing the whole dream on a page can be enlightening.
Yesterday’s project: Did you enjoy creating an Artist Trading Card? Did you find the size enjoyable? Can you identify an emotion connected to the card you created? Did you make more than one, and give one away? Would you make more? Sometimes we need permission to create, and can find a million things to do before we allow ourselves to just sit down and experiment with a new activity. If you found Artist Trading Cards enjoyable, please consider using this medium again!
Today’s project: Assuming you created a family portrait yesterday (with each family member represented by a symbol or object), we will continue adding more on to this art project. Please add some dialogue, maybe using word balloons. What are these people saying to each other? Who are they choosing to speak to and who are they avoiding? You might even have each of them say something to you and you respond back to each of them through the word balloon format. If you are feeling prolific with your exploration of family dynamics, you might even take another piece of paper and create an entire conversation of family members based on your conversation. We will save the questions about this project for tomorrow! Good Luck.
For today’s art exercise, I will ask you to draw a family portrait. If you do not feel comfortable actually drawing, feel free to collage or write words in place of pictures. Rather than drawing actual people, think of an object or animal that represents each person in your family and draw that on your paper to represent them. Family is really a loose term and you might want to include the people who are important in your life, and not your biological family…. it could be roommates, extended family, work mates…..really just think of people you spend a good deal of your day with each day. Make sure to include yourself. The objects or symbols might represent things these you associate with these people. Use your imagination.
Yesterday’s project: What is your weather forecast? Are you standing in it, or are you the actual weather? If you are standing in it, can you think of anything you can add to protect yourself? If you are the weather, how does it feel? Is it constant? Will you change? Can you change? Are you causing any damage to your surroundings? Are you helping your surroundings? Using these metaphors can sometimes help us grasp parts of ourselves that we might be overlooking in our busy lives.
In keeping with the theme this week of self-reflection and an honest assessment of ourselves, today we will use the metaphor of weather to describe your current mood. Find some paper and drawing materials. Draw a weather pattern that reflects how you currently feel. Would it be a: tornado, storm, sunny day, snow, tsunami, clouds,hurricane etc? Would you make yourself the actual weather or would you place yourself in the environment?
Yesterday’s project: Is your “book” reflective of how you feel these days. Are you content with these emotions, or did you tap into something that needs more attention? Is there a theme? Is there a person with whom you would feel comfortable sharing this art work?
For today’s art project, we are going to use the metaphor of a book. Imagine you are going to write a book about yourself and your current situation. Take a piece of paper and fold it in half. On the front, write a title of your “book” that represents your current state of things. Is there an image you can draw to represent this title? Now open your “book” and add some chapter titles representing different elements of your life these days. If you are feeling creative, you might want to add some more images inside of the cover, or even add more pages if you are feeling extremely creative.
Yesterday’s project: Last week’s art exercises involved goal setting and a shiny outlook on the new year. This week we are exploring the current state things, and an honest assessment of ourselves. Sometimes this can be a difficult place to visit, but it is often the key for authentic growth. How does your collage “feel?” Did you find the process relaxing? Did you learn anything interesting about yourself by the combination of words and images you chose? Images ( even ones which are cut out of a magazine or paper) can be powerful vehicles for conveying ideas which are hard to vocalize. Did you find a voice for any feelings you were having difficulty expressing before you made your collage?