Creativity Forum, Zentangling, Soul Collage and other pathways to art and health!

In February Selkirk students from the music program, digital arts and KSA again had a wonderful opportunity to engage with professional artists and find out how they keep their creativity alive and kicking.  Here are five minutes of highlights from an hour long panel discussion:

<p><a href=”″>Selkirk College Creativity Forum – February 2013</a> from <a href=”″>Selkirk College</a> on <a href=””>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

and here are more voices from artist’s from last year’s forum about how they get through their blocks in creativity:

Lani Gerity, an art therapist from Nova Scotia,  continually talks about the benefits of being creative.  She has said that engaging in creative pursuits boosts your immune system, helps lower stress and develops neurological networks that promote happiness and well being.

She introduces a short video from Neil Gaiman’s commencement speech saying:

Take a peek at this video, (it’s short, don’t worry) and then think about times in your life when things were not “going well” and that some how grabbing the art materials at hand was a huge help. You made good art, maybe not art that others would look at as good, (that doesn’t matter) but art that you look at and feel satisfied. There’s an inner dialogue with your inner artist, and there’s a feeling of understanding and being understood.


is one simple way to putter with creativity.  The repetitive patterns put your mind into a calm, flowing, relaxed state.  Sometimes other problem-solving or ideas start to percolate as you let yourself doodle.  There is a group of staff and students on Castlegar Campus who met once a week on their lunch hours to zentangle their ways towards peace of mind.  Here’s what the folks at the Zentangle site have to say about it:

Zentangle is an easy-to-learn, relaxing, and fun way to create beautiful images by drawing structured patterns.

Almost anyone can use it to create beautiful images. It increases focus and creativity, provides artistic satisfaction along with an increased sense of personal well being. The Zentangle method is enjoyed all over this world across a wide range of skills, interests and ages.

We believe that life is an art form and that our Zentangle method is an elegant metaphor for deliberate artistry in life.


Soul Collage

offers another way to explore images and create mini works of art that help you express and understand yourself.

Most Soul Collages are made on 3 x 5 or 4 x 6 inch cards. Start out by shuffling through old magazines, cards or old photos.  Pay attention to the  colours and pictures that appeal to you in that particular moment.  You can then choose a background picture, texture or colour and layer on images until you feel your art is complete.  Soul Collage is not usually done with words – – – it is more a process of letting the non-verbal part of your brain speak to you through the images you choose.

Once you are finished your Soul Collage card, it can deepen your self-exploration to write from the cards perspective.  You soul collage is showing  you something about yourself, so look at the card and do some free-writing from the starter:

“I am the one who . . . . . . . . ”                  

You will be surprised what your cards have to teach you!

The official  Soul Collage web-site gives links to books and resources:

social action


Eco-Psychology and the Art of Rock Balance

And then there is also the ephemeral and satisfying art of rock balancing.  Finding the sweet spot, becomes metaphorical for finding balance in your own life:



rock salmo river

For those  struggling with anxiety or substance use –

many people have found that choosing to engage in a creative  projects helps them to move through the difficult cravings or fears.

Let us know how creativity works in your life!  What do you do to get through blockages and slumps?  Have you ever found that art has helped you through a difficult time?

One response to “Creativity Forum, Zentangling, Soul Collage and other pathways to art and health!

  1. Pingback: Staying Juicy: Nelson artists talk about their creative process | Campus Conversations about Healthy Living·

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