Creative Deed Project: “Art-filled Hope” Postcard Art Exchange

“When all else seems lost and steeped in hopelessness, the magic of creativity can still keep you going.” – Jyoti Arora

Earlier this summer at the national art therapy conference in Baltimore, inspiration for a new creative collaboration was sparked during a 6 Degrees of Creativity meet-up, as well as a focus group I led on social media’s impact on creative motivation. These initial dialogues resulted in art therapist Nancy Lautenbach and me to brainstorm ideas for a new creative collaboration. In the spirit of the Creative Deed Project launched by 6 Degrees of Creativity in 2014 and Nancy’s viewing of The Big Hope Show at the American Visionary Art Museum while we were in Baltimore, we are excited to announce a postcard art exchange called “Art-filled Hope”.


The project: Create 3 handmade postcards with original art that will be sent through the postal mail to three different individuals also participating in the exchange. You will also receive three postcards/art in return from fellow participants!  Participants are responsible for the shipping of their postcard art, which may include international postage, depending on the recipient’s mailing address. Postcard art should be mailed out by October 1, 2016.

Theme: Fill your postcards with hope inspired art to exchange with art therapists and other creatives around the world! We can always use a little hope in our lives, to release into the world and to others in the spirit of affirmation, courage, and possibility.

How to sign up: Please send an email to with your full name and mailing address. By signing up for this exchange, you agree to meet the project’s mailing deadline and to follow through with sending your postcard art to your assigned destinations. Please do not sign up for this creative collaboration if you are unable to commit to these expectations. Deadline to sign up is September 8. Participants will receive the mailing addresses they are sending to shortly after this deadline via email.

Participants involved in this exchange are also encouraged to email an image of their art, so it can be shared with the 6 Degrees of Creativity community on Facebook— filling social media with our hopeful messages and art for others to experience!

Some recent hope-filled resources to help inspire and inform your art making and ideas about this theme include:

  • How hope can help you heal CNN news article: The physiological benefits of hope on our well-being, including how community and the people who surround us can influence and spread its impact;
  • 5 ways hope improves your success Daily Fulfillment article featuring research and advantages that having a hope inspired mindset can have on well-being and future

We look forward to what the theme from this exchange inspires, the connection it creates, and as an opportunity to share and spread the power of hope through art!




Creative Deed 365 Minneapolis

Creative Deed fun this summer in Minneapolis….. 🙂

creativity in motion

Coming this summer…. Creative Deed 365 Minneapolis!

Creative Deed 365 Minneapolis | creativity in motion

This summer, the national art therapy conference will be held in Minneapolis, Minnesota July 8-12.  I’ll be attending and also presenting, as well as keeping up with my creative daily practice of leaving creative deeds for others to find while away.  I thought it would be fun to see if other art therapists and art therapy students also planning to attend this year’s conference would be interested in leaving their own creative deeds and creative goodness throughout the event during these five days.  Wanna join in?

If you’re going to the conference this year, it’s easy to participate either as a Creative Deeder or Creative Deed Finder:

  • Creative Deeder: If you are interested in making and leaving Creative Deed Art, just make one for everyday of the conference and leave one each day in a random place onsite at the conference for…

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Wrap Up: Creative Deeds in Action @ the 2014 Compassion Games

Wow!  What an amazing, inspiring 11 days with this year’s Compassion Games!

Having never done this before, I wasn’t sure what to expect when I put out the call for members of the 6 Degrees of Creativity community to join the Creative Deed Team I was organizing for this event, but this experience was so much fun & a wonderful way to celebrate & spotlight the power of compassion.

I am very grateful to the Creative Deed Team who were a pleasure to work with everyday from around the world and sent, posted, shared, and reported on their artful, daily compassion made visible throughout these 11 days.  Thank you Isabelle, Yu-Chu, Carol, Joni, Jolie, Heather, Debbie, Lizzie, Clarissa, Cynthia, Renee, Lisa, Eleni, & Kristin for the dedication, thoughtfulness, kindness & creativity brought to the Compassion Games and the Arts League we represented.

Here is a summary of what we were up to:

Team members were located in six different countries: US, Belgium, Taiwan, Canada, Italy, & Australia and received an e-mail from me each day with a new creative deed idea to work & reflect on related to compassion for themselves, others, their surrounding community, & world.  Creative deeds were inspired by forms of random acts of kindness, artful secret missions of compassion & reflections using a variety of materials and media:

Wrap Up: Creative Deeds in Action @ the 2014 Compassion Games | 6 Degrees of CreativityCreative Deeds completed by the team were shared on the Compassion Map Event page and on social media through team members, 6 Degrees of Creativity, Art Therapy Alliance, and the Compassion Games International Facebook Group to help spread the word and connect others to compassion.

Below is a list of the Creative Deeds we worked on in spirit of the Compassion Games:

Wrap Up: Creative Deeds in Action @ the 2014 Compassion Games | 6 Degrees of Creativity

Day 1: Show Us Your Heart: Take a photo of a heart you’ve cut out of paper and place it inside the palm of your hand to symbolize care, motivation to be mindfully kind to others & ourselves, and as a visual, simple reminder to extend our heartfelt empathy in times of distress & suffering.

Day 2: Chalk It Up for Compassion: Sometime throughout the day, go out & draw, doodle, write, create something outdoors with sidewalk chalk for others to see/stumble upon that has a message of compassion & love— Go Chalk It Up for Compassion!

Day 3: Compassion Word Clouding: Create some fun wordart/wordclouds inspired by compassion—  you can use free programs like Wordle, Word It Out or Tagxedo—  Your wordart/cloud can be created from a favorite quote, saying, words related to compassion.

Day 4: Operation Random Acts of Creative Kindness: Operation Random Acts of Creative Kindness is an opportunity to use creative deeds in the form of art-making & creative expression to show our kindness to others in unsuspecting ways—This could be making art with hopeful messages to leave for a stranger to discover & take, a surprise creative gift/message for a friend, family member, or co-worker, and more.

Day 5: Compassion All Star Awards: Nominate someone as a Compassion All Star and create an artsy award in honor of & to give to him/her.

Day 6: Creativity & Compassion Quote Hunt: Have fun today on this creativity & compassion quote hunt! Find a favorite compassion related quote, saying, or inspiration that speaks to the use of the arts, art therapy, & creativity to help others in need, our community, ourselves, etc. With free, online quote generator programs you can copy & paste your quote (please include crediting the author, quoter) and transform it into an image, save, and share to spread word about the role of creativity in compassion!

Day 7: Compassion Cards of Awesomeness: Our Secret Agent mission will use our creativity to create unanimous Compassion Cards of Awesomeness to leave in places like the inside of books @ at a bookstore or library, discreetly for a friend, family member or co-worker to discover, at a grocery store, post office, or any place you want to spread awesomeness for others to discover, be reminded of and see in themselves.   The theme of these cards (which could be in the form of a decorated index card, greeting card, artist trading card, etc.) is everything & anything about BEING AWESOME (!!)

Day 8: Secret Agent of Compassion: Nature Mission: Complete a tangible act related to our observation and connection to nature’s interelatedness through documenting this perspective with a photo that we take inspired by this mission.

Day 9: Compassion Mandala: Create a mandala with your material of choice expressing what compassion means to you.

Day 10: Compassion Sticky Note Art: Using Post-It/Stickie Notes as a form of art, leave artful messages & expressions on windows, in elevators, restrooms, at gas pumps, & more- Take a photo of your art in these spaces!

Day 11: International Day of Peace Flag: Using a square of fabric or paper (or series of squares) using markers, paint, or whatever material you choose, create a Peace Flag that you can display somewhere as a reminder to yourself, others in your work & life, or community about the power of peace and what it symbolizes. A nice inspiration related to creative flag making is The Prayer Flag Project– lots of examples of different types of flags and materials here!

I am also very grateful to the Compassion Games Team & Community— who were so supportive of our creative efforts and designed a great website, app, & social media tools to make team playing interactive, meaningful, and fun.  It was inspiring to see and connect to all the activities and happenings from other participants & teams!

If you want to catch up on the 100+ Creative Deeds contributed for this project, visit the 6 Degrees of Creativity Facebook page where a special album for this event was created.

For compassion resources & inspiration all year-long:

Compassion Today! App

Kind Living

Charter for Compassion

Let the creative deeds continue!


2014 Compassion Games: The Creative Deed Team

2014 Compassion Games: The Creative Deed Team | creativity in motion

I’ve signed up 6 Degrees of Creativity to be a team for this month’s Compassion Games and I am looking for people to join me!

Started in 2012 by Founder Jon Ramer, “the mission of the Compassion Games is to make our communities safer, kinder, more just and better places to live…the Compassion Games provide a social platform to translate these visions and hopes into concrete, real and tangible expression in the community for collective impact.”

The Global Compassion Games last for 11 days; they begin on September 11th and end on September 21. The Games are part of the 11 Days of Global Unity. They end on the United Nations International Day of Peace.

This year the Compassion Games has introduced an Arts & Culture League, which I think is a perfect fit for the spirit of what’s been launched with this year’s Creative Deed Project. In this online workshop, we’ve been using art-based projects for instilling hope, gratitude, kindness, & giving back to others through engaging in creative acts.

From the Compassion Games Organizers:

 “… you are invited to use the arts in any medium (art, music, photo, video, etc.) to spread and show compassion in your own daily life. Sing it, Dance it, Paint it, Feel it, Sculpt it… How do you express compassion through the arts?”

To participate on the Creative Deed Team: Each day during the 11 Days of Global Unity, I’ll be sharing a creative idea, prompt or inspiration for contributing to the Compassion Games with not only the 6 Degrees of Creativity workshop community, but also (via e-mail) with others who are interested in joining us on the team!

We can share our contributions and results to be represented on the Compassion Map through submitting a report under the team name 6 Degrees of Creativity. I’ll also be sharing our efforts at-large with the 6 Degrees of Creativity Facebook community.  The hashtag #creativedeed & #compassiongames can be used on social media to help promote our collective creative goodness during this event.

Let me know if you are interested in participating- Please e-mail me at by September 8 if you would like to play and connect others to compassion through art!  🙂