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 a.maz.ing 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 6degreesofcreativity@arttherapyalliance.org by September 8 if you would like to play and connect others to compassion through art!  🙂

Pocket Change Artist Trading Card eZine Now Available!

The Pocket Change eZine is now available to download!

6 Degrees of Creativity Pocket Change Ezine

This free 105 page eZine features the artist trading card collection, participant feedback, and stories inspired by this project. So many good vibes and creative goodness to enjoy here!

Thank you everyone who contributed to this project, and to Beth & Hannah for all their help and collaboration.

To download, click the image above or this link.


Good Vibes Here: The Pocket Change Artist Trading Card Collection

As posted last month, all the Artist Trading Cards created for the Pocket Change Exchange were received, swapped out and mailed to their new homes!  This post features some of the individual collections posted by some Pocket Changers when getting their new ATCs in the mail:

ATCs receive:  Art Heals Austin

@ ArtHealsAustin: “It really is exciting to create, and share, and receive handmade art. I’m so glad I stumbled across the project in time to participate. These little acts of creative kindness are unique, and inspiring, and fun, and motivating. Before I had even opened the envelope, I was smiling.” ~Brittany Sweeden


ArtsyLetters: Connections and Combinations

@ Artsyletters: Connections and Combinations“Today I’m thankful not only to have been a creator but a recipient in the Pocket Change  Artist Trading Card project.” ~Robyn Hood Black



ATCs anyone? Received by SusannaATCs Anyone? – “We celebrated the new year and the closing of another session of learning new techniques with a swap called Pocket Change!” ~Susanna Suchack



ATCs received: InnerCanvas @ InnerCanvas– “I just got my Pocket Change Artist Trading Cards in the mail!!!” ~Lisa Mitchell




ATCs: Shine the DivineThese are the four beautiful ATC’s I received as a participant in the Pocket Change exchange…Thank you everyone…What a treat!” ~ Laura Hegfield




The entire Pocket Change ATC collection can also now be seen via the 6 Degrees of Creativity Facebook page.  Thanks to Beth for scanning each set as they arrived into her care! Take a look, share, and comment on the good vibes, kindness, and creativity created in these meaningful mini works of art:

Pocket Change Artist Trading Cards on Facebook

Stay tuned for more from this project, as a free e-zine with all the ATCs and acts of creative kindness are shared to help keep the positive energy flowing!!!

Pocket Changers Unite!

Pocket Change: Creating Change through Small Creative ActsThe invite we made in December to join us in our Pocket Change adventure is now at the exchange phase, which is very exciting!  Yes!  Hundreds of artist trading cards from all over the world in the US, Canada, Italy, Australia, India, Mexico, and New Zealand arrived to Beth’s mailbox in Decatur, Georgia as their first stop in this project.

A big thank you to Beth for serving as Pocket Change Headquarters during the last month! Beth’s done a great job in receiving all the creative goodness arriving since January, including confirming their delivery with participants, scanning ATCs and dividing the ATCs to mail to Hannah and I for exchanging.  Hannah, Beth, and I will now be working on exchanging all the ATCs received and mailing them back to everyone, as well as posting all the ATCs online for everyone to view.

As I started to take in all the good vibes and creative mojo from the mailings & packages I received in my exchange batch from Beth, the intention of this swap really shined through. Not just in the ATC art created or the image’s messages, but also the attached notes of gratitude & kindness and extra tokens of generosity in the form of creating more than four ATCs to share or including another SASE envelope in case someone forgot theirs.

Act of Creative Kindness from Molly Doerner-Santa Fe, New Mexico

In this post I also wanted to share some of the love received among Pocket Changers involved with this special project and their experience, ideas, and artist trading card making:

Artist Trading Cards – Love, Life and Death

Artist Trading Cards – Love, Life and Death: Art Heals Austin: “Since participating in the Pocket Change project, I’ve found myself gravitating toward this art form of creating tiny inspirational artworks. I find it more manageable and easily accessible. And my detail-oriented artistic style still allows for deep focus and a cathartic process.”  You can also see the ATCs created for this exchange by Art Heals Austin via this post.

ATCs Almost Ready to GoAlmost Ready to Go- Beth Rommel Studio | “The love and goodwill sent to my door is a beautiful reflection on the true meaning of pocket change, a little something to make a positive change.”


Artsy Letters ATCs

Art Break Wednesday: Artist Trading Cards for Pocket Change- artsyletters | “I sent in my cards and am looking forward to  surprises in the mail later, plus seeing the whole group and learning how the creativity behind all of these cards – and there are hundreds and hundreds of cards – has enriched lives in small and large ways.”

Artist Trading Cards: Promoting Community, Creativity, and Acts of Kindness
Artist Trading Cards: Promoting Community, Creativity, and Acts of Kindness- Creativity in Therapy | “Not only was creating my ATCs an enjoyable time for creativity, I loved the idea of participating in a collaborative and community-building activity with other artists and art therapists.”


Mending Walls and Making ChangeMending Walls and Making Change- Hannah Klaus Hunter | “I’ve arranged the artist trading cards, in various stages of completion, at a discreet distance from where I sand. I can see them while I work, their bright colors shining, offering the possibility of almost instant gratification.”


artevolutions: Inspiration from the Pocket Exchange ATCs projectMid-week pondering: Inspiration from the Pocket Exchage ATCs project – artevolutions | “It’s fascinating  to follow this creative flow starting from all the Pocket Exchangers  spreading across the globe creating something, communicating and inspiring others…Thinking about the journey of these ATCs hopping from one creative hub to another and spreading the message connecting more people in the process…Wonderful…”

ATCs- Holistic Art ExpressionsPocket Change Artist Trading Cards- Holistic Art Expressions | “I really got very involved in making this cards today that i am considering leaving some in various public places where people can find them.


ATCs: Small, Simple InspirationsArtist Trading Cards: Small, simple inspirations- La Zattera dell’ArteTerapia |  “The idea that small images may offer positivity, joy and beauty to different people makes me happy.


Pocket Change Power & the Art of KindnessPocket Change Power & The Art of Kindness- Creativity in Motion | “Just think about the awesome power & positive Pocket Change energy coming in from around the world and its potential impact…



itsy bitsy artitsy bitsy art – innercanvas | “Several years ago, I helped 25 homeless teens make some ATC’s  to art “bomb” their neighborhood with.  They used their innate stealth to sneak ATC’s into coffee shop menus, used book store shelves, and corner store newsstands.  We had so much fun creating them and giving them to strangers.


Artist Trading Cards (ATC's) & Building Community Artist Trading Cards (ATCs) & Building Community – Art Therapy Spot | “I was aware of how different it is to create on a small scale. Although I found myself working rather quickly at times, at other moments the small size helped me to slow down and become more familiar with the details.”


tiny weekends ATCsTiny Weekends | “Tiny steps…tiny pieces of art.

Stay connected here to receive an update of when the ATCs from this project are available to view online, as well as opportunities to read reflections about the impact of Pocket Changing!

Pocket Change: Creating Change through Small Creative Acts

Pocket Change: Creating Change through Small Creative Acts

Pocket Change: Artist Trading Card Exchange

A 6 Degrees of Creativity Artist Trading Card Exchange

6 Degrees of Creativity is very excited to be hosting this collaborative project focusing on the power of creating change through making something small (in the form of artist trading cards) and through engaging in simple acts of creative kindness.

This exchange was inspired by community members involved with 6 Degrees of Creativity 2 workshops who suggested having an ATC exchange a few months ago. Myself, Mindful Studio Practice Instructor Hannah Klaus Hunter, and 6 Degrees of Creativity 2 Community Member Beth Rommel then came together to co-create & organize this project. We hope this swap helps create new connections, inspires positive energy, and creates a good reason to make & receive some art in this New Year!

General Overview

  • Participants will create 4 ATCs and will get back 3 from others who are participating in the exchange. Our swap’s theme: Pocket Change is all about how simple and small acts can create and instill kindness, gratitude, and change. For your ATCs, think about the power of your mini artworks as a means to express and share a positive image, message, or intention with others and the world.
  • The fourth ATC will be kept by the host organizers for coordinating the exchange. These ATCs may be posted on the 6 Degrees of Creativity Facebook Page or this blog to showcase the project and help spread the project’s good vibes. We are also thinking about creating a fun, free eZine about the Pocket Change theme, stories, and ATCs the project received to keep sharing the love!

Mailing & Postage

  • Participants will mail their 4 ATC’s by January 30, 2013. If you live in the US, please send a SASE with your ATCs. Please note that without a SASE, you cannot receive ATCs back. Late ATCs will not be accepted for exchange and will be returned. We will start mailing back exchanged ATCs to everyone at the end of February.
  • If you live outside of the US, instead of including postage, please just include some extra fun collage stuff inside a self addressed envelope to cover this cost!

About ATCs & Guidelines for Exchange

  • The dimensions of your ATCs should be 2.5″ x 3.5″, or 64 x 89mm. Tips, examples, techniques, and more can be found via this ATC how-to page.
  • On the back of each ATC please include: your name, contact information (i.e. website/blog/e-mail address) that you are comfortable sharing with other swap participants.
  • ATCs should be sturdy enough to travel through the mail. Wax paper or plastic sleeves should be used between your ATCs if they might stick together because of medium such as Mod Podge.  To make mailing easy, please keep your ATCs to two dimensional materials.

Spreading Creative Kindness!

  • In addition to the ATC exchange, we also encourage you to spread more creative kindness through making Pocket Change ATCs for others (friends, family, neighbors, co-workers, colleagues, randomly leaving them in places for strangers, etc.).  Feel free to share with us how you used this act to keep the Pocket Change process going!

Sign Up

  • Deadline to sign up for this exchange is January 15.  This exchange is open to art therapists, art therapy students, creatives, and artists who wants to make some creative goodness with us! E-mail 6degreesofcreativity@arttherapyalliance.org to sign up and to receive the project’s mailing address for your ATCs or if you have any questions. You can also send Pocket Change Acts of Creative Kindness stories to this e-mail as well. Please don’t sign up for this exchange unless you can make the commitment to follow through by January 30.

I hope you will consider joining us for this special project-We look forward to exchanging lots of creative goodness with you!

Sock Monkey Special Delivery Ready for Hoboken’s Boys and Girls Club

Wow– After a month and a half of more than 50 art therapists, art therapy students, and sock monkey making friends creating their delegates, the 6 Degrees of Creativity & Operation Monkey Service Project is ready to ship its special delivery of sock monkey joy.  With the incredible response received, we now have a huge delegation ready to go for our special mission!  WOO HOO!

Over 100 delegates traveled from 18 states across the US from Indiana, Rhode Island, Michigan, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, Ohio, Connecticut, Virginia, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Missouri, Maryland, Washington DC, Illinois, Florida and 4 countries: New Zealand, Canada, UK, and Italy (in route!) to come together before their final destination: The Boys and Girls Club in Hoboken, New Jersey.

NJ Sock Monkey DelegationStitched with lots of love, hope, and creative goodness, we send sincere wishes that these sock monkey friends will bring many smiles, hugs, and comfort to the youth in the Hoboken community as the Boys and Girls Club site continues to cope with the aftermath of Sandy and their on-going recovery efforts.

A huge THANK YOU of gratitude to everyone who contributed!!!! And THANK YOU to Chief Operative Lindsey & Operation Sock Monkey!


Those sock monkeys that may have missed delegation travel for the Boys and Girls Club Hoboken mission still will have important OSM work to do at another site for children affected by Hurricane Sandy with the New Jersey Public Schools.

Job well done Operatives- excellent work!

Sock Monkey Delegates Arriving For New Jersey Mission

61672_3905266116106_1261867611_nIn November, 6 Degrees of Creativity teamed up with Operation Sock Monkey to collect sock monkeys for the Hoboken Boys and Girls Club in New Jersey, which experienced extensive damage from Hurricane Sandy in September.

Over the last month, sock monkey delegates have been arriving from art therapists, 6 Degrees of Creativity community members, OSM Operatives, and craftivists to contribute to this project and cause:


The first arrivals for this delegation were from OSM Operatives Monkeyville and Yanez’ Wee Beasties and have been joined by more sock monkeys created by members of the art therapy community. This eager bunch awaits to meet more delegates who will be arriving over the next week.

As sock monkeys arrive they receive their official OSM badge to wear to their new home.  The delegation will be shipped together the week of December 17 for the Boys and Girls Club to receive right before Christmas.

Check out these ways we can continue help Operation Sock Monkey and other communities in need through donating, adopting, or sponsoring a sock monkey.

Many thanks again to OSM for all their help with this project and to everyone who has donated a delegate (or two, or three, or more!) or has one/some on the way- Lots of sock monkey joy to be delivered to youth in New Jersey soon!

Boys & Girls Club in Hoboken New Jersey to Receive Sock Monkey Love

Here’s an exciting new development about the 6 Degrees of Creativity & Operation Sock Monkey Service Project that was announced last week: The Boys & Girls Club in Hoboken, New Jersey has been identified as the organization that will be receiving our sock monkey love!

As seen in this video from rebuildhoboken.com, The City of Hoboken experienced severe flooding and extensive damage from Hurricane Sandy, which included the Boys & Girls Club:

From the organization’s website:

“Operating in Jersey City since 1893 and in Hoboken since 1984, the Boys & Girls Club serves thousands of youth, ages 5-21, each year.  They offer comprehensive and quality programming for youth in kindergarten to high school.”

Thank you to 6 Degrees of Creativity community member, sock monkey maker, art therapist, and New Jersey resident Suzanne Martino who identified the need, as well as reached out to the Boys and Girls Club, who is thrilled to receive our sock monkey friends right before the holidays for the community’s youth.

The deadline to sign up for this service project has been extended to November 28.  If you’re interested in creating and donating a handmade sock monkey for this effort, send an e-mail to Gretchen at 6DegreesofCreativity@arttherapyalliance.org to receive more details about shipping information.  Sock monkeys will still need to be ready for shipping by December 10.

If you need some sock monkey how-to help, check out this short video from Art Therapist and OSM Operative Kat Thorsen: http://vimeo.com/28869273.

This project is open to art therapists, students, creatives, craftivists, and anyone wanting to support the effort. Feel free to let others know, gather friends & family together to make sock monkeys, and help spread some sock monkey joy to youth in New Jersey!  A big thank you to all who have already signed up and expressed their support.

Another big thanks again to Lindsey and Operation Sock Monkey for all the help with promoting and collaborating on this project of creative goodness!

Please join us!

P.S.- The sock monkey swap also announced last week still has a deadline of November 12 to sign up.  Check out last week’s blog post for more information about this if you’re interested!

Sock Monkey Swap & Operation Sock Monkey Service Project!

It’s time for another 6 Degrees of Creativity Sock Monkey Swap!

Earlier this year, the 6 Degrees of Creativity community was inspired by Art Therapist Kat Thorsen’s Sock Monkey Therapy Workshop and we organized an exchange to swap sock monkeys with one another.

Now, the sock monkey fun continues for not only another swap, but also an opportunity to create a sock monkey to be donated to Operation Sock Monkey for someone in need.

Read below for more details about how to participate:

  • Sock Monkey Swap:  Make a sock monkey, Receive a sock monkey! Everyone who signs up for the sock monkey swap will be randomly paired with another sock monkey maker.  You’ll be making one sock monkey for someone, and someone will be making one for you. To sign up for the swap, e-mail your name and a mailing address to Gretchen at 6degreesofcreativity@arttherapyalliance.org by November 12, 2012. During the week of November 12, you will receive mailing info on where to mail your sock monkey to. Please note you are responsible for postage, which may be to an international destination. Don’t sign up for the exchange unless you are committed to the swap and following through. All sock monkeys should be mailed out by December 10, 2012. to their new home.
  • Sock Monkey Service Project– You can also create another sock monkey to be donated to Operation Sock Monkey (OSM). OSM is a volunteer-run initiative in support of humanitarian organizations that provide laughter, hope and healing to communities around the world affected by disease, disaster and social/political turmoil through sending handmade sock monkeys to children in need. Currently, we are working on trying to donate some of the sock monkeys to individuals who have been impacted by Hurricane Sandy. If you’re interested in creating and donating a sock monkey for this effort, send a message to the above e-mail by November 12 to receive more details. Thanks to OSM for their excitement & willingness to collaborate with this project!

Not sure what’s all involved or needed to make a handmade sock monkey? Check out this awesome and easy how-to video below featuring Kat walking you through step by step! Much thanks to Kat for her inspiration and on-going sock monkey mojo. You can learn more about Kat’s work here.

This swap and service project is open to anyone who wants to participate and help spread some sock monkey love!  It would be great to not only gift one another with our sock monkey creations, but to also make another sock monkey friend for a community in need.

Join us!