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!




6 Degrees of Creativity eBook Now Available!

Introducing…. The 6 Degrees of Creativity eBook!

6 Degrees of Creativity eBook Now Available!This 45 page, full color 6 Degrees of Creativity eBook is inspired by the series of 2014 on-line workshops featured below and includes ideas related to exploring and empowering each theme through written how-to’s, PDFs, inspiring links, artist spotlights, and lots of art!

If you missed participating via the online workshop site during 2014, here’s an easy way to still takeaway its contents and inspirations for your creative practice & art making.

Table of Contents:

Ready for Revo'lution | 6 Degrees of CreativityReady for Revo’lution Art Journaling: This section provides the process & creative resources to explore, identify, and get started with your own revolution making!  Through material & media ideas, journaling prompts, and visual journaling examples, you’ll be inspired to discover your hopes and aspirations of personal transformation through art journaling.

Creative Art Mail Collabs & Exchanges | 6 Degrees of CreativityEveryday Creativity: The content in this section of the eBook is committed to sustaining creative practice with ideas, resources, and inspiration to explore and nurture your artsy spirit!



Artist Challenge Coin Exchange | 6 Degrees of CreativityCreative Mail Art Collabs & Challenges: Learn more about the mail art collaborations & challenges that the online 6 Degrees of Creativity community participated in to exchange art and creative adventures with one another. Includes resources about using Artist Challenge Coins, how to cultivate a paper stash for swapping, & exchanging art inspired hope.

Self Care through Creative Practice & Intention | 6 Degrees of CreativitySelf Care through Creative Practice & Intention:  Explore different self-care themes for well-being and nurturing prompts that can be creatively adapted into your art journaling practice, become a set of artist trading cards, or inspire other works of art honoring the importance of self-care.


CreativeDeedCollageThe Creative Deed Project: Be inspired by art-based projects instilling hope, gratitude, kindness, and giving back to others through this section’s series of creative deeds. Lots of ideas for paying it forward using your creativity!



Altered Bingo Card | 6 Degrees of CreativityCreative Goodness: It’s in the Cards:  This section of the eBook includes different art media techniques and ideas all inspired by cards! Whether it’s an index card, bingo card, an inchie, artist trading card or more, be inspired by creative ways to take these ordinary card forms and transform them for collective creative goodness.


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If you experience any technical issues or have any questions, please e-mail Gretchen @

Check out some of these past 6 Degrees of Creativity workshop inspired posts:

The Creative Deed Project

Creative Mail Art Collab: Artist Challenge Coin Exchange

2014 Workshops

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!