You may be aware that yesterday was Soul Art Day, as created by Laura Hollick of Soul Art Studio. I signed up because I’m a fiend for signing up for stuff. I’m also familiar with Laura and her Soul Art Studio as I considered taking the Soul Art Certification training at one point; it wasn’t the right time then but I am intrigued by the intuitive creativity she teaches.

I don’t always follow through with the things I sign up for. But I had an agenda free day yesterday, and was in what you might describe as a Soulful Mood. And I was curious. Being in retreat is bringing things up for me that I don’t always know what to do with, so I thought, what do I have to lose by trying this?

The journey, guided by Laura with videos and worksheets, takes you from setting an intention {using a brilliant intuitive method that neatly bypasses any logical thinking and most of the inner critic’s comments} to drawing around a part of your body, to asking specific questions once the painting is completed. I particularly love this method of grounding the process in your body.

As Laura points out, the body is the home of the spirit, and using it to express ourselves in this way brings higher insights and deeper understanding and clarity into our physical reality.

Below is the lifesize painting I produced. It’s hard to explain but I’m going to try because I think this is worth sharing.

Most importantly, this painting shows exactly why art is not always about creating something lovely that you can hang on the wall.

Sometimes it’s deeply intense and personal and about the process and/or the message{s} it holds for you alone as its creator. When I look at this painting I look at it with different eyes than almost all the rest of my work. I don’t judge it or assess it in terms of aesthetics or composition or whether it’s ‘good’ or not. It’s far beyond that.

It is actually deeply vulnerable-making to share this, like showing my insides. Fear not, I won’t take you through the whole process! Suffice to say, in asking the painting questions about the messages it had for me regarding the intention I had set at the beginning, I learned some things that although not news to me, introduced a level of clarity and confirmation that crystallized some important things I’m learning right now.

Massive side order of vague, anyone?

Basically I looked at each area, the colours and shapes and symbolism used, and saw how it was a reflection of my current situation and feelings. For example, the strange symbols on the left are about the language I am learning that I don’t yet recognise, and the fact that they are on the left, the yin/feminine/intuitive side, tells me that they are indicative of my own unique inner language of Self, which is one of many things I’m learning on this retreat.

I find the painting uncomfortable to look at, which is interesting in itself. I had hoped for something more serene looking! Clearly I’m not quite at that stage yet. Because the painting is so large {four A2 pieces of paper taped together}, I painted it on the floor, and it became a full body experience of moving around, crouching down, stepping back, like a dance. I painted a lot of it with my hands. I noticed all the criticisms that came up and kept going, reminding myself that this wasn’t like my usual work and ‘didn’t matter’; it was an experiment with no desired or planned outcome. No one would ever even need to know.

This painting is a conversation I had with mySelf.

There were also videos throughout the day where Laura gathered creatives of many kinds to share and discuss aspects of making soul art; there were some real nuggets, some of which I picked out to share with you and for my own future reference.

Creativity is life force energy, so whatever is moving in our life, that is the creative flow; and if we’re feeling angry or dark or vulnerable or blissful or whatever the emotion is, it’s not saying one is good or bad, it’s just that is the flow of life at that time. And when we let that move through us we are in the creative zone.” Laura Hollick

There was a great discussion of the Ugly Phase and a great feeling of camaraderie as everyone acknowledged it as a regular part of their creative experience.

“What would I do if I didn’t care about what anybody thinks about this work?” Amadea Bailey {Great question if you really let go into it!}

Another good question was ‘how can I let go more?’

Soul Art doesn’t have to be huge; it could be done in a sketchbook. I can see myself using this method again when I need to learn things my brain cannot tell me. Asking through the medium of the body produces profound insights, and the very specific satisfaction and comfort that comes from learning your own truths from inside yourself.

To see the creations of other Soul Art Day participants, visit the gallery. 

Laura’s creative journey process surprised me with how much value there was in doing it. There is a lot of stuff out there that you can sign up for that doesn’t really have any effect; this was one of a few times where I found a depth and quality of experience that was really valuable to me. Sometimes signing up for everything in sight pays off. :)

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PS. My box of freshly printed books has arrived! If you have ordered one a} thank you very much! and b} it will be winging its way to you shortly. :)

PPS. There is still time to enter the book giveaway over at Do What You Love. I am overwhelmed by the quantity of responses so far and deeply moved by many of the comments. I wish I could give a book to everyone.

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