an invitation to an experiment :: join me for ‘express it’ month

express it month - march 2016 - a free community experiment

Let’s not forget that the little emotions are the great captains of our lives
and we obey them without realising it.

Vincent Van Gogh

I had an idea recently to do an experiment {you know me}, and then I thought, how much more fun {and motivating!} to do it together?! So here’s what I’m thinking…

The Idea

There are three main components to this idea:

  • it’s a way to become more conscious of what you’re feeling and thus more connected to yourself
  • it supports feeling and expressing your feelings {something we so often don’t do for all sorts of reasons} through the safe container of an art practice
  • it’s a way to make more art/develop a practice with built in motivation

I want to play with the idea of making art as a direct expression of emotion. Now obviously art is that already in many ways, but not always solely and specifically. I want to see what would happen, what kind of art I’d create, if I sat down every day for a month and sent my feelings in that moment or that day from my heart down through my hands and out onto the page. I want to fill a sketchbook with feelings, kind of like a wordless visual diary.

Without planning or ‘trying to make good art’. Just spontaneous, ‘this is how I feel and this is what it looks/feels like to me in this moment’.

In my mind it’ll likely be abstract expressions, particularly since feelings are nebulous things and don’t always fit into language parameters. It feels as though specific images too might create boundaries, however symbolic, whereas this is about removing boundaries in order to allow for truly free expression. That’s not to say that’s how we would all do it, of course.

It’s also completely FREE!

How it will work

If you’d like to join me for this little adventure, it’ll be happening throughout March. I’ll send out a daily email to help us keep going. Clearly specific prompts won’t work for this, but for me at least having a thread to follow and a community to play along with makes all the difference, so I wanted to set something up that would foster that. Each email will feature a relevant/thought provoking quote, and a few thoughts on that perspective, plus ideas and suggestions.

No need to limit it to painting either; it could be drawings, collage, clay work, music, photography, dance, poetry {a daily Haiku perhaps!}, sewing… whatever your creative action of choice. Anything that can be produced spontaneously will work.

Each day we will express something we feel through a creative medium. Since feelings can change moment to moment, this might be a daily snapshot, or if there’s something major going on it might be a more detailed piece spanning several days. We don’t have to name it or explain it, we can simply do it and then choose to share it or not, with a description or not.

Use it to explore how you really feel. Use it to release pent up emotions consciously. Use it as a fun experiment. Use it in whatever way will best support you. Interpret it all however feels best to you.

It feels right also to note that this is not about techniques or making pretty things necessarily; this is about feelings. What we create is only half the story. So the emails will offer some introspecting, some thinking and pondering, and some discussion of perspectives that support us in bringing our emotions out through our creativity in a direct way. Obviously I’m not a therapist, and this is not intended as anything more than a fun experiment in support of creative self care.

Sharing

Instagram is my favourite place to share, and lends itself well to this kind of project. We can use the hashtag #expressitmonth2016. If you’re not familiar with Instagram I suggest trying it out as it’s a wonderful way to find and connect with people doing whatever it is you’re interested in. You can find me here.

Summary

  • 31 days of experimenting with directly expressing our feelings/emotions with our medium of choice throughout March 2016
  • Short daily encouragement emails, including a thought provoking quote to help us keep going and some words from me {will also include book recommendations, stories and whatever else feels relevant to share}. You can of course also do it without the emails – up to you.
  • Totally free {please share this with anyone you think might like to join in!}
  • Non compulsory sharing on Instagram using the hashtag #expressitmonth2016
  • No rules or requirements to read every email or make art every day; follow your own feelings

So what do you think? Are you in? I’d love for us to do this together. I think it’ll be an interesting experiment, and also that holding it as an experiment will help to soften the judgements we often make about the perceived quality of our work, allowing us to focus on what it’s actually about: trying something out that might support not only our creative practice but also our self care and self awareness. 

If you’d like to join in, pop your details below and then you’ll receive the daily emails. I promise to keep them short and sweet! This isn’t about a huge heavy commitment, you will only receive emails for the duration of the experiment {ie. March} and it’s not a requisite to do every single day!

If you’d like to share that you’ll be doing this and invite others to join, please feel free to pin the pic at the top or share one of the Tweets/Facebook posts below. {You can also highlight any sentence you like in the post to share it instantly.}

Tara’s running a free experiment in expressing your feelings through your art in March. I’m in! Want to join? Find out more and join in here: http://bit.ly/1QwwXLC

Self care, self discovery AND creativity! Join us for a month of experimenting with making art that directly expresses your feelings in March: http://bit.ly/1QwwXLC

Got questions? Leave them in the comments below please!

 

 {I recommend not using a Hotmail address if you sign up – sometimes they go astray for some unfathomable reason. As long as you receive a little welcome email after you sign up, you’ll be good to go.}

10 Comments

  • Riya says:

    I would love to join your 31 days experiment. It does sound fun and challenging.

  • Cathe Ekas says:

    Dear Tara,
    Happy Birthday. I’m looking forward to March. I think it will be fun and interesting to see how I express my feelings creatively.

  • Christl says:

    Sounds like wonderful encouragement to create!

  • melissa says:

    I’m seriously considering this, although I’m not sure I’ll capture the exact spirit you’re going for… I’m not an abstract/nonrepresentational artist. Actually, I think I’m pretty structured. Most of my stuff is emotional expression anyway (though veiled!) so maybe my participation in the theme will be too much of a stretch?

    The “daily” aspect is what is attracting me the most, and with my schedule, that alone will be plenty challenging! Plus, if I decide to film it? Maybe that’s just downright insane.

    Still pondering. Though I am curious to know how other representational artists are planning to approach this? Maybe I should just do my own personal thing over here and leave you birds to it…

    • Tara says:

      Hi Melissa! There are no rules with this – it’s an experiment! I’m not an abstract artist either; I suggest that that approach will lend itself well but I won’t know for sure until I start. And of course we’re all different so it could take any form! You’d be most welcome to join us. Don’t let the style hold you back!

  • This sounds amazing! March is going to be a crazy busy month for me, but next time I will definitely be joining in with this. It’s such a lovely way to build a community of art lovers ♡

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