I was born with a lot of creative imagination, play, and giggles. I do love that about me. I personally believe everybody is an artist in their own special way. We each have our own unique line of creativity.
I think I have searched my whole life, asking questions like: “Where do I fit in? How come I can’t do it like them?” That line of thinking led me to a lot of self-judgment and frustration. When I tried to fit into a box of someone else’s unique style, well, that is not the giant playing field that God created for me. I realize now that I am not like anyone else, nothing is broken or needs to be fixed, and the unique way God made me is beautiful, more than enough, and a blessing and a gift.
I discovered the Expressive Art method that I use and teach, after a lot of Soul searching, praying, and asking God what was next. Shortly after I left my job on MSIA staff, I started dipping my toes into my own creative expression and art-making. I noticed how it helped me move from the worry of “What the heck am I going to do next?” and into fun, play, and joy. Time disappeared, and I was connecting to myself and my creator. It was an outlet for me, and I came present to the moment.
Today, when I make art and dive into painting, it brings me so much joy. I can have the hardest day or be full of body pain, and if I just push around a bit of paint, journal, or collage, something happens, and I forget about my story, my worry, my pain. I feel transported to another place. I have this theory that I have been exploring, that creative art-making in this way brings together the High-Self, Conscious Self and Basic Self.
I am blessed to have created a career out of assisting others in discovering just how creative they are through Expressive Art workshops and individual coaching. My business is Playful Art Studio, as I believe play, exploration, and curiosity are the most important ingredients in making art, way beyond skill or so-called talent.
I absolutely love serving others in finding the creativity that lives inside them. I have always heard when you are doing your ministry, you wonder: “Who just got served here?” I feel like this every time I work with my classes and clients. I am the one that is blessed in every workshop and session. I am privileged to call forward the Light, and ask for the Traveler and Spirit to work with me in creating a safe container for creative magic to happen for my clients.
I don’t just help people make art. What we do is about expressing truth, taking risks, and delving into the unknown of art-making. I have helped clients who didn’t think they had a creative bone in their body! Some clients have gone on to become professional artists.
I have worked with clients who were going through divorce, illness, or had lost loved ones. For them, coaching through Expressive Art has been a way to let go, listen, and heal. I have often heard in my workshops “I came in so exhausted from the day… and I am leaving lifted and with more energy than I came in with.”
In the work we do, when the art is complete, clients listen and dialogue with the art “in its voice” as they are interviewing another person. Such profound information comes forward that could not come forward mentally.
While I have worked one-on-one with private clients virtually, because of the pandemic, I moved my classes from an in-studio experience to an online format during these 6 months. I have served clients in their homes, all over the country and world, in the miniature, portable art studios they have created (sometimes in their bedrooms, kitchens, garages).
In workshops and classes, the community and intimacy that is created lights me up. The sharing that we do in the groups (through responding to a person’s art with movement, sound, and poetry spontaneously) is incredible. It is hard to describe in words what happens! It is felt.
My husband says I walk out of my workshops and client sessions with my eyes full of sparkle; another key that I am living my ministerial blessing.
To learn more about Helen and her work, visit playfulartstudio.com