What is Expressive Arts?

I came across this article yesterday, although I may have read it before, and find that it really helps explain the difference between Expressive Arts Facilitating (which is what I do), Expressive Arts Therapy, and Art Therapy.

All three are different disciplines, with intertwining similarities. Often times people just assume that I am an art therapist when I explain what I do for my work. While the experiences I facilitate can be therapeutic, I am not a therapist. What I offer are spontaneous art making experiences for people that result in authentic, unfiltered creations. It is the process of creating, in and of itself, which is a natural and inherent quality that we all embody, that provides healing, insight and/or emotional release.

As I continue to learn, I will continue to share. I love facilitating art processes for people, and it is my hope that this will become a discipline that is as widely offered as yoga and meditation.

Podcast

It’s been a while, but I’m back at it!

I just finished up my first Podcast experience and it was wonderful! My friend Eugene has a podcast entitled “On Death,” where he explores how people feel during their time on earth currently, and how they will feel when they die, and what they would like to leave behind.

I had a really great time as his guest! Eugene has a way of making conversation very easy. Things flowed pretty well!

Anyway, check it out if you have some time. You’ll learn a little bit about Eugene, a little bit about his podcast, and a lot about me, expressive arts, and my feelings on death.

Click here for the podcast 🙂 

 

Tampa Bay’s First Street Mural

Hi there!

Just wanted to do a quick post on the amazing experience I had this weekend!

This past Saturday, July 15th, 2017, I had the pleasure of working with an outstanding community in Tampa, FL. We came together and created a large street mural in the South Seminole Heights neighborhood in Tampa, FL. This was Tampa’s first street mural, which has been years in the making, and I will have to say I think it was a great success! I also have to say that I was completely honored to be chosen as the mural design winner. So thank you so so much to everyone who voted for the mandala design!

Anyway, the event was wonderfully organized by SSHCA president Stephen Lytle, and could not have taken place without his efforts, the Florida DOT, and the numerous participants from the neighborhood (including children!). I think that involving the whole neighborhood in the installation was really what made this street mural such a great event. It makes the mural special and gives it more sentimental value, which is something that I am all about. It was also an honor to witness new relationships and bonds being formed over the creation of artwork. Several people who were walking by stopped to ask what we were doing, and a few even joined in on the painting process. It was quite the experience!

Here is an article highlighting the event, with an excellent video created by T.J. Couch, Jr.

Tampa’s First Street Mural

If you are looking to do a community project such as this one, or any sort of community strengthening art installation, please feel free to contact me:

Catherine Thomas

Email:     mantras.mandalas@gmail.com

I would love the opportunity to design future murals and/or work alongside other communities and neighborhoods looking to strengthen their communities and create safer, more beautiful home and/or work environments.

With gratitude,

Cat

Other articles relating to the event:

http://thatssotampa.com/mandala-tampas-first-street-mural-installation/

https://www.facebook.com/events/331811500570077/?acontext=%7B%22ref%22%3A%223%22%2C%22ref_newsfeed_story_type%22%3A%22regular%22%2C%22action_history%22%3A%22null%22%7D

ETSY shop updates!

Hello lovely people!

I am in the process of updating my ETSY shop! 🙂 It has been needing a revamp for quite some time. I find that updating the ETSY shop is one of the things I continue to put off the most, yet it is one of the most important things to do, as it gets my art out for the world to see and purchase.

Does anyone have any specific methods for shop updating they would like to share?

I think the more I do it, the easier it will get. As in, I will find a method and rhythm that I like and will continue to refine it as time goes on…as with most things in life you learn through experience!

I’m feeling pretty good about this update though, so we’ll see how things go!

Cat

Finished mural!

 

 

IMG_3998

Wall mural I created at The Peaceful Warrior Wellness Center in downtown Saint Petersburg, FL.

This past week or so, I had the opportunity to create my first wall mural at The Peaceful Warrior Wellness Center in downtown Saint Petersburg, FL.

While I have had a lot of experience creating smaller mandalas, I had never created one on a larger scale. I’ve done larger intuitive paintings, but never a large mandala painting. One of my goals for the year was to paint a larger wall mural, mainly because I wanted to see if I could do it. I had to know that I could push myself past my own personal limitations and create something on a larger scale. There was a point in my life, not too long ago, where painting a large mural such as this one would have been something I did not believe I could do. I had doubts about myself as an artist, and did not believe that I could create a wall mural, much less in a local business. However, over the years and more so over the past year or so, I have come to rely largely on the power of positive thinking and self-empowerment.  I continuously find, when creating art, and in life in general, that having faith in yourself in terms of achieving a goal is one of the most important parts of self-discovery and self-evolution. We have to be our own biggest cheerleaders. Maintaining a positive attitude and believing in yourself and your goals is imperative to living the life of your dreams. It takes having that faith and self-efficacy, and then taking that leap, that helps you evolve into the person that you want to become. What I have also found is that dreams do come true, and that often times we are not dreaming big enough. Someone recently shared with me this quote, “It is better to aim high and miss, than to aim low and hit.” I believe in this, and I believe that creating artwork is always going to be an evolutionary process for me. Creating this mural helped me push past my own limitations I had once placed on myself as an artist, therefore affirming that I can do anything I put my mind to as long as I believe in myself.

Anyway, the idea behind this mural is that everything is connected in some form or fashion. Whether it be humans, animals, plants etc., we are all here, together, sharing the same air and the same planet. Even though we may look different or act differently, there is always a common thread; we are here in a web of interconnectivity.

If you have not been to the Peaceful Warrior, I highly recommend getting a massage there. They are the best place I have found in Saint Pete, plus my mural is there so you can go by and catch those peaceful vibes in addition to getting your massage on. 🙂

If you are interested in wall art for your home or business I would love to hear from you.

Looking forward to painting another one!

Cat

Welcome to my site!

Hi!

I’m so excited that you’re here!

I had a hard time coming up with a name for my site/business, because I wanted it to encompass not only my artwork, but also the idea that art can also be used a tool for personal development, healing, and self-discovery. l also wanted to be able to share with you some of my creative processes, in hopes that you will be inspired to start creating as well! While I do not offer workshops at this current moment, I know that there will be some in the future, and I hope that you will consider attending! I may even be able to offer some online classes if I can figure out how to do that. 🙂

Anyway, most of the pieces that I create are either made spontaneously or are recreated from spontaneous art making that I have previously done. I am often inspired by nature and there are usually several natural elements found in my pieces. While I tend to gravitate towards making mandalas, I also do a lot of really quick sketches during my expressive arts practice that I will be sharing with you all as well. While the mandalas are beautiful, the thing that is most important when creating is to get something out of the process of creating. And to me, the most important thing is to keep creating, no matter what, which is something that I hope to convey over time with you all.

Most of the mantras that I come up with come through my journal entries. I do a lot of writing in conjunction with my art making in order to tap into a deeper part of my creative self and as a means of expressing things that I may not even realize need to be expressed. My expressive arts processes are often multi-modal, meaning that I will usually do a combination of things in order to get more in touch with my inner and or higher self.

Throughout the process of blogging, I hope to share more of my story with you, and encourage you to begin or continue creating as well!

With gratitude,

Cat