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Earlier this week, my husband Tony went to get three-year-old Kai out of bed in the morning, and Kai shared one of his early morning observations: “We can be like chameleons. We can change our colors when we change our thoughts.” Like many of Kai’s philosophical proclamations, Tony and I had no idea where this came from, but it sure gave us a chuckle, and prompted me to do a little bit of research about chameleons.
Prior to this research, I had subscribed to the common misconception that chameleons change their colors to camouflage with their environment. On the contrary, chameleons use their colors to stand out, rather than to blend in. Experiments have shown that the camouflage is related to skin pattern, rather than color, and color changes rarely have anything to do with the environment, and instead are due to heat, light, social signaling, and amazingly, the chameleon’s mood. The details of the color change vary by individual species, but some of the most commonly-documented triggers of color changes include mating “signals” from both females and males, as well as indicating states of aggression, fear, or submission.
Chameleons have a transparent outer layer of skin, and beneath that layer are additional layers of cells called chromatophores which contain colored pigments. Many people are similarly transparent, in that we can see their “colors” easily, and quickly ascertain how they are thinking and feeling. This is especially true with young children, who have not yet learned to mask their true feelings. Yet we as humans are not conditioned to accept this transparency as readily as our lizardly friends; we quickly learn that it is not always acceptable to reveal who we truly are, what we are truly thinking and feeling. We fall into the easy, accepted patterns of using our colors to blend in, rather than to stand out…ironically, the very opposite of the chameleons’ gesture.
Creativity is such a wonderful conduit for exploring our real colors that exist under the surface…what we truly want, need, think, and feel. Through art, we can literally use colors to explore our colors, and express our deepest selves in the safety of our journal, sketchbook, or canvas. Our art can become a practice ground for exploring who we truly want to be, and from there, we can take small steps to bring more of those colors forward into the world.
Try this as a real-life experiment:
This Artellagram has some great free gifts for you as you fill your life with both new colors and new thoughts! We’ve also got a free class this coming Thursday, called Work du Soleil: Creating Work that Feels Like Play. Just as the Cirque du Soleil company reinvented the traditional circus with their bold, wild approach, we can infuse our work in a similar way, and this class will show you how. All the details are below. And we've also got a special gifty for you, to celebrate the long-awaited release of our newest mixed media e-courses celebrating creative gratitude, which we'll be announcing next week, just in time for Thanksgiving. Keep reading to learn how to download your free goodies.
- Think of one small way in which you might show more of your colors on the outside, in your everyday life, and be more of who you truly are, more of the time. For example, you might identify that you’d like to be bolder when sharing your ideas, or stand up for yourself in specific relationships, or take steps to teach a workshop at your local library.
- Create a piece of art to represent this small gesture, change, or shift. Pay attention to new insights or ideas that appear as you are working. You might try working with the actual colors that represent the shift that you are intending. For example, if you want to be bolder when sharing your ideas, you might use bright fuchsia pink or neon lime green to indicate your new boldness.
- Commit to trying an experiment for just one day, and see what happens: do one thing that steps in the direction of your intention. What do you notice and observe, in taking this baby step? How might you add or alter your artwork, based on what you noticed during your one-day experiment?
- Continue experimenting with your colors, and incorporating your observations in your art. Observe how these new efforts become easier, the more you experiment with them both in your art and in life. It all starts with a thought, and a desire to be more visible and be seen more truly. As little Kai said, “our thoughts can change our colors!”
For those short on time, to simplify this week's Artellagram, here are some ”quick links” to the highlights in this edition. You can simply follow the links that you're interested in and go directly to that section.
1. NEW! Free Digital Ephemera Kit Celebration Giveaway! Just in time for Thanksgiving, next week we will be announcing our newest mixed media e-course! It's the next in our series of popular e-courses that combine a daily gratitude practice with a daily art practice in revolutionary, life-changing ways. Our newest addition to Artella's Inspiring Springs is called Artella’s ARTpreciation Postage: A Mixed Media Art Workshop for Cultivating Gratitude for “The Little Things” and we'll also be announcing a special early release of Artsy EnvelHopes 2012: Joyful Art Projects to Change Your Life", which has been newly updated and energized.
In happy anticipation of these new courses, we're celebrating by offering everyone a free Digital Ephemera Kit featuring digital postage stamps, vintage envelopes, and other delivery decorations.
These digital beauties are ideal for digital art, with their built-in transparent backgrounds, and they can also easily be printed out to use in traditional collage, mixed-media, or crafts.
Simply go to this page to get your free Digital Ephemera Kit, and we'll let you know when the new e-courses are ready! Thanks for celebrating with us, and enjoy your free Kit!
2. Free Teleclass on Thursday…Work du Soleil! I invite all bold, boisterous bohemian souls to join me on this coming Thursday, November 10 for Work du Soleil, a playful and practical free teleworkshop for creative entrepreneurs and anyone who has ever dreamed of earning money doing what you love, while also being what you love.
In this very exciting free class, I'll be joined my ultra-special guest, Tama Kieves, best-selling author of This Time I Dance: Creating the Work You Love. It will be one great big party as we share practical tools to help you bring more momentum, motivation, and magic to your dreams as you find the "sweet spot" that propels you into action like never before!
Work du Soleil is a free teleclass to be held on Thursday, November 10, at 9:00pm Eastern Time (8:00 Central, 7:00 Mountain, 6:00 Pacific), taking place via telephone conference line.
Sign up for this free class and you will…
- Engage in transformative tools to discover your own personal key to playful abandon and learn how this discovery alone will bring more momentum, motivation, and magic into your dreams (you might be surprised at what you discover!)
- Learn and participate in practical approaches for being more productive in your creative dreams with fantastical, colorful, whimsical tools and toys
- Hear from best-selling author Tama Kieves about why a new approach to work is so needed, as we explore the connection between play and productivity
- Receive a dynamic follow-up workbook including inspiring and effective ARTsignments™ to uncover even more new sources and opportunities for infusing your work - and your life - with the spirit of playful abandon!
- For those also interested in hearing more about Artella's newest adventure, an exciting and whimsical business adventure land called Business Bohemia, you are invited to stay for a fun gathering after the call, where you'll hear all the details and be invited to join us in this fantastical new world...where creating wonderful work feels like play!
To join us for the free Work du Soleil teleclass on Thursday, November 10, sign up here!
3. More free classes this month! We've recently posted several new free teleclasses that are part of the ARTbundance™ Community Events Series in November and December, all presented by our talented ARTbundance™ Practitioners in training. In addition to the attending these events for free, you also get a wonderful pack of ARTbundant goodies to enjoy! See the descriptions of the new events and sign up here!
4. Join the ARTfiliate Program! join Artella's generous ARTfiliate Program and enMichelley all the new affiliate tools that we've recently added! You can get more info by clicking here.
5. Interested in Becoming Part of Artella's Team? We are expanding our team for all the exciting things we're working on this year, so if you're interested in becoming part of the Artella Team, check out this page for details.
| For today's "In the Studio" Interview, I'm delighted to present Certified ARTbundance™ Coach and Practitioner, Michelle Berlin. Michelle is a true beacon of spirit-centered creativity and is a master at creative experimentation, so I knew her interview would be a great tie-in to this week’s theme. |
Enjoy getting to know Michelle!
Artella: What led you to become a Certified ARTbundance™ Coach/Practitioner?
Michelle: I had always wanted to use creativity and art as a way to move people forward. It had always been such a positive force in my life that I wanted to find a way to share that with others, so when I discovered the ARTbundance™ Certification Training it was a perfect fit!
Artella: How has your ARTbundance™ training affected your work and/or life?
Michelle: My life is filled with possibility! This wonderful sense of balance and direction motivates me every day! My ARTbundance™ training helped me to see that I have something valuable and that I can and should share it with others.
You can read the rest of Michelle's interview, here
The Fall 2011 session of the ARTbundance™ Certification Training Program (ACT) is now in session. If you would like to be notified when the next session is announced, simply fill in this form.
This activity is a fun way to track gratitude in your life, in a unique way that literally connects to the sensation of prosperity. Have fun designing your own "purse" – this could mean decorating a small bag or used wallet or purse. The colorful bag shown here, created by Annette Phillips, is adorned with fibers and coins for visual delight!
After you've created your Purse, each time you are aware of something you are grateful for, write it on a slip of paper and put it in the purse. This "spare change" is also symbolizing the changes you are making in your life and your prosperity awareness.
Gratitude is the best way I know to suddenly "win the mental lottery", so to speak. Nothing can make you feel better, richer, and more alive than being constantly, consistently aware of all of your blessings. This project is a great way to feel those blessings even more deeply!
The project is excerpted from the Artella e-course, Make Change with Your Muse: Mixed Media Art Projects to Attract Prosperity and Change in Your Life!
This Quotz Crystal is a high-resolution jpeg image, suitable for printing. The quote is about creating art, but Cezanne's words also are valid when thinking of colors as our truest selves. I invite you to print it out as a reminder as a fun reminder to embrace your true colors, in both art and life!
~admiring the depth of's color,
Artella Founder, Mango Lover, Hula Dancer
Artella Land ~ the creative isles of words, art, and spirit
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