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A New Kind of Self-Portrait ~Artellagram 8/6/11
August 06, 2011

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Last weekend, we took Kai to an aquarium. Primarily a children's facility, all the tanks are positioned low, at a child's-eye level, and they offered several hands-on opportunity for kids to touch the sea creatures. Since he really loves fish and the ocean, I was a bit surprised that it took Kai a little while to "warm up" to the sea creatures. At first, he was most comfortable playing with a big plastic octopus, talking to it and making up stories about it. Knowing that Kai doesn't like to be rushed, we let him take his time playing with the toy, and that seemed to get him more comfortable to interact with the live animals.

Watching Kai was a good reminder that we all have our comfort zones that keep us in protective spaces and places, often for a very long time. We often tend to play with the plastic version rather than do the "real thing". The problem of course, is that we are often so comfortable rehearsing something in our minds that we hold ourselves back from actually doing it. We plan, imagine, and mentally rehearse our vision, and this definitely gets our dreams activated, but it doesn't get our dreams actualized.

Eventually, something moves us from "toying" around with things to actually taking action. Something in us becomes bigger than the safety of the status quo. As Anais Nin wrote, "And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom." Dream actualization finally happens when we realize that we can no longer risk the chance that life will pass us by.

If you're feeling right at the point where you're tottering between the toy and the real deal, you might be interested in some of the announcements below, including a special free class that SARK and I are presenting all about discovering your own personal dare. In addition, there are also some great free opportunities to experience ARTbundance™ firsthand, including a free download of the ARTsignment™ Power Hour virtual workshop.

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.

Free teleclass with me and SARK on Tuesday!

NEW! Applications now available, plus lots of ARTbundance™ Freebies!

Jump in and join us for M.A.I.N. Summer Camp!

Join the Artella Affiliate Program

Become Part of Artella's Team!

In the Studio with ARTbundance™ Coach and Practitioner Sandra Gardner

Creativity Tip: Two-Minute Me

Quotz Crystal™

1. Free teleclass with SARK and Marney on Tuesday!! I invite you to D.A.R.E. with SARK and Marney, to be held this Tuesday, August 9, at 9:00 pm Eastern. D.A.R.E. stands for "Dreams and Realities Expand", and in this class, best-selling author SARK and I will be guiding you to discover and nurture your personal DARE, that unique inner positive challenge that is unique to you and only you!

In this fun, free class, you will:
  • Learn the difference between your Dream and your DARE
  • Clarify this difference to change your life!
  • Hear me and SARK candidly share our stories about the role of DARING in our personal and professional journeys, as we guide you to apply the valuable lessons from our stories to your own life, right now!
  • Finally identify your personal DARE…that inner positive challenge that is unique to you and only you!
  • Experience exciting new tools to support you in creating confidence to dance with your DARE and bring it to life!
Get all the details about the free class with me and SARK here!

2. Fall 2011 ACT Session is Open for Applications! We are now taking applications for the Fall 2011 ARTbundance™ Certification Training, with applications due September 12, 2011!

If you are considering applying for the Fall 2011 ARTbundance™ Certification Training Program, or if you'd just like to learn more about the ARTbundance™ Philosophy and ARTsignments, here is a whole bundle of fun freebies for you:

  • NEW! Listen to Audio ACTimonials! The Audio ACTimonials are a consolidation of about two dozen ACT Graduates sharing their personal experiences with the program. The recording is approx 24 you can feel free to dip in and listen to a little, or a lot! :-) Listen to your recording, here!

  • NEW! Download your free copy of "The ARTsignment™ Power Hour" – You can now download the new Virtual Workshop Experience which includes the class recording with all its great interactive activities and presentations, PLUS a dynamic workbook full of more fun ways to apply ARTsignments™ in your own life, or with your own clients and students. Download your copy, here!

  • NEW! Get a Free ARTbundance™ Coaching Session! We're also once again accepting volunteer clients to work with our talented Coaches-in-training in the newest group of trainees in Artella's ARTbundance™ Certification Training Program. ARTbundance™ Coaching Session! Since this opportunity has grown to be very popular, and we only have a limited number of coaches, we can only take signups on a first-come basis, at which point, like last time, we will start a waiting list. Those on the wait list, however, who do not get to work with a coach, will still get the exciting package of freebies outside of the coaching session, and will be contacted if a space opens up. You can get all the exciting details and sign up for your complimentary session, here!
If you think you might be interested in applying for the Fall 2011 session of the ARTbundance™ Certification Training (ACT), note that applications are being accepted through September 12, 2011, including those applying for a Lonnie D. Kliever Scholarship, through the fund we created in memory of my father. You can get full details about ACT and request an application at:

3. Jump in and join us for M.A.I.N. Summer Camp!You can still join us for M.A.I.N. Summer Camp…"A Creative Jump-in-the-Pool for Your Business Vision…and So Much S'More!" Here are some of the latest comments we've been hearing:

"I have to admit that at first, singing camp songs seemed silly to me. However, I have been doing it all week as I drive to work in the morning and I have found it quite uplifting. I have actually been moved to tears as I sing. I am completely surprised -- and thrilled by this new way of uncovering focus for my dream. Thank you, thank you for your oh-so creative approach. You have a special and fun way of getting me out of my linear way of thinking to something more fun and free and joyful. I want to approach the pursuit of my new career direction as a big adventure instead of another 'to do'. Your way helps me with that!"
– Pam Duplantis

And, there's great news: you can still enroll for the third week, and you'll receive the recording and workbook for first two weeks immediately, so you can easily get caught up. You can get more info about M.A.I.N. Summer Camp, here!

4. Join the ARTfiliate Program! Join Artella's generous ARTfiliate Program and enjoy 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 ARTbundance™ Coach and Practitioner Sandra Gardner! Sandra is such a nurturing Coach, and is wonderful at helping people get out of their comfort zones, so I thought she would be the ideal person to interview in conjunction with our topic this week!

Enjoy getting to know Sandra!

Artella: How has your ARTbundance™ training affected your work and/or life?

Sandra: “How hasn’t it?” would be an easier question to answer! I came into ARTbundance™ thinking I was going to get a certification that I would use to give my work more credibility. What I didn’t realize was that the process of transformation that I would go through during the course was what was going to make me the ARTbundance™ coach that I am.

It has opened up my thinking in ways I never imagined. It has allowed me to see things from a wider perspective than I ever did before. It has given me new tools in my toolbox, new ways of seeking that Higher Wisdom that I’m constantly searching for. And it’s really fun to tell people about – they are always interested and intrigued by the ideas of ARTsignments™ and the Principles.

Artella: In your mind, how are creativity and spirituality related?

Sandra: Creativity is the opposite of destruction, the opposite of constriction. Creativity is about expansion. We are spiritual beings because we are creating, because we are expanding. Through creativity we express ourselves. Through creativity we ground ourselves. Through creativity we connect with others. Creativity also lights our paths. It can go on and on. During my first ARTbundance™ class, I felt called to pull a book, The Tao of Abundance, off of my dresser. As I flipped through it, I came to a page with a quote on it by Robert A. Schumann, a German Romantic composer. I shared it during the class, and I think it’s appropriate to share it again, here: “To send light into the darkness of men’s [and women’s] hearts - such is the duty of the artist.”

You can read the rest of Sandra's interview, here

A new session of the ARTbundance™ Certification Training Program (ACT) is coming in September 2011, and applications are now available! You can get the full program details here.

This project is called a "Two-Minute Me". One of the best ways I know to clear a creative block is to work very quickly. This project is a great way to very quickly get to the heart of what you really want in your life right now.

STEP ONE: Assemble a pile of images that you've gathered from magazines, calendars, catalogs, etc. Don't think about how you will be using the images; just gather a pile of images of a variety of shapes, sizes, colors, etc. It's helpful if you can include some body parts in your pile, as well.

STEP TWO: Find a surface to create a collage on, such as a piece of paper or cardboard, and a simple adhesive, such as a glue stick or double-stick tape.

STEP THREE: Set a timer for two minutes. Yes - that's just two (2) minutes!

STEP FOUR: Create a collaged self-portrait to represent how you would really like to feel in your life, using only the images in your pile, and working only for two minutes!

STEP FIVE: When the timer goes off, stop, and call your work complete. Look at your portrait and explore what you see, now that it is done. What images and symbols can you see now, that you may not have even been aware of during the quick creation process? What symbolic meanings do you see in the self-portrait you created? What does this little character have to tell you? Remember, the goal isn’t to try to perfect your "mini-me"; rather, it's to let her, in all her lightning quirkiness, speak to you somehow, ultimately giving a voice to the parts of you that otherwise can get lost in your more proper and established habits of daily life.

STEP SIX: If you'd like to make another quick self-portrait, you can. You may even want to make an entire series of quick "Two-Minute Me" portraits that capture different parts of your life.

Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Think in terms of basic body parts: face, upper body, torso, arms, legs, hands, feet. Select the images that you want to use for those pieces, first. Then you can add additional embellishments.
  • Consider using unusual images for different body parts. An apple could be a face, a tree could be a leg.
  • Cut any image or background into the desired shape, for any body part.
  • Add text or other images to bring quick focus to the theme or concept that you'd like to illustrate.
  • As you'll see, two minutes goes very quickly! There is no time to think, judge, criticize or doubt. You just have to do it!
  • Most of all, have fun! Don't worry about making "good art". This is just time to play, not to hold yourself up to any kind of standard, so please, let yourself off the hook and just enjoy this fun, spontaneous, playful process.

The project is excerpted from the Artella e-course, Artella's Mixed Media ME-flections: 30 Self Portrait Projects to Change Your Life

This Quotz Crystal is a high-resolution jpeg image, suitable for printing. I invite you to print it out and remind you to to take the risk…and blossom!

~admiring's blossoming petals,


Artella Founder, Mango Lover, Hula Dancer

Artella Land ~ the creative isles of words, art, and spirit

Artella 9090 Skillman #182A-116 Dallas TX 75243

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