a collection celebrating creativity


Committing to creativity

Jacquie Garton-Smith

Apart from wanting to help people achieve their creative dreams, there is evidence that being creative is good for your health. In The art of being mentally healthy, Dr Christina Davies et al. from UWA suggest that two or more hours a week of arts engagement is associated with mental health benefits.

So no more excuses, get creative!

Copyright: Image by StockUnlimited

What, you say? Yes, of course, you WANT to … but are you having trouble committing to doing something creative? Or to any other worthwhile pursuit for that matter?

Like motivating yourself to exercise, eat well or change to any healthier habit, sometimes we need to kick start ourselves by committing to something tangible. Creativity is no different.

So how can we get going? Here are some strategies that I’ve found helpful:

1. Decide your goal. 

Name it in beautiful, confronting, terrifying, real words.

2. Break your goal into achievable steps

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Making something every day DID change my life

Beth Nyland

Three-and-a-half months ago, I finished a year of making things. Guided by Noah Scalin’s wonderful book, 365: A Daily Creativity Journal, I succeeded in making something new. Every single day. For an entire year.

365bookI am proud of this accomplishment. More than that, I am changed by the experience.

The tagline of Noah’s book is “Make something every day and change your life.” Life-changing results from merely making things? At the outset of this creative journey, that sounded grandiose. But I’m an optimist and a believer. And now that I’m on the other side of the work, I can vouch for his lofty claim.

When Noah asked me to explain how the project changed my life, here’s how I answered:

Practically speaking, during the 365 days, the project changed my rhythm and routine. In order to get the “making” done, other activities went by the wayside. Some were good omissions, like watching TV…

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Here’s a list of behaviors that can help ward off depression:

eating a healthy diet
cultivating gratitude
creative activity
maintaining a support system (keeping in contact with people who care about you)
spending time in nature
cardiovascular exercise


7 Habits To Fight Depression

Fighting depression is tough. Thankfully, there are some behaviors that tend to keep the foe at arm’s length.

You can use a simple technique to have a behavior well on its way to occurring automatically within a week.

The technique I’m talking about is BJ Fogg’s Tiny Habits.

One trick is to keep the behavior something you can do in less than thirty seconds. By making it short and sweet it becomes something you can do pretty much however you feel.

Another key is to anchor it to something, preferably associated with the habit behavior, you do every day. After every occurrence, carry out the tiny habit.

The third trick is to reinforce the behavior each time you do it. Little celebrations, such as humming a victory fanfare or pumping your fist in the air, release endorphins in your brain.

Depression is a cruel son…

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The best cuppa ever


Jacquie Garton-Smith

I have been reflecting on the importance of kindness recently. What strikes me is that acts of kindness can be random or intentional, big or small, but even the small ones can make a huge difference.

One stands out for me many years after it occurred.

When I was a junior doctor working at a large tertiary hospital, a number of the rotations required us to do overnight ward cover. These could be gruelling, particularly covering medical specialities where you would be the only doctor in the hospital looking after some seriously unwell people with very complex conditions on a number of different wards all over the site. You can’t plan the work to any great degree as the job is to respond to things that come up and need urgent attention. Weekend nights could be especially tough as the usual medical teams often hadn’t been in to review their patients…

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Flight Path: A Collaboration between Jolie Buchanan and Christy Birmingham

Christy Birmingham with another collaboration … Soar!

Poetic Parfait

Collaboration of mixed media Bring on the collaborations! Photo: ©2014 Poetic Parfait.

Bring on the latest collaboration between Jolie Buchanan and Christy Birmingham! I am so pleased with this mixed-media project as it is uplifting for both Jolie’s artwork and my poem.

We started this project a few months ago and are happy to reveal the result today. It all began with artist Jolie. She cleverly used homemade paper (made from recycled white office paper), a carved linoleum block of a stenciled bird, a hand printer press onto watercolor, Photoshop and …. Wowowowow, and she crafted the resulting image below! Obviously the process was a lot more complex than I explained here but if you’re curious about it be sure to ask Jolie. Her contact details are at the end of the post.

After I had received her image by email, I was happy to use it as inspiration for a poem.

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Enjoy and share …. thanks Kat!



GLOBAL: Creative Director, Anna Thorsen

LOCAL: Art Director, Kat Thorsen (Vancouver BC)

MISSION: To awaken creative expression

VISION: To develop global art initiatives

Art Events, Street Art, Apparel, Curriculum Development, Workshops, Workbooks, Speaker Series, Craftivism, Illustration, Portraiture, Documentaries, Graphic Novels


Curriculum Development Series 1:


Sock Monkey

Life Skills and Entrepreneurship Program

for youth groups, schools and community organizations


Phase 1:

Pilot Project Phase 1: May to June 2014

Introductory Message from Katarina Thorsen

In my role as art director at @bypoststreet, and as therapeutic art facilitator in the Lower Mainland, I am fulfilling my passion to awaken creative expression in everyone around me.  I do this through visual art, art facilitation, art events, street art, blogging, journaling and craftivism.  Especially sock monkeys.

Sock monkeys are a significant part of my work.  Perhaps my life’s work!

I have been delivering sock monkey therapy and…

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Small Steps Toward Large Results

A time for celebration!

Good Friends, Great Fundraising

Ocean Blue Triptych . . .

 © 2008 – 2012 Jolie B. Studios LLC

Project Triptych

Check out more of the project at www.aamora.com.

Threefold Triptych

 © 2008 – 2012 Jolie B. Studios LLC

Project Triptych

Check out more of the project at www.aamora.com.

Carnival Fun Comes to Aamora

Carnival fun is well under way over at aamora.

A couple of captures below have been included in the fun.