Process Over Product: Simple Questions to Ask Yourself When Making Art to Focus on Process Over Product
“The creative process involved in the making of art is healing and life enhancing.”
American Art Therapy Association, Mission Statement
As stated in The Art Therapy Sourcebook by Cathy Malchiodi
Process over product. This is an essential pillar of art therapy.
Focus on the process of making art instead of the product that’s created at the end. Shifting the way you approach your art making will make it a more therapeutic experience. It can help you feel more grounded, find meaning in your art, gain insight into your life, and support being more intentional not only in your art making, but also in other areas of your life. How you show up with your art will transfer to other areas of your life.
Here are some questions to consider before, during, and after making art to help focus on the process over the product:
Download this free cheat sheet that you can print out and have next to you for future art making sessions.
What other helpful questions might you ask to focus on process over product? Share in the comments below.
What we say to ourselves matters.
The good news is that our brain can continue to change and evolve even in adulthood. Meaning, even if you’re stuck in some negative thought patterns, that doesn’t always have to be the case.
A practice that has gained some popularity, for good reason, is the practice of repeating and embodying affirmations. Affirmations are positive statements about ourselves that can help us shift our mindset and thought patterns over time.
Examples of affirmations:
We can practice embodying affirmations in a number of ways:
My Affirmation Poster workshop combines art making and affirmations, the perfect pairing for some creative self-care that also has the potential to help enhance your wellbeing over time. This online, self-paced workshop involves a simple process that you can repeat over and over again for different pieces of artwork. What you create will be unique to you and include a mantra that resonates most with you in the moment you create it.
I love using magazines in my art, so it’s no surprise that they’re showing up in this workshop. Magazines are accessible (financially, emotionally, creatively), full of imagery, colors, and words, and a great starting point to begin making some art.
Sign up for free for the 6 Self-paced Workshop Bundle (free download) to gain access to this workshop and 5 others! The Workshop Bundle will arrive immediately to your inbox after sign up.
Enjoy and, as always, please share your work if it feels good for you. I’d love to see what you create.
Ways to share your work:
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
- Marianne Williamson
There is no one else in this entire universe who is just like you. You have gifts and talents to share with this world that have the potential to make a profound impact. The world needs you to share what is unique and amazing about you.
Don’t get me wrong. It can be scary stuff putting yourself out there, feeling vulnerable and exposed, but the alternative is living a life never getting close to your full potential. The alternative is living your life while harboring all of the amazing qualities that have the potential to change the world.
At the beginning of 2015 I had the idea to start Love Sum. It was a big fluffy idea in my head, one that incorporated my experience as an AmeriCorp member and the eye-opening years of being a high school teacher, all while weaving in my creativity, love for art, and other snippets of my personal life. It was a big fluffy idea that asked me to get bold, push forward in the face of fear and to act on something aligned with my values and passions. I’m not changing the world on a global scale, but starting Love Sum has paved the way to hosting events in my local community, facilitating workshops at national retreats and has allowed me to serve some amazing people all over the world through Love Months, care packages, and other ways that I’ve had the privilege to remind people to add more love.
What if I never started Love Sum? Would the world end because I didn’t act? No, it wouldn’t, but those moments shared at events, the connections made, the little reminders to add love that are carried by people all over the country would have never existed. Although each part is small on its own, when you add it all up, it matters and makes an impact.
What have you had the courage to share with the world? What if you have never pushed yourself to do it? What if you kept playing small? Take a moment to thank your past self for being courageous.
What is something that you’ve been struggling to act on? Is there a conversation you want to have? A piece of art you want to make? A project you want to begin? “Your playing small does not serve the world.”
To encourage you to share your gifts, I’ve created this resource for you to identify your gifts, reflect on how you’re currently utilizing them, and create one commitment as you move forward. I’ve also created a downloadable phone background for you to serve as a daily reminder to play a little bigger!
Sending you lots of love and encouragement!