To Inspire, Transform & Heal

Linda Wiggen Kraft
Creativity for the Soul

Creativity Journey #1 – Creativity Containers

Creativity Journeys – Containers For Your Creative Flow

Creativity Journeys are just that, a journey into an inward exploration to the depths and womb of creativity and an outward expression that gives birth to the flow of creation.

(For an overview and introduction to all Creativity Journeys link here)

Today, August 18th is a new moon. This is time for planting wishes, dreams and intentions in the dark womb of the new moon.  It is a perfect time, although any time is perfect, to set intentions or wishes for connecting with your creative core and immersing yourself in the gestation, birthing and flow of creativity.

The first step on this journey is to create a container, a home, a sacred place for “dancing on paper”.  The words and images created as marks on the surface of the paper will be held in the embrace of this container.



I love to create holders, or folders, that hold each of these papers “danced upon”.  I like folders better than journals. Journals seem restrictive in that each page can’t move. I call these “Creativity Container” folders. They can be filled with many different pages and rearranged in any way. Pages can be taken out and seen next to other pages. In this way a connection between pages can be made that wouldn’t be possible with a bound journal.  I fill my folders with other ephemera, printed sayings, poems, earlier art work and other treasures.



Each Creativity Journey blog post, like this one, is organized into five parts:
* The why, or big picture of creativity, what is our deep longing to connect with our creativity.
* A guided meditation to relax into a mind, body and heart space opening to creativity flow.
* Prompts for Dancing on Paper, mark making with words and images.
* Examples and how-to of mark making through the prompts.
* Closing Poem or Prayer.


Why do we have this deep longing to create, to create in a deep and meaningful way? This quote by theologian and founder of Creation Spirituality, Matthew Fox, offers these profound words. They are from his book titled Creativity.

“There is a river of creativity running through all things, all relationships, all beings, all corners and centers of the universe. We are here to join it, to get wet, to jump in, to ride these rapids, wild and sacred as they be.” 
                                                                                                                            Matthew Fox

This 8 minute and 45 second guided meditation helps you settle into the center of your creativity. Find a quiet place to sit comfortably, close your eyes and listen.


Often the blank white paper used to write on, paint on, or draw on is the scary big unknown.  That first mark made (word or stroke of brush) often opens the flood gates and lets creativity flow, but the first step is often the hardest. Prompts are nudges that offer suggestions on where to begin. Prompts let creativity flow and mark making become a dance on paper.

Word Prompts – (More toward the end)
In putting together these Creativity Journeys many words starting with the letter “P” kept coming to mind.  I am using the following words, in no particular order, to be prompts for this and future journeys.  You can pick any one of these words, or if you need a suggestion use the word “Promise”.











Let the word chosen as your prompt, enter into your whole being.  Think of it as it relates to your choosing to go on this creativity journey. Think of it as you create your “Creativity Containers”.


Creativity Containers
These folders and holders of your creativity are easy to make. They also are expressions of your creativity on the outside and inside.  They are also the first exercise in “dancing on paper” with playful and easy strokes of brushes and watercolor paints.

Creativity Containers are made by folding papers into a “folder”.  They can be a simple as one-fold or three-fold. A fold in the center opens to two pockets. Three folds opens to four pockets with a center fold and another fold on each side. The inside pockets hold the papers used for mark making – words and images. The folder itself and some of the papers that go inside will be painted and put together in this first creativity journey.






The papers used are 80 & 96 pound mixed media paper, Dick Blick and Canson brands. Also 80 pound Arches Text Wove paper is used and a watercolor paper, 140 pound.   Watercolor papers are harder to fold but can be used.  These papers can be folded back and forth and torn by hand to create the sizes you would like. A paper cutter or exacto knife can be used, if you have them. Keep all the torn off or cut off small pieces to be used in other ways, most often as added color and contrast on the outsides.


The size of your Creativity Container is determined by the size of the paper before folding.  The folder itself will be the largest paper size.  Inside paper pages fit into each separate pocket.  This one-fold Creativity Container’s finished size is 5.5 by 6.5 inches closed and 6.5 by 11 inches open.  The inside sheets of paper are a bit smaller than the outside folded dimension.




This three-fold creativity container’s finished size is 5.25 by 5 inches closed and 21 by 5 inches open. It is made from mixed media paper.  Again the inside sheets are a bit smaller than the outside folded dimensions.



The size of your creativity container folder can be any size you prefer, limited only by the size of the paper used.  Make one, two or more.

The paints used were inexpensive tube water colors, procion fabric dye, ink in bottles and sumi ink. They all were mixed with water in old yogurt cups to create color washes. The top row colors are from dye and inks.  The bottom row colors are from tube water colors. On the far left the brown, blue and yellow green colors are plain water cups used to clean brushes between color changes.


It is easier to make the folder before painting, although a large paper can be painted and then folded and torn after drying.  These papers will expand somewhat when wet, but shouldn’t be a problem. Once you know the size of the pockets of your folder, the papers that go inside can also be cut or torn to size and painted. The inside pages can also be torn or cut to the size before being painted and dried.

Wet & Messy – Playing & Fun
This part of the process is meant to be a fun, loose exercise of painting on paper.  It is an experiment with papers and paints, and the play between you and them.


Put some plastic down on a table that will be bigger than the paper you will be painting. I use a large sheet of acrylic to keep the table dry.  Get the paints and brushes ready. Take a long strip of paper to create a test strip to show the colors of paint on paper. Brush one color on, clean the brush and brush the next. Once dry, this will show you how the colors look after they are dry.  Watercolors dry lighter than when seen wet on the paper.

For the folder both sides of the paper will be painted.  One side can be painted and dried, or both painted and then hung to dry. This is a very wet process.  For the inside papers, both sides don’t need to be painted, but they can be.

Stand while painting. Your arms and body will be looser. Spray the entire surface with water first to wet the paper.  Then take your brushes and begin to cover with the color washes. A larger flat brush will make covering larger areas easier. Inexpensive hardware brushes can be used. Then try the smaller brushes and more concentrated paint. Add marks that way.

Play and experiment. There is no right or wrong way to do this.  Don’t judge, don’t try, just go with the flow.  If you really don’t like what you see, wipe off the color and try again. Some of the page will be stained.  Here’s a video showing some play with ink and color. This paper is a watercolor paper.

Video of Ink Flow & Play Link: Creativity-Container-Ink-Flow


A large sheet (this is 24 by 18 inches) can be painted and after drying can be torn to the sizes needed for a folder or inside pages.  The “dots” in the green area have been sprinkled with salt.  The salt absorbs some of the watercolor and will leave lighter areas when the dried salt is brushed off the dried paper.


The marks made with paints on paper are seen here as primarily abstract washes of color.  Some imagery may created like these tree like forms on the inside of one folder.


Also words and intentions can be painted onto the paper and left alone, or perhaps painted over but still holding the energy of the words.

The word “promise” was painted onto the inside of one of the folders. More paint went over the word but a slight shadow of the red color stayed on the paper.

Putting It All Together – After Drying Time
Once the folder and papers are dry and put together, the outside edges of the folder will need to be secured together. Staples at the edge are strong and can be covered with washi tape, or left alone.  Heavier duty tapes, like decorative duck tape, also work.  Fill the pockets with the painted pages and blank white pages. Add other treasures: poems, quotes, photos and things that are part of your creativity journeys.

To hold the folder together a ribbon, or cloth strip,  can be secured with a staple and wrapped around.  The ribbon, or cloth, can be glued on to the front and back and tied. Use some of  the small pieces of paper left over from tearing or cutting for this purpose.  Find one that can be glued to cover the ribbons or cloth strip.

It Takes Time
The process of creating your Creativity Container folder and papers takes a fair amount of time and even longer to dry. Most other Creativity Journeys will not be as messy or take as much time. Creating these containers for your creativity is building a home, a sacred space for the creations from your creative core.

WRITING PROMPT – back to the chosen word
This can be done when all the painting and putting the pieces of your creativity container is done. It may be the next day or a few days later.

Find a quiet spot and take one of the inside pages out.  You may want to listen to the guided meditation again. With pen or pencil write the date on front or back.  Remember the word you chose from list of words near the beginning of this blog. “Promise” was the suggested one.  Write that word as your first word and begin to write.  Spend at least ten minutes, or more. Fill the page, front and back if you need. Fill another page if needed. When you are done, sit for a minute or two and let what you wrote fill you.



The Journey

Above the mountains
the geese turn into
the light again

painting their
black silhouettes
on an open sky.

Sometimes everything
has to be
enscribed across
the heavens

so you can find
the one line
already written
inside you.

David Whyte



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