by Effy Wild
If you do circles in the circles of art journalers on-line,
then you know of today's guest for the
An incredible artist and sharer of self,
queen of the art journaling page,
and an inspiration to so many of us,
just read this post and you will instantly see and *feel* why)
Have you always identified yourself as BOTH an Artist and a Healer? If not, when did you first recognize yourself as both?
I have always identified as a creative. Ever since I was old enough to hold a chubby blue primer pencil (remember those?) in my hand and write my name, I have been writing. I wrote myself through a traumatic and difficult childhood. I wrote myself through spousal abuse and single parenting. I wrote myself through recovering from being an adult child of an alcoholic. I wrote myself through the worst of times and into the best of times.
In 2006, I stopped writing. I became as blocked as I'd ever been, mostly because my home life was chaos. One of my children developed a serious addiction to meth amphetamines and I found myself horrified and traumatized and incapable of speech most days, let alone writing. Our journey took us down some pretty dark roads, but we came out on the other side relatively intact as a family unit. The only problem was, even though our child was healing and recovering and we had started breathing a bit easier, I still couldn't write. Writing felt insurmountable to me, and in an effort to coax my muse out of hiding, I went looking for ways to be creative that didn't involve writing. My search led me to knitting lace (too hard on my eyes), beading (ditto), podcasting (not bad, but somehow not me), and finally, in 2009, to art journaling.
After about six months of taking every art journaling e-course out there and stocking up on lots of awesome, juicy supplies, I became convinced that this was it. This was the key to unlock me. I noticed, too, that not only was it just as effective in keeping me sane and honest with myself as writing, but it *worked better* when it came to helping me transform lingering problems I'd had all my life. My excitement over how powerful a tool journal art was in self-inquiry and healing led me to wanting desperately and passionately to *share* what I was learning and experiencing. Though I still have difficulties claiming both titles, I feel it, deep down in my bones. I know it every time I sit down to make a video for my tribe. However difficult claiming these labels might be for me, I am growing into them more and more every day.
I think I finally understood that my calling was to be an artist healer in 2011 when I used journal art to transform a very difficult interpersonal situation into a fulfilling and sustainable creative practice that I could not only undertake myself, but share with the world in the form of a program called Book Of Days. (
by Effy Wild
How does your creative expression inform you, or offer you unique perspective, as a Healer?
Creative expression informs every facet of my life. There is nothing I can't 'take to the page' and it is my heartfelt and honest belief that this is true for *everyone*. If you're chewing on something tough, taking it to the page will not only allow you to gain new perspectives and insights into it, but it will help you *transform* it. I think of the kind of art journaling I do as artful shamanism. You go deep. You explore the inner landscape. You find new information, knowledge, wisdom, truth, and you bring it back with you from out of your depths in the form of gorgeously rendered soul truth. Every page I make is medicine for my soul, and from what I hear from my clients, demonstrating it is medicine for their soul, too.
I think the process of getting out of my rational mind and entering into a world of symbol and colour is what really engages the healing mojo. Because when I'm arting, I leave ordinary reality in favour of something nearly trance like, I'm open to information I might not otherwise be open to. It's like a red phone to the divine. Sit down, pick up a colouring implement, a paintbrush, a mark maker, and begin, and voila. The insights flow, and with the insights come healing.
It is one thing to write from a rational place, over and over again, about what's wrong or what's not working, and that is what I did for about a bazillion years. It is a whole other thing to leave that linear place and enter the inner landscape, to find oneself cracked open and willing to know *deeper* than before. In that deep knowing, transformation becomes possible.
At this time, what do you see as your true work in the world related to Art and Healing?
My true work is this: I am a walking, talking, living, breathing shame buster. What I do is demonstrate authenticity. I demonstrate being honest with oneself on the page in an effort to celebrate what needs celebrating and transform what needs transforming. I refuse to be in the closet with any of my issues, and seeing this in my art journals and videos, other women feel emboldened and empowered to be themselves, to be 'out' with their own issues. We walk together with our heads up, embracing our own personal sovereignty while acknowledging the ways in which we struggle. We recognize that being awesome and being flawed aren't mutually exclusive. We take comfort in one another's wisdom and experience. I walk that talk every day, and when women join me, the walk it, too. It is second only to parenting in my list of amazing things I get to do in the world and I find myself waking up in gratitude and joy every single morning ~ even when things are hard.
by Effy Wild
Has anyone had major influence or impact on your journey of discovery as an Artist~Healer?
I love to give credit where credit is due, so thank you for this opportunity to gush about some of my favourite mentors! Tamara LaPorte completely changed the way I saw myself once I started to see myself through her eyes. Her gentle nudges toward Non-violent Communication got me through some of the most difficult times in my career. Shiloh McCloud (and her amazingly gorgeous portraits of the divine feminine) gave me a brand new mirror to look into, and helped me to reparent myself by providing incredibly nourishing community in the form of Cosmic Cowgirls. Lisa Cousineau reminds me time and time again who I am and how awesome I'm doing. She and her husband, Michael Cousineau are stellar friends and I'm lucky to call them that. My Tribe of The Book give me opportunities to grow and evolve every single day by challenging what I thought community was all about and morphing into a family before my very eyes.
Do you have any services or projects upcoming that you'd like to share about?
I'm currently happily throwing art journaling and self-inquiry stuff out there into the world on a twice weekly basis for free at
. There is also a premium version that includes a lot of extra goodness! In October, a self-guided version of the upcoming Book Of Days Boot Camp will be released. I'm also blessed to be a teacher for Cosmic Cowgirls!
Where can readers find out more about you or connect with you?
I am ridiculously accessible on my blog (
), in my Facebook group (
), on my Facebook wall (
) and fanpage (
) and you can watch me meet myself on the page twice weekly at
by Effy Wild
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