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The Creative Grief Studio Team

Courses are brought to you by the Creative Grief Studio in partnership with our Teaching Team and/or other guest faculty. To learn more about our work, please see CreativeGriefStudio.com and/or bio links for team/guest faculty partners.

Questions? Comments? Email me!

About this course

Join Us!

for chronic creatives and explore with like-minded folks who are getting their creative on even while dealing with chronic issues.

This on-demand course is brought to you via a partnership between The Creative Grief Studio, Christine Grothe, and Kara LC Jones of GriefAndCreativity.com. If you have questions, feel free to be in touch with co-facilitator Kara at kara@griefandcreativity.com. Thanks!


How The Course Works

You are invited to explore how you are (or can be more) creative in the face of chronic issues. We invite you to this creativity regardless of the circumstances of your chronic situation, including

  • physical disabled
  • mental health issues or 
  • if you feel the chronic experience comes from multiple losses over time that keep you chronically coming face to face with grief again and again. 

We encourage you to take the course at your own pace and make the course your own! 

Please note: This is not an art making techniques course. It is a creative grief education course that offers you a variety of creative approaches to your grief experiences as a spoonie, including encouragement to explore via whatever art mediums you like.

Features of this course include:

  • The same day that you register for this course, you'll get the welcome + logistics information, as well as the first week's prompts, immediately.

  • Then each week, you'll get a new creative prompt Lesson that opens up to you.

  • This course offers participants comment space with each prompt Lesson page.

  • This online, private space is open only to participants and is available 24/7, so you can read prompts and post replies any time of day or night on your own schedule.

  • Please note this is an on-demand, self-directed course, meaning there is no formal facilitation for the session, and this is definitely NOT crisis support.

  • That said, we facilitators Christine and Kara will get notifications of your shares, questions, reflections. If your posts ask questions or specifically for feedback, we will do our best to check in within 48-72 hours of notifications where replies are needed. [Note: There are several times a year where we are away for a few weeks at a time. So if there is a delay in reply, please know your posts are not being ignored, and we will reply when we are back.]

Enrollment is open on an on-going basis.

Please see the FAQ below for more details to questions others have asked.

Co-creators and heARTists of this session are Christine Grothe of Contemplations from the Cornfields and Kara Jones of GriefAndCreativity.com. We look forward to sharing these creative prompts with each of you throughout the coming month!

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We invite you to explore in whatever ways you wish: literally, metaphorically, in any medium you wish. The creative prompts offered in this session are open for you to interpret and use as you feel fits best for your experience.

In the prompts, you'll be offered things like:

  • artmaking prompts
  • journaling prompts
  • meditation/relaxation MP3s or videos
  • along with links to information you can explore at your own pace to learn and play more

An example of how a prompt might work:

  1. The prompt might be something simple like: The chronic experience is happening to us as individuals, of course, but there are also social/relational aspects in the mix. How have your chronic experiences influenced the social aspects and relationships in your life? How have the social constructs and expectations of those who are not chronic influenced you?

    • You can respond in a journaling type, free-writing type of way, where you maybe want to explore how people's insistence that you "get better" has made you see that they do not understand what chronic really means.

    • Or you could take a photo of some sort to illustrate how the individual chronic experience intersects with social / relational aspects.

    • Or you can write haiku or poetry exploring these dynamics.

    • Or you could do a drawing or painting using color, texture, shape to convey your experience.

    • You can take the response in any creative direction you like.

  2. You then have private, comment section space at the bottom of each day's prompt page where you are free to share as much or as little as you like about how you did this creative exploration; what you discovered; what was surprising; or whatever you wish to share about your creative experiments exploring creativity and resiliency in the face of chronic experience or grief that rises or understandings you've come to along the way.

An example: what creative responses might look like

This is a high contrast photo of my hand taken into digital landscape and double exposed with other patterns to try and convey what the pain feels like sparking through my hands at times.

About 10 years ago, I was at a pizzeria w Hawk and Peter. We had our drinks and had just sat down to wait on our dinner. I reached out w my hand, picked up my full cup, and half way between table and mouth, the grip gave out. One second I had grip. The next I did not. 

This happened sporadically over the next decade. Sometimes w pain or not. Sometimes w puffiness or not. Sometimes w shake or not.

Over time I gave up doing anything that would commit me to doing anything w my hands at specific days/times. Inevitably, that bodyart appointment would end up being a day I had no grip. Inevitably, that day of volunteer cooking would end up being a day I had no grip. Stopped doing commission artwork that had to be particular format on particular day because my hands wouldn't be able to hold pens or brushes for that medium in time. Social, relational, work related. Yes. All affected.

Of course adaptation happens. Digital art is wonderful in some ways. My non-dominant hand can be handy when pressed into duty. And, frankly, I'm going to die one day, so I don't care anymore about timelines and calendars if I can help it. I'd rather savor a down day slowly w Hawk being gentle as possible to the bod than push myself to someone else's dead-line! Coz think about that word for a moment: dead. line. What kind of stupid social construct of "productive" "work" "life" is that???

With the recent spike in whatever this chronic shit is, I now get pronounced hives subcutaneous on the palm and at base of fingers. The whole hand swells or this finger or just the thumb. But wrapping it properly around anything to get a grip is not possible til the spike subsides. I don't know if it was deep deep hives / swelling causing it all along. Now it is all just closer to surface so we see something?

No clue. About this. Nor about anything really. Except that I've given myself over to it all being a practice, not a perfect. A process, not a product(ion). That's the best I can do.

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Now that is just one example. You are welcome to explore in whatever creative way moves you. Play with photography. Or journal a response. Or use the prompt as your meditation object for the day and see what surfaces. 

And you are welcome to share your creativity like the photo above with no other write up. Or you could additionally type something up in the comments along with your heARTwork to tell us a bit more about what you've discovered. You are also welcome to specifically say with your posts, things like:

  1. "I'm sharing just to be witnessed. No feedback, please."
  2. Or, "I'd love to hear from others what they think about xyz..."
  3. Or, "I'm open to more creative coaching ideas around this from the facilitators..."

So you can feel safe in how you share and what responses you'd like to see.

You are free to explore creatively in whatever medium and depth you wish!


FAQ

I want to join, but life is busy. Will this session involve a great deal of time and effort?

As with any online session, the more you put into it, the more you will get out of it. That said, no, this is not an intensive course necessarily. You'll be getting creative prompts once a week with space to share as much or as little in the private classroom as you like. Unlike in-person classes, you get private space that is open 24/7, so you can participate at your own pace. If you can't be here in this classroom during the initial drip feed of materials, that's okay. You'll still get the full content of the course. The comment sections do not close, so you can respond even after the drip feed is "finished," and I will still get notifications of your posts and do my best to answer.

If I decide I will be short on time during the course, can I get a refund on my registration fee?

No, I'm sorry, we are not offering refunds. This course drip feeds content, but you can access it at any time, in your own pace, for as long as you like. The course space is not going anywhere even after the end of drip feed. So once you register, you actually get the entire course in the end, even if your schedule ends up conflicted with the initial content feed. Let me know if you have questions around this *before* you register! Contact kara@griefandcreativity.com.

Is this a therapy group?

No. This is a self-directed session for exploring creative approaches to grief and life experiences; for exploring how you yourself make meaning and expression with whatever is happening for you. While there is a facilitator in our online classroom (moi), I am just one person. I am not available as crisis intervention, and this is not meant to be private session coaching for each and every person. That said, this type of session is a good companion to whatever therapy you are doing already to support yourself. Please practice responsibility (ability to respond) for whatever needs you have medically, mentally, physically.

My grief is non-death related. Can I still join this group?

Yes. All are welcome, whatever your grief experience circumstances are! Often death related grief experiences (death of child, spouse, other loved one, pet) are acknowledged, whereas non-death related grief (divorce, loss of job, chronic illness, major change like immigration) are not. In this course, we are aiming to offer creative grief space to anyone, whatever your circumstances might be. We will not be playing "grief olympics" nor placing experiences on a "hierarchy of grief." Whatever grief experience you bring to the table, is your grief experience. And we will aim to help you find creative approaches to whatever your experiences are.

I still have a question, how can I contact you?

Happy to answer any questions you might have. Send an email to kara@griefandcreativity.com.

Will I learn specific art making techniques in the course?

No. This course offers you creative approaches to grief experiences which you can then take into whatever artmaking you are already doing. You will be provided suggestions on how to take the seed ideas into writing, visual artmaking, and/or movement, but you are free to use any techniques, mediums, art processes you wish to use.