Art For Self-Care – Craft A Gift With Heart + Meaning | Jessica Swift | Skillshare
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Art For Self-Care – Craft A Gift With Heart + Meaning

teacher avatar Jessica Swift, Artist, Surface+Fabric Designer, Author

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.

      Introduction

      1:56

    • 2.

      Welcome to Class!

      2:09

    • 3.

      Choosing Your Symbol + Your Person

      9:34

    • 4.

      Choosing Your Materials

      5:36

    • 5.

      Beginning To Create

      10:53

    • 6.

      Tuning Inward + Making Art

      23:02

    • 7.

      Creating Your Message/Wish

      8:41

    • 8.

      Wrapping Your Gift + Sharing Your Story

      4:46

    • 9.

      Final Words

      2:04

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About This Class

It's the season of giving + gratitude! In this course, you'll create a unique piece of art with a personal message or wish for someone important in your life. (And psssst... that important person could be your very own sweet self!) You'll feel good giving, and they'll feel good receiving. Win win. 

You can work through this class at your own pace. While it's designed for you to work through it in 5 days, you can absolutely work more quickly or slowly.

In this class you'll:

  • Listen to your inner self and identifying a personally meaningful symbol
  • Create a unique piece of art based around your symbol, along with a personal message or wish
  • Tune in to your heart in order to write a poetic heartfelt message/wish to go along with your artwork
  • Put it all together and wrap your creation so it's ready for gifting

Why take this class:

  • Handmade + heartfelt gifts matter. Kindness matters. Generosity matters. Giving feels GOOD. And giving someone a handmade gift.... well, that's even better. 
  • If you're feeling creatively stuck or uninspired, focusing your creative energy on make something for someone else is a great way to start getting unblocked!

Who this class is for:

You don't need to consider yourself an artist in order to take this class! Beginners are completely welcome. Anyone who wants to get creative and make something meaningful will be at home in this class!

Materials:

The supplies you choose to use to create your gift are up to you. There are no rules!

In my demonstrations during class I'll be creating on a small wood panel using acrylic paint, paint markers, colored pencil, glitter, and faux jewels.

Other Info:

Each lesson in class has a corresponding PDF worksheet for you to download and work through.

There's also a PDF to download with a bit of extra encouragement and information –– make sure to download it as well and read through the part that goes with each lesson!

You can also find Jessica here:

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Jessica Swift

Artist, Surface+Fabric Designer, Author

Top Teacher

Hi, I'm Jess!

I'm an an artist, fabric + surface pattern designer, author, and teacher in Portland, Oregon.

I believe in the power of art-making as a tool for radical self-care. I make art because it helps me process my inner world, and I feel better when I do. One of my biggest goals – through the art + products I create and the classes I teach – is to help you help yourself feel better, too.

I create and manufacture my own products as well as licensing my artwork to others for branded products such as fabric, stationery, puzzles, books, and more. My colorful, magically uplifting art + words are intended to inspire YOU to live a courageous, honest, hope-filled life.
__________________________... See full profile

Level: Beginner

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Transcripts

1. Introduction: Do you remember how good it felt as a kid to create a handmade gift and give it to somebody you loved and feel that heart filling, heartwarming feeling of connection with that person? That's exactly what we're going to be doing in this five-day art-making class is making a handmade gift for somebody important in your life. By the way, that person can totally be yourself. Then writing a heartfelt message specifically for that person. A message or a wish, and then gifting it to that person. You'll tune into your inner self, your heart, to identify a personally meaningful symbol that you will center your art around, and then you'll craft a heartfelt message to go along with that artwork, to make a beautiful little package. Then at the end of class, you'll have this beautiful gift to either gift to the person that you made it for, or to hang beautifully in your home or put it in your office, or to gift it to yourself in some special way. I want you to imagine how good it's going to feel to make the time and space to tell someone how grateful you are for them, to give someone you love a message of support, of love, of comfort. To tell yourself the words that you need to hear in order to heal, in order to love and accept yourself more, in order to give yourself permission to simply be who you are. That's what we'll be doing here. I hope you'll join me. I will see you in class. 2. Welcome to Class!: [MUSIC] Welcome to class. I'm so glad that you're joining me here on this five-day art-making adventure. We're going to get creative together and add some beauty and hope into the world and into the life of somebody important in our lives. That person might be someone that you know, it might be yourself. We're going to discover that along the way. Life is hard right now for a lot of us. I think we can all agree that things are a little kooky in the world in a lot of different ways, and we all need some love and support and a reminder that we're not alone here. That's what this class is all about. The person that you decide to make this piece of artwork for might be somebody who's going through a particularly rough time, somebody who hasn't made it through to the other side of that rough time yet. It might be somebody who you're intensely grateful for in your life for any number of reasons. It might be yourself, like I mentioned before. There are a lot of different ways that this can go, and like I said, we're going to get into that as the class goes along. We're also going to tap into your heart in this class and your intuition and really feeling into what message you have for that person in this moment in time. At the end of the five days, you're going to have a painting, a drawing, a collage; something that you've made for this important person with a personal heartfelt message that goes along with it in this beautiful little gift that you can give whenever the time is right; birthday, holiday, annual day. It really doesn't matter. I think that's all I need to tell you right now. I hope you're ready, and we're just going to dive right in. Let's do this. 3. Choosing Your Symbol + Your Person: [MUSIC] So here we are at the beginning. I thought I would start us out by telling you a bit about my story, and what inspired this class, and the impact that I've felt in my own life making this heartfelt, heart-centered artwork based around a personal, meaningful symbol, and listening for messages from within and pairing those two things together. Art and words are my jam. So that's what we're going to do here. So to give you a little bit of background. In 2018, I was going through a particularly rough, difficult time in my own life when my husband, Ryan, died unexpectedly while I was pregnant with our second child, who's now almost four. Our first child was not quite three at the time, so my life turned completely upside-down like in an instant. It was overwhelming in every sense of the word. It was heartbreaking, it was scary, it was traumatic. I think I felt every emotion that you could possibly feel during that time. I found myself here in my studio, where I'm standing right now, as often as I possibly could because I just felt really safe and calm here. I found that if I was painting and I was quiet in my own space alone, I started to feel what was going on inside of me, and I was able to start processing it. The process of making art, it began to be really healing for me. I started painting rainbows. I can't remember now, a number of years later, exactly what the catalyst was for that, but there ended up being a number of strange serendipities about rainbows between my mother-in-law and me. I intuitively settled on this idea that I would paint 40 little rainbow paintings. Ryan was 40 when he died, and I would give them to all of my family members and our close family friends, everybody who was going to be gathering for the memorial service. So I started painting these rainbows, and it was just really healing, and really soothing, and really calming. It just allowed me to feel what was going on inside of me and to process this new version of reality that all of a sudden, I was plopped into. So they started out as a symbol of, they commemorated Ryan, I guess. They were a symbol of Ryan, but they very quickly morphed into more of a symbol of myself and my internal world, and the gratitude that I was feeling for all of the people who showed up to gather around me during those painful, really scary, difficult early days after Ryan died. The rainbow symbol, it means so many things to me now, it's just grown and changed, and evolved over time, but it began to symbolize healing and resilience. This idea that two opposite feelings could co-exist inside me at the same time, which I didn't really know before, I was feeling the most intense gratitude, and the most intense sadness and fear that I had ever felt in my whole life. I was experiencing both of those things at the same time, and I didn't even know that that was possible. Rainbow symbolize connection. I imagined them going home with all of my family and friends, and living in their houses, and that it was just this web of hope that I was creating, going out into the world. They symbolize hope, healing, connection, gratitude, all of it. I have painted hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of rainbows in the last four plus years. You can see some of them here on the walls behind me. They have just become the most meaningful symbol that I think I have in my visual world up to this point. So I have other symbols, like you can see, I've got some paintings with birds with crowns back there. That's been a big one for me for many, many years. Snakes, moons, I have a lot of different important symbols. So I say that just to get you started thinking about what symbols you might connect to. You might already have important symbols in your life. You may have never really thought about this before, but just get your wheels turning a little bit about symbols that you used to love as a kid, symbols that you connect with now, symbols that recur in your life, that you see all over the place, colors, anything, just keep that in the back of your mind as we're going along. I made a worksheet that you can download below that'll help you tap into what your personal symbol that you might like to focus on in your art-making in this class might be. Also, the person that you want to create this artwork for. That worksheet will help guide you toward that as well. So like I said before, you can totally choose yourself. The reason I say that is, what inspired this class aside from this traumatic life-altering event that I have walked through, and continue to walk through to this day. I wrote a book, and the book is coming out in March, and it's a rainbow book. I can't wait to share it with you. It's the culmination of these last four some years of my life. It's just like this beautiful celebration of my own healing, basically. This book that I wrote is for you, it's for other people, but it's also for me. I wrote this book for myself as a reminder that everything is going to be okay, as a reminder to feel my feelings. Many reminders for myself in that book that I'm hoping will resonate with you too. But that's what inspired this class, is that I wrote that for myself. So if you choose to make your artwork in this class for yourself, I love that. So you can also choose somebody else. So as I was getting ready to make this video, I was thinking about who I'm going to make my artwork for in this class because I'm going to be creating right alongside you in these videos every day. So I intuitively settled on my neighbor, Donna, who lives across the street, and she's been a really important person in my life for many years now, and especially since Ryan died. She feeds our cat every time we go out of town, and she listens to me when I need somebody to talk to. It feels right to make a little gem of a painting for her. That's who I'm going to be creating my piece for. So again, you can choose yourself. You can choose somebody in your life that you're grateful for, who's going through a rough time. Just tune in, and take some deep breaths, and work through the worksheet, and let the person who wants to receive this gift from you come through. Trust what you get. When I started thinking about this, that I should make it for my mom or somebody expected in my life who I am grateful for, but Donna popped into my mind, and that just felt right. So listen for what feels right and trust that, and just trust it and go with it. It doesn't have to make sense. But this is about tuning into you and your heart, and what feels right for you. So trust yourself, and download the worksheet, work through it. If you already have your person and your symbol in mind, that's awesome too. Then, when you come to class tomorrow, we're going to start talking about what materials you're going to use. But for today, your only task is to figure out what your symbol is going to be that you're going to focus on. Just choose one just to keep it simple, and who you're going to be making this artwork for. You don't have to think about what you want to say to that person yet or anything, just symbol who you're making this artwork for. Tomorrow, we are going to start actually making some art. See you there. 4. Choosing Your Materials: Welcome back to class. We are in day 2 and today we're going to start making some art, so this is going to be super fun. The first thing that I want to share today is that in this class, I'm not actually going to be teaching you anything really about art-making. Just let that sink in for a minute. If you're here to learn some technical skills or how to do something, that's not really what this class is. This class is more of like a container for you to sink into your own process, your own internal process, your own unique art-making process. While I am going to be demonstrating my own art-making, like I mentioned yesterday, I'm going to be making a rainbow painting, some rainbow for my neighbor Donna, who lives across the street. You don't have to follow along and do that. In fact, I would encourage you absolutely not to follow along and do the same thing that I'm doing. If you want to paint a rainbow too, I mean, that's totally cool. It's up to you. You make the rules for you. But hopefully you came to class today with your personal meaningful symbol picked out and the person that you are creating this gift for, be it somebody in your life or your very own sweet self. I am going to be demonstrating what I'm doing as we go along and you're absolutely welcome to follow along with what I'm doing or do your own thing. That said, I also want to mention that when I start out in this process, I don't generally have a plan. I show up to the Canvas or I typically paint on wood, so I show up at the wood panel. I try to feel as open as I possibly can. I don't know what's going to happen. I just try to empty everything, let go of all the chitter chatter that's happening in my brain, all the judgment, all the stories, all that everything that just gets in the way of tuning in and tapping into what's underneath all of that. The calm more true version of myself that's underneath all of that. I try to just drop all that chatter, tune in, show up and see what wants to come through. I intuitively choose colors. I intuitively choose the next right step in my painting or in my mixed media piece, whatever I'm working on. I course-correct as I go. I don't have it all mapped out before I start. I let it evolve and show up as it wants to show up as I go along. That process may work for you and that may feel really exciting or it may feel really scary and unfamiliar, and if you are somebody who likes to have everything mapped out and know exactly what you're going to do beforehand, that's totally cool too. I guess, that's what I mean when I say this is more of a container like you do not have to do things the way that I'm doing them in the video. Do things your own way. Like, please use this as an invitation to make the rules for yourself. Like, I'm not the boss here. You are the boss of what you're up to over there, wherever in the world you are creating right now, so give yourself permission to do things your own way. There's no right, there's no wrong. There's just tuning in and doing what you feel called to do and making what you feel called to make and feeling what you feel and showing up. That is basically what we are going to do here. Your process is going to look like your process, which may be similar to mine and it may not and it's all good. Now I'm going to show you what I am going to be using to create my little jam of the painting for Donna. I'm going to be using this cradled wooden panel. This is a six by six inches, nice and small and adorable and acrylic paint. Some version of this, Gouache paint. This acrylic wash, if you are not familiar with, this, is like the best paint over to use, it's so fun. This is my latest favorite color, mustard. Posca pens, which are paint markers and they are like the best. I use these things all the time. I have to try to keep my kiddos from destroying these because they love them so much too. Will just mix all the colors together and ruin them and they're my favorites. Let's see, glitter, some glitter. I love glitter. I have no shame about that. For jewels, which are like super cheesy, but also I totally love them. I feel like these might make their way into my little painting and possibly colored pencils. Let's see. What else do I have here? I've got glitter paint, glitter glue that I use sometimes. I don't really know exactly what's going to happen here. I just know that all of this stuff is out and available to me and I'm just going to see what happens. 5. Beginning To Create: I am ready to get started. I hope that you are also ready to get started and that you're feeling excited about what is going to happen on your page, on your Canvas, on whatever it is that you're using here. So like I mentioned before, I've got my little wood panel here and these are the three colors that I am going to use to start by painting my background super simple. I've got my favorite paint brush, which I use for backgrounds a lot. It's in terrible shape and I love this paintbrush so much. I've got my water, I have a rag, I am ready to go. So since this is small, I'm not really going to need that much paint and actually I'm just going to put it right on here and then just smear it around. Here we go. So I tend to like my backgrounds to be not quite uniform. That said, though, in many of the rainbow paintings that I've made, my backgrounds have been flat and uniform, but this one, I think, I'm going to have be a little bit different. So that looks good to me, and now we'll just let that dry. So that's dry now. I decided that I want to use this cool stencil to just add a little bit more texture in the background. I think I'm going to do that with colored pencils. So let me just stick through here and see what color I might like to use something that's not too much darker, maybe this one, I might use a couple. I'm just going to go for it. Let's see how this looks. Then, some of this might end up getting painted over, a lot of it probably will, actually, either get painted over or I'll use paint markers on top or something like that but I think this could be a fun little texture to add here, just for something a little bit different than what I often do. So as I'm working here like I mentioned before I'm just trying to tune into my own inner world right now. I'm dropping all of the feelings that I might have about the rest of my day, I have to go pick up my kids soon, I need to make dinner, it's like all of that stuff that I'm thinking about. That can all wait. That is going to be there when I am done with this. So I'm trying to just take some deep breaths, tune in, quiet myself a little bit so I can start hearing the painting or this mixed media piece, I guess it is at this point now that I've used a couple of different materials. So I can hear it talking to me, because this is like a conversation. I'm adding to the conversation now, and this piece is going to communicate back with me, and all I need to do is get as quiet as I can, and really listen for what it's trying to say, and it'll tell me what the next step is that wants to happen. Sometimes those communications are very quiet, sometimes they take a while, sometimes they're really obvious, sometimes I need to walk away from a piece for a little while and then when I come back to it, maybe the next day or an hour later, sometimes months later, to be quite honest. Then the next step is clear and obvious in a way that it wasn't before. So you just have to be willing to trust that this process will reveal itself to you as you continue to show up and trust it. So I'm going to pull this up now and see how that looks. So that's fun. I have no idea where that's going to go, where this is going to take me, but I do like those little triangles as a little bit of texture, so let's see what I'm going to do next. So now I'm going to start adding the first pieces of my symbol, my rainbow, and start to really make this little gift come alive. So I'm going to add just a little bit more for today and then dive back in tomorrow. You are welcome to add as much as little to your piece today as you'd like, but tomorrow is going to be all about art-making, so you've got plenty of time. So I'm going to start working on my rainbow, and I have these three little paintings that I've made. This is one of my classic rainbow paintings. Here is another little painting that I've created recently that I like, and here is another one, and I just want to use all three of these as inspiration for my piece here to bring into my rainbow that I'll be creating here. I've got some posca pens, my favorite paint markers that I'm going to start with on my first rainbow layers here. I'm just going to go ahead and get started. I'm feeling a little bit nervous to be honest, but I'm just going to go for it and see what happens. So here we go. Again, I'm just going to keep Donna in my mind, who I'm making this piece for, and see if anything shows up, as far as what I would like to say to Donna. But I want to reiterate that this should be fun. We make art, we make things because it's fun. I get really caught up in the shades of it all sometimes, I'm like, what is this supposed to look like? Am I doing a good enough job? Is this lame? All the judgments that I have about myself, like what am I going to turn this into? How is this going to make me money? All of the things. When really getting back to the root of why I make things is really the key for me. It's because I love it. It makes me feel good. I love to make things, it makes me feel better. So once I tune back into that and let go of all of the chatter, all of the judgment, and just have fun, and keep it light for myself if I can, that really just makes it more enjoyable. So I'm going to just add a little bit more here, and as I go along, tomorrow I'm going to start working with some different things like I do feel like I want to add some of those gems that I showed you before which could end up being super cheesy but we'll see. Then, I also want to mention that, I don't even want to say make a mistake, if you make a move that you're not happy with, you can always start over. You can always paint over if you're painting, you can be bold to make bold moves. So if something isn't working, you can change it and remember we're just making art here, it doesn't have to be so serious, so just have fun. If you do something you don't like, change it, start over, the rules are up to you. Now, let's see, one more little bit. I think I'll go back to my colored pencils, and I'm just going to start adding some different stuff here. I feel like as I'm doing this, this may end up being glittery. I think these little white arrows might be cool if they had glitter on top of them. That makes me think of, I have this cool little glue pen thing that I'm going to need to dig around in my studio and find because that would be the perfect tool for this. So as you go along, new things will start to occur to you too like, I didn't think to find that glue pen before I started and now I'm going to have to go find it before I work on the next steps here. After I'm done with these little arrows, this is where I'm going to stop for today. Please share your progress if you feel called to do so. If you have questions, please let me know. I am here to help, I'm here to cheer you on. I cannot wait to see what you-all are creating, to see all the different symbols that are going to start showing up. I'm just kidding. I'm going to add just a little bit more. These are cool, these are glittery posca pens, which I discovered last year, I think. I love them so much. Like I said before, I am a shameless glitter lover, and I probably will be forever. So one more little bit, and then I'm going to call it a day, and come back and meet you guys here tomorrow. Tomorrow, probably, I'm thinking I'll use some gouache paints to do some little layers on here, and the tools that I mentioned, and glitter. I don't know what else, maybe even some cup papers, some sequence. I don't know what's going to happen. I will meet you here next time. 6. Tuning Inward + Making Art: Welcome back to Day 3. We are going to keep making our artwork today. In this video, I'm just going to be demonstrating what I'm up to and talking you through my process, and there's also a worksheet for you to download that'll help you start thinking about what your message is going to be for the person that you're making your gift for. I'm going to be talking through my thoughts about the message that I might like to give to Donna along with this painting. So let's get started. Welcome back. I hope that you are having fun creating your piece so far and that it's coming along nicely, however far into the process you've gotten, and I'm just going to pick up right where I left off yesterday. I mentioned that I was going to be looking for this Tombow glue pen, which I found. Also, I just wanted to tell you something that just happened, which I wasn't planning on as part of the course, but I feel it's pretty perfect. I have a window right in front of me and something just caught my eye, and I looked up and there was a hummingbird right at my eye level, looking in the window at me, and it really caught me off guard. I feel like it's really perfect because for me, and I think probably for a lot of other people, too, hummingbirds symbolize joy. But for me, they also symbolize that I'm on the right path. So I felt like that was just really perfect since we're talking about symbols here and what images and things mean to us. That's another really important one for me as a hummingbird. The fact that one showed up for me in the filming of this class is pretty perfect. Anyway, that said, I'm going to use that also as a reminder to stay light and loose and have fun and bring some joy into this painting instead of getting tight and trying to make everything really perfect. I'm just going to show up and see what happens. I don't know about this glue pen. I'm not sure if it's going to work over the colored pencil, so I think I'm going to go to the side of it. I was testing it out a little bit before I started, and it seemed a little finicky. I'm going to go like this, and then we'll test it out and see how it looks before doing the other side. Then if it doesn't work out well, I'm just going to go ahead and wipe it off because like we talked about yesterday, if you don't like something, just start over or paint over it or whatever. Just get rid of it and do something else. There are no rules here. I'm going to glitterize this. Is that a word, glitterize? I don't know, it is now. I've got just this white shimmering glitter that I really love. That didn't totally work. I'm not sure what happened there. But that's okay, I can use a paintbrush to get some of that extra off once it's dry. So let's move onto the other side. I'll fix that up in a minute. Back to the pen. Getting close. Let's put some glitter on that side. Hopefully this side will be a little more the way it was meant to be. I think that's a little bit better. Seemed to have gotten some stickiness on pieces of this somehow. That'll do for now. I'll put that off to the side, put the cap on so it doesn't spill because that would be a disaster. Let's see if I can clean this up a little bit. Yeah. I'm not sure exactly what happened there, but that's going to be a little better. We've got some glitter. Next, let me see, I think I'm going to do maybe sand gouache. Again, I do not have a plan here, so I'm just winging it as I go and deciding what colors I'm going to use here. I'm going to go with, let's see. I'm going to start with those two and we'll see how that goes. I'm going to use this little brush here, let me see if I can move that over. In this next bit, I think I'm just going to work quietly and you can work along with me, or just watch, or whatever makes the most sense for you and just speed this next part up so you can see me working on my piece, but not have this video be an hour-long. Here we go. I think it's time now to add some of these little gems, which I've got a pile of pink ones here. I'm not really loving these white dots that I made. So I'm going to grab this glue here. I've got this cool liquid glue that you can put on with this little teeny tip. So I'm going to just go ahead and put a line of glue here. You can use really any kind of glue for this obviously. Even straight up Elmer's glue will work just fine. Here we go. As I'm doing this, I want to take an opportunity to talk about supplies. These are definitely a cheesy kid supply, which a lot of people might have some judgment about, which is totally fine and valid. I would like you to just, as much as you can, give yourself permission to use whatever lights you up. If you love glitter, use it. If it's fake jewels, use it. If it's oil paint, use it. There are no rules and what other people think or what other people say really doesn't matter here at all. This process is for you and you alone and making something that lights you up in order to give somebody important to you a heartfelt gift. So just give yourself permission to use whatever you want, make whatever you want. This is your life. This is your creative process. Nobody gets to say anything about it except for your very own sweet self. I'm really liking this. I'm going to move on to the other side. Super cheesy, but look how happy it is. I'm really into it. Let's see here. Side number 2. Then I'm not exactly sure what I'm going to do next, but I'll get there when I get there. I think I don't have quite enough pink jewels here. I may have to dig around for more. Definitely going to have to dig around for more. These are not easy to pick up. There we go. That's going to work better. Something about this is very meditative. I went through a phase when I was in my early 20s of using sequence a lot in my paintings, which also sounds lame, but I made these areas of grids of filled-in areas of sequence, and I loved filling in those areas. It was such a satisfying, peaceful feeling. Somehow, this is crazy. I picked out just the exact right number of jewels. I used every single one and I don't have any leftover. Magic, I tell you. Let's see. What am I going to do next here? Let's try some little leaf shapes in here. I think this will work okay with colored pencil over paint. This is maybe necessarily leaf shapes, but just little. We'll just call them leaf shapes. I'm thinking that we're probably going to need maybe some more glitter. So I'm going go back to that glue and let's see. I want to use a blue glitter, I think. Dark blue. That's going to be good. Where am I going to put this? We'll just go right in between here. This is going to be maybe tricky. We'll just see what happens. I have my handy little paper catcher here. Let's see if I can get that without getting it on the pink jewels. Nice. Man, I love glitter. Next side. Let's put it. I'm going to go for right here. My kids spilled blue glitter all over my floor recently in the studio and I was like, "I love glitter, but it is not fun to clean up." I will tell you that much. You probably know that. Some people hate glitter for that very reason. Then we can clean up some of that extra with a paintbrush or fingers or something. I think we're getting close to being done here. I think I'm feeling like I want to put something in the middle right here and I might go against my own rules about this class where I said we're going to focus on just using one symbol, and I might actually add a different symbol in here. I'm feeling like I want to put a little white moon in there. Moon for me represents my inner world. Also, I just messed up that glitter. So I'm going to fix that. Is that it? No. Where did I put that? I put it over here. Let me just fix that real quick. We bumped into that and there we go. I did it again right over there. This is where my lack of, what am I trying to say, careful craftsmanship comes into play. Oh my gosh, I did it again. You guys, this is ridiculous. I need to not touch this anymore after this. One more little bit here. Any of those areas, we'll just put it right there. There we go. See, creativity and art making is all about making moves and then correcting them, if and when you need to. There we go. This glue dries fast. It's very quick. I like that. Like I said, I'm thinking that I want to put a moon right here. Let's see. Probably use this colored pencil and then I may go over it with paint, but I'm not sure yet. I think part of the reason that I'm feeling called to put this symbol is, like I said, it symbolizes tuning into my inner world, is that my neighbor Donna, who this painting is for, is somebody who I'm just really able to talk to. She makes me feel really safe and really comfortable to share who I truly am, like my true inner self. That's the meaning behind putting that right here. Let me see. Do I want to make that paint? Maybe I'll just try going over it with this to make it. Yeah, there we go. This is just a white poster paint Sharpie. I've got all kinds of different paint markers and things here. I totally just touched that glitter again. Oh my gosh, I need to get away from this until it's dry. I'm just going to ruin it. Do a little bit more glitter there to try to fix that up, and then I'm just going to stand back and take, that's not the right color, a peek and see what other moves or what other marks come to mind, to finish this thing up. Remove that out of the way. Let me just look at this for a minute. I'm going to have to clean some of this up once the glitters is dry. I got to stay away from that area. I'm just going to add some little marks. I'm a big fan of repetitive marks, lines, oh dear, dots. Oh gosh. That broke. Let's see if I've got a similar one. There we go. That's the same one. Nope. I'll try that one. Anyway, like I was saying, I'm a big fan of repetitive marks, lines, dots for adding texture, and some dimension without having to think too much about it. Meditative, like I was saying before. I really like making art in a way where I can let my mind wander and think about other things while I'm making it, tune in to my inner voice. Let's see. Do I want to add anything else here? Maybe. Getting close here. Let me take a little paintbrush and try to clear that away a little bit. I think that glitter is stuck to it because the paint marker was still a little wet. Let me just give that another layer over the top to get rid of some of that without touching that glitter, hopefully. That's still wet. I'm going to call that good for right now. Let's see. What else? What else? What else? Last little thing, I think I'm just going to add some magical little moon lines. I did it again. I really need to stop. This is also where I get into trouble, is that I think I'm not going to keep making the same mistake over and over, and then I, of course, keep making the same mistake over and over. So I need to just learn to be patient. That's my life lesson, is learning to be patient. Haven't learned it yet. I think this needs some more of this pink somewhere, and I think that I'm going to go over this blue that I just did because that's not standing out very much. That's better. On the surface, this painting is just a happy little, I don't know, pink and blue rainbow painting that doesn't really mean anything when you look at it. But for me, it's meaningful. For me, this represents a lot. That's what this is all about, is creating something that's meaningful for you that has some heart and some feeling in it that you'll gift to your person. I'm going to leave this to dry for now. I'll clean this up a little bit in a little while, and then tomorrow I'm going to finish this up. I'm going to paint the edges here just to make it a little more of a finished presentation and add any finishing touches that I may decide to make. Probably put a spray clear coat over this just to protect it from smudging and fading and things like that, and then write my message to go along with it, and then we'll package it all up. So I will see you in the next video. 7. Creating Your Message/Wish: [MUSIC] Welcome back. We are on Day 4, and I hope that you're having fun and that your artwork is starting to get to some finished state or close to finished. We're going to be finishing everything up today and writing the messages that go along with our artwork. As you're thinking about what you want to say to the person that you are gifting your artwork to, I created a worksheet that you can download that has a space for writing out a draft of your message and then a cute little printable template if you'd like to use that. Again, there are no rules, you do not have to do that, I just made it, in case you might want to use it. You can totally write your message in a greeting card, you could write it on the back of your piece with a sharpie or a pencil, or make your own cute little piece of paper, something to write your message on. There are options, I guess, is what I'm getting at but download the worksheet if you would like to use my template and the draft space. I also wanted to give you a little bit of a tip on writing your messages. You can write it in whatever way feels best for you but I find that when I am writing a message to myself or to somebody else, I like to think of it as a wish, like what do I wish for that person? Starting your message or the sentences in your message with phrases like, may you, dot, dot, dot, may you feel free. May you feel loved, may you walk to the other side of your healing, whatever it is, those are not great examples, but you get the idea. Also, I wish for you dot, dot, dot, or this is what I wish for you. I hope you dot, dot, dot. As you're thinking about your person, think about how you want them to feel, what your hopes and dreams, and wishes are for them, or how you see them. It could be like I see you, dot, dot, dot. I see how hard you're working, I see your struggle and I'm here with you, you're not alone. All of those kinds of phrases are really nice to craft your heartfelt message. I'm going to write my message out on the little template so you can see mine and then we'll put it all together. We are back. Welcome back. I am going to finish up this little painting today and I don't think that I want to do much else. I did clean up a little bit of the extra glitter once it was dry, I'm thinking that this white just looks a little bit, I don't know, it needs to tie in with the rest of the piece a little bit more, so I'm just going to add a teeny bit of white in here somewhere. Then I'm going to paint the edges white and that's going to be that. Then I'm going to let it dry and work on crafting my message. This will be just a super [NOISE] quick little thing here, let's see. I'm going right here. [NOISE] I think I'm going to call that good. Let's paint these edges. I'm just going to use some basic white acrylic paint and let's see. Let's go for this paintbrush and I'm [NOISE] just going to carefully color it with this white. [MUSIC] [NOISE] There is my piece and I'm just going to put this off to the side and then I'm going to start working on my message. I'm ready to start working on my message and when I was thinking about what I wanted to say to Donna, I mostly want to just communicate how grateful I am for her, but there are also some specific things that I want her to feel or that I wished for her. I just wrote all of this down as some bullet points just to guide my message writing and you're totally welcome to do the same if that's helpful. For Donna, I wish good health, comfort, safety, peace, happiness, and not feeling alone. I'm grateful for her listening ear and friendship, her wisdom earned through pain, she feeds my cat when I'm away, she has an unapologetic way of being in the world that helps me give myself permission to do the same for myself, I guess, and her kindness. I'm grateful for her kindness. As I was thinking about how to craft that into a poetic statement or a poetic message, this is what I came up with. I think of this as a puzzle that I put together and move words around until it feels right and this is what I came up with. For you, I am grateful for your kind listening ear, for your friendship, true and deep, for your wisdom earned like me through pain, for the permission you helped me give myself to be unapologetically me. May you trust in your good health, may you stay safe and secure, may you feel connected and know that you are not alone, may you feel my gratitude, and may you feel peace in as many moments as possible. That is my message and I'm going to use this little template that I made that's available for you to use too. You can print this out and use it if you would like, no pressure, you can totally do your own thing, that is one million percent welcome here. I'm realizing that this is a lot of words to fit in this little space, so I'm going to have to write very small, which is not normally the way I do things. We'll see what happens here. I might run out of space, hopefully not. Here we go. [MUSIC] I did it. It's not the most beautiful, but it will do. It's my message. This is it. This is my little package here, my message, and my little painting, and next, we are going to package this all up in a beautiful little package and it'll be ready to give to Donna. We'll do that in the next video, see you there. [NOISE] 8. Wrapping Your Gift + Sharing Your Story: My friend, it is Day 5. It is the last day of class, you have done it, and I hope that you're feeling really good about the piece that you created and gifting it to whoever you're gifting it to. I hope you're excited. If that person is yourself, hang it lovingly in your house or just make it a really nice little treat for yourself if you can, honoring the fact that you took this time and made this space to really give yourself something lovely and beautiful. I also wanted to tell you that I made something for you. There's a worksheet. Again, you can download it. It's not actually a worksheet, I guess, it's just a printable download today. I wrote a message for you. You can find it down below. Download it, print it out if you'd like. It is my wish for you. I'm just so thrilled that you joined me here and I hope that you've really gotten something meaningful from this. I hope that it's been useful, joyful, and inspiring. But before we go any further, let's wrap up this gift. You, of course, are not obligated at all to do things the way that I am doing them. But I thought it would be fun to show you what I'm going to be using to wrap mine up. This is a piece of my rainbow fabric. You probably know that I'm a fabric designer, so I have a lot of fabric around and this is one of my favorite ways to wrap a gift, just because I think it's cute and unique and it's also more earth friendly than gift wrap, which often just go straight into the garbage or the recycling. Not great. This is the same size as my paintings, so I think I'll just layer it right in there and then go for it. Normally, this isn't the way that I would do it. I would tie it all together for a cheeky style, but for whatever reason, this is what I decided to do today. I think because I wanted to use these little fabric ribbon pieces. There we go. One more. I loop that through there, tie it all together, and voila. There is my gift ready to give to Donna and I could put some cute little tag on there. But for all intents and purposes, this is ready to go right now. That said, I would love to see what you made. I would love to share your creations on social media if you'd like to share them with me. I'd like to share some of them may be in my newsletter. I'm hoping that you'll share not only images of your artwork with me, but also the stories behind them, who you made it for. Why? What is the reason that you took the time, you took five days out of your busy life to make something for somebody important? Why? What's the reason? I would love to hear the things that you're going through, the ways that you're supporting people in your life, the ways that you're showing up for yourself. You can email me. Please, please, please, please email me. If for nothing else, I just selfishly want to be lifted up by what you're doing, what you've created, what you've made for yourself, for other people, I want to hear those. I want to connect with you. I want to spread the love, I want to feel the love, I want to add more love to the world with you all. Please, email me. My email address is below. I'm very easy to get in touch with. You can also tag me on social media or if you use the hashtags, art for self-care and make art with Jessica Swift. If you add those to your post, I'll be able to find them and see what you're up to and share them in my stories. Share them, make a reel out of them. I don't know what exactly I'm going to do yet, but I'm going to figure it out. 9. Final Words: That is it. We are at the end of class my friend. I'm so grateful that you joined me here. I hope that you have gotten something meaningful out of this experience and I hope that if you enjoyed it and you had fun that you'll go through this process again and make a gift for yourself maybe, if you gifted somebody else the artwork this time, or if you are going to be gifting someone else your art work this time, or you can do this as many times as you like and add more and more loveliness to the world through your art-making. This really matters, showing up for yourself matters. Generosity matters, kindness matters. There's so much darkness in the world in general, but I think especially these days, I think we're all feeling that right now with all of the enormous travesties that are going on in our world currently. Showing up to make space and make time to do something beautiful for yourself or for somebody else, it really matters. I hope that you'll take the time to acknowledge that. Acknowledge yourself for showing up and for adding to the goodness in the world which our world desperately needs. I'm so grateful that you have joined me here and stay in touch. Again, please send me your stories and your images, and connect with me on social media and via email. I can't wait to see what you've made here, and you're awesome and amazing. Thank you.