What is Expressive Arts? It is a process using all forms of art to ask questions, create art about those questions and see what answers show up on the page.

It is a way to help process things that matter to you. Using Expressive Arts in your art journaling practice can reveal stuff…and sometimes, hard stuff. This is not art therapy…it is therapeutic and healing work.

Your facilitator on this journey, Michele, is trained as an Expressive Arts Facilitator through the Haliburton School of Art and Design, Ontario, Canada, and a Certified Therapeutic Arts Practitioner through the Canadian International Institute of Art Therapy, British Columbia, Canada. Those are the credentials. Personally, she lives in a small city in Southwestern Ontario, Canada with five bad barn cats and lots of gardens.

You make art all the time. You create in your journal, but you’re creative in other areas of your life too. Your entire life is a series of creative acts.

Where else in your life are you creative? When did it start? What turning points have shaped your creative life?

Where are you now?

Where are you going to go from here?

Let’s dive into your personal path of creativity and express it on the page.

Consider it a Quest. This need to make art is your Quest.

For this quest, we’d would love for you to join us on a 6 week expressive arts journey. We’ll meet in a small group once a week for two hours. We’ll have our own small Club inside the GM forums. We’ll grow as messy artists, watch each other grow and grow as a community. This is six weeks of dedicated time to deepen your artistic experience. You’ll have access to all the replays and you’ll receive weekly Home Play Worksheets and Technique Videos that go along with the teaching and exploration as well as a Workbook at the end to continue your adventure. 

You’ll also have Michele, an experienced EXA facilitator, to ask direct questions to or just chat. At the end of the time, you’ll walk away with a new set of true, world wide friends, better art, deeper art, and a clearer understanding of how you, the messy artist, came to be and some ideas of where you are going.

That’s what you’ll receive from us.

What we’ll need from you is commitment to the entire time. Commitment to your fellow messy artists, and most importantly for your own journey.

This is a paid, group creative Facilitated program, hosted by Michele and powered by Get Messy.

We’ll only be accepting a small group of artists so Michele can fully devote herself to your journey. 

During the six weeks, each week will focus on a different part of your art quest. Using expressive arts through art journaling, we’ll begin the journey with the now. Next, we will capture significant moments that affected your creative spirit. The good, the bad, the ugly; it all made a difference. As we travel through time, places, events and results, we will circle back to where we are at this moment…after exploring the terrain. And we will look to tomorrow and the day after and the day after that.

You in?

Your guide

Michele Desjardins

Michele is a Canadian woman who has found her “thing”. Currently living at the edge of the hood in St. Thomas, Ontario, Canada in a small house with five bad barn cats, a yard full of gardens, and the most entertaining neighbourhood ever. 

Following a career in corporate, Michele discovered and was trained as an Expressive Arts Facilitator with the Haliburton School of Art and Design, Haliburton, Canada as well as a Certified Therapeutic Arts Practitioner with the Canadian International Institute of Art Therapy, British Columbia, Canada. A self-taught artist; hence the primitive nature of my work. Life-long learner and explorer of all things creative.

I do not do Art Therapy. What I do is hold a safe space for you to express yourself in whatever art form you choose, nudge you into different ways of looking at and doing your art and let you discover the value it holds for you.

Lesson Plan

Week 1 - Gearing Up for the Quest

Let’s start this adventure with where we are today. What ‘gear’ do you need to be creative? And what is being creative?

Week 2 - Yesterday's Influence: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

“There are times in our lives when we have to realize our past is precisely what it is, and we cannot change it. But we can change the story we tell ourselves about it, and by doing that, we can change the future.” – Eleanor Brown

Week 3 – More of the good, the bad, the ugly

“If I had experienced different things, I would have different things to say.” – Mark Nepo

Week 4 – Did I take a wrong turn somewhere?

How did I end up here? Where exactly is ‘here’? What is a wrong turn or the right turn?

Week 5 – Tomorrow’s Potential

“In out-of-the-way places of the heart, Where your thoughts never to think to wander, This beginning has been quietly forming, Waiting until you were ready to emerge.” – John O’Donohue

Week 6 – The Day After Tomorrow

“Awaken your spirit to adventure; Hold nothing back, learn to find ease in risk; Soon you will be home in a new rhythm, For your soul senses the world” – John O’Donohue

In the class

Live Workshop Structure

  • Welcome, Opening & Settling In
  • Check In – how you doing?
  • Home Play Review
  • Introduction of the week’s exploration
  • Creating, Sharing and Witnessing
  • Closing and Encouragement
  • Home Play Challenge & Expressive Arts Technique Videos

The majority of our time together will be creating, sharing and witnessing.

Everything is an invitation. If you get itchy about it, ask yourself why.

NOTE: Additional Home Play suggestions will be offered as the class progresses and I get a feel of what is needed by the group or by an individual.

True Connection + an Expressive Arts Guide

A private club in our forums for community and sharing of work done in class and between classes.

A community tribe with a group of strong artists sharing the journey with you, ready to be vulnerable, to witness and to grow with you.

An opportunity to expand your art journaling practice; Expressive Arts Style.

Dedicated support from Michele, your Guide.

By the end of this six week quest you will have...

A packed art journal exploring and documenting your personal creative path of how you, the messy artist, came to be.
Experienced a variety of Expressive Arts activities to express yourself on the page.

Ideas on where to take your art next.

Replays of the live recordings, weekly Home Play Worksheets and Technique Videos.

A Workbook to continue your journey beyond the 6 weeks.

Friendships bound by art, authenticity and kindred spirits…a tribe.

What format do I receive the class in?

Weekly 2 hour live on-line classes with video recordings.

Invitation to do some Home Play between classes with EXA technique videos.

A Workbook of prompts and cool things to continue the next steps of your creative journey.

What do I need for this class?

  • A handmade art journal begging to be filled (you’ll receive access to a bookbinding tutorial)
  • Favourite art supplies (Perhaps a few dusty art supplies)
  • A huge sense of play and adventure
  • If available, a map, a compass, a magnifying glass, a rock and an explorer’s hat
  • Each week, additional materials will be posted in the Club.

Please….DO NOT purchase anything. Use your imagination.

What if I can't make a live workshop?

All workshops will be recorded and saved for you to replay whenever and as often as you like.

How long do I have access to this class?

As this is a premium class, class access does not expire and is not linked to your Get Messy membership. You have access for the entirety of Get Messy’s lifetime.

Can I contact the teacher if I have questions?

Absolutely. Michele is here to cheer you on and guide you on this quest. You are welcome to ask her questions at any stage of your journey and pick her brain to help your art practise improve. In return, she promises to pick your brain and ask the hard questions knowing that you have the answers within.