Break through to Create Change through Social Calligraphy

“So, what’s holding you back?” Ouch. The razor-edged question pierces my heart from across the table. This friend has never been one to mince words. Many times, her words and insight are sharp, often unearthing roots I have deliberately avoided, or am genuinely unaware of. Even though I don’t see her super often, I can always count on her to speak the truth in love.

it-just-flows-obstacles-holding-you-backOn this occasion, I haven’t actually seen her in a few years. So we catch up and I share where I am in my dreams of starting a calligraphy business and how that relates to my vocation as an artist and communicator. She looks at me point blank and comments, “You’re in the same place you were ten years ago.” I blink, staring at her in a bit of shock. What? I’ve totally made progress. What is she talking about?! She zooms in on how 10 years later, I’m still calling it a “side hobby.” She questions what is holding me back from fully embracing it as a “main thing,” not just a side hobby.

As the seed sticks in my heart, growing in its meaning and implications, I see how this question cuts right to the roots, in any area we fail to progress. What’s holding us back from truly seeking help to break destructive habits? What’s keeping us from boldly taking steps forward in living out our calling in this world?

journey-home-social-calligraphy-workshopAs if that wasn’t enough for her to be a true friend to speak the truth I was blind to, she stepped up and championed me. Within a week of our reconnecting, she rounded up two friends and two teenage daughters of said friends for a private Social Calligraphy workshop. Social Calligraphy was ignited to gather creative community to spark change, by coming together to do art while raising funds and awareness to support the good work of organizations that fight human trafficking. (You can read the story of how it got started here.)

We had a great time doing some of my favourite activities in community – munching, chatting, creating and collaborating. I love when I see people helping each other with feedback and new ideas.

The plan is to continue on regularly with the goal of growing in creativity. Equally important we will raise funds for Servants Annonymous‘ new rescue missions in Europe, bringing victims of human trafficking into freedom, healing, and a new life.

Our name for this new branch of Social Calligraphy Workshops? Journey Home. So pumped for multiplying creativity and generosity! My heart is full. My cup overflows. I’m so glad for what came out of that uncomfortable, but oh-so-necessary conversation.

Find out more at Join us in Vancouver for our next meet up. Or contact me to chat about starting one up in your city.


PaperGirl Leads a Cycle of the Art of Giving Art

it-just-flows-papergirl-vancouver-2015Art. Community. Generosity. My heart sings whenever I get to participate in an event that shares my core values.

A global movement of encouraging “the art of giving art,” artists of all levels and all ages are invited to donate their artwork to their local Papergirl or mail it to a Papergirl in another city in this beautiful world. Each city then holds the unjuried art show. After the show, a brigade of volunteer cyclists ride into the city and give the rolled up artwork as a gift to unsuspecting people.

What’s not to love? Random acts of kindness, generosity, creativity, community all bring life to your heart, city and world.

Bonus: clear old art prints or progress-practice pieces, and discover new artists to follow! Plus, I got my daily lettering fix doodling up one of the blank canvases at the art station. Great addition this year.

Thanks to all the volunteers and staff at Yaletown Roundhouse Community who keep making Papergirl Vancouver a success year after year.

Visit Papergirl World to find the world of cities waiting for your art to be given with heart!

Be inspired by this beautiful video: