Looking back on my childhood it’s clear to me that I relied heavily on the creative process to express myself.....
Rickys CREATE YOUR SELF story.
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Ricky's CREATE YOUR SELF story

Ricky Bella Bell, Art Therapist and Founder is on a mission to awaken creativity…one circle at a time. Ricky’s passion for the creative process and life experience took her on a journey that led to the development of a unique line of meaningful art experiences that adults, teens and children benefit from. Here’s the inspiring story of Ricky’s path to launch her product line, appropriately named CREATE YOUR SELF.

        Looking back on my childhood it’s clear to me that I relied heavily on the creative process to express myself—in fact, I depended on it. Being a misunderstood tomboy with “mischievous tendencies,” the adults in my life were just happy I found something to do that kept me out of trouble. No one encouraged me to express myself or gave me fancy art supplies...& by 'fancy' I mean the 64-count crayon box WITH the sharpener. It wasn’t until high school, when our teacher displayed my self-portrait drawing in the hallway for all to ID, that I received any recognition or praise. Making art was simply my default activity— a safe outlet that I stumbled upon naturally, trusted completely and did entirely for me. As a result, I spent a lot of alone time being creative while growing up….and truth be told, I still do.

        As an Art Therapist, I’ve had the privilege to work with many different populations, age groups and settings over the years: teens in a hospital, children and families at my local community center and even women in a mammography clinic waiting room. What I saw, time and time again, is that when given appropriate supplies and direction people want to be creative—it’s that simple. Admittedly, even I had my doubts walking into some of these situations, and wondered, Does a woman waiting to find out where she falls in a 1 out of 8 statistic really want to create a small sculpture? I felt uncomfortable even asking.... But I trusted the process and was confident yet authentic when I offered up some carefully selected art supplies. To my surprise, no one declined. In fact, women would actually return to that small waiting room AFTER their mammogram to sculpt some more. It was amazing to witness how the energy shifted for those women. The opportunity to silently express one’s SELF in the thick of an otherwise heavily guarded moment was profound. This experience, along with others, deepened my belief in the process and drove me to make meaningful art experiences more readily available.

      One of my favorite art therapy directives is to create a hanging mobile. The idea is simple: Build a structure and hang elements on it. The tricky part is finding the point of balance between the different objects. You quickly realize that each time an element is added, a new point of balance needs to be determined. The seemingly simple harmony achieved in a peacefully swaying work of kinetic art is ALWAYS preceded by erratic movement, instability, and intentional adjustments. Do you see where I’m going with this??.....  Such is life.

      Times of transition are always lurking around the bend—change is a constant. We get older, take on new roles & let go of old ones - it could be anything, positive or negative. Just when you’re thinking, “I’ve totally got this!” the winds of change throw your life's mobile out of whack. When I find myself making adjustments to restore balance in my own life - be it professionally, within my marriage, socially, or among my three boys - this visual serves as a comforting metaphor. Over the years I've learned to rely on creative thinking, flexibility, and an open mind to withstand stress in my pursuit of harmony. Ultimately, that’s what the CREATE YOUR SELF line is about for me: the opportunity to restore balance and attain stability through a creative process.