Painting. Music. Language. Cuisine. Culture. Architecture. Poetry. Theater. Pottery. Drawing. Sculpting. Dance. All mediums when made with a sacred intent tell a story. A story of the artist, and the time they were living in, as well as what they wanted us to know about who we were as a people at that point in history.
Our foundation has chosen this framework for ‘viewing’ art making and has been developing it for over 25 years through research with thousands and thousands of participants about the impact of creation on our lives, past, present and future. Our campus is global due to the outreach of our programing and we have a physical location in Sonoma County which houses our museum as well as our classroom.
The Intentional Creativity Foundation preserves and uplifts an enduring legacy in mindful art making. We provide education, research & community building focused on creating with intention. Our field of practice and study, Intentional Creativity, is an emergent discipline combining creativity with mindfulness. Our project is piloted by the global Intentional Creativity Guild.
Creating with intentional symbolism to communicate and tell story is ancient and pervasive the world over. From the Red Hand Cave paintings of Aboriginal peoples of Australia, the Japanese Tea Ceremony, Egyptian glyph and myths, Russian icons coded with story and symbol, Shaman drums painted with personal medicine, sacred theater in Ancient Greece, Black Madonna rituals like the Sous Terre in Chartres Cathedral, skin story tattoos of the Hawaiian Islands, Native American beadwork, baskets and garments, Taize Musical Workship from France, African dances for birth and death, to the modern movement of intuitive art being globally practiced – the references are truly everywhere and endless and in every culture in the world. We find this common red thread of creating to tell story extremely exciting and inspirational.
Our ultimate mission is to secure this location or another for a physical and virtual museum to house our research and collection for years to come – as well as provide education about our creativity philosophy.
Our approach to this framework of studying and creating intentional art originated in the late part of the 1930’s and continues today as a discipline in the creative arts practiced by thousands of people per month and reaching over 100k people over the past ten years through online and in person gatherings. For the past 25 years, a focus group has been developing and studying innovative ways to bring intentional art making to life and to make it accessible to everyone – not just those who demonstrate skills in artistry. “We don’t think art is something just for those who are gifted or creative, but is a way for all beings to access their own stories, ideas, beliefs and healing pathways.” says, Shiloh Sophia, one of the Founders of the Intentional Creativity Foundation.
Enduring Influence + Curating Culture + Global Movement = Intentional Creativity
The foundation, a 501c3 founded in 2015 to develop the work is guided by the Board and the Intentional Creativity Guild, consisting of close to 200 teachers worldwide who are trained and certified in the Intentional Creativity Method. The method brings a focus on the philosophy, the how and why, as well as the impact and influence creating with mindfulness can and does have on our lives. While we believe creating is for everyone, our VISION is to make creativity accessible and to educate about the importance of creativity in the development of the human being.
Our lineage has been passed from hand to hand, artist to artist for over 80 years until it reached a quantum point, with the advent of online education. While our goal is global and growing, we have three offices: our headquarters in California, USA, and offices in Australia and Denmark.
Our California campus, called Cosmic Cowgirls Ranch in honor of our community includes a classroom, museum featuring our teachers, a gallery, museum, micro-farm and gardens. We host events and trainings year around.
According to the United Nations:
“We stand firm in our commitment to protect and promote the right to freedom of expression, including artistic and creative expression. In addition to being an integral part of the protected human right to freedom of expression, artistic and creative expression is critical to the human spirit, the development of vibrant cultures, and the functioning of democratic societies. Artistic expression connects us all, transcending borders and barriers”. ~ This quote has come from a joint statement made by 57 State Members at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva and delivered by Ambassador Janis Karklins, the Permanent Representative of Latvia to the United Nations on September 18, 2015
Intentional Creativity is practiced in homes, hospitals, social work settings, foster care, cancer recovery, homeless shelters, classrooms and circles. It is also used in ceremonies like wakes, births or weddings.
To get started in learning more about our work in the world you can sign up for our free art education library offerings below, or check out our blog, or look for a teacher in your area. This site, like our lives and this Foundation are a work in progress.
Thank you for visiting us ~ We hope to weave creative worlds with those we are supposed to connect with along the red thread.
Overview: Our work provides educational experiences that catalyze self expression. Using a combination of specific methods of creating, combined with the basics of quantum mechanics and neuroscience, an environment is created in which the learner can expand quickly and powerfully into a new framework. A new framework changes the opportunities that the learner has access to, as well as their confidence in their capacity to try new things, problem solve, interact and consider themselves as leaders of the future they want to create.
Our mission includes providing global curriculum both for new learners and leaders through Intentional Creativity inspired education. Our work in the future is dedicated to furthering our capacity to reach students globally, who may not have access to creative education. A very significant part of our work is to raise up leaders, to empower the students to become educators.
Delivery Overview: We offer a diverse set pricepoints from free to larger investments, to create access to the level of education that is right for our students. Some of our free online classes have upwards of 1500-5,000 people participating and have topics as simple as how to lead circles, to how to lead workshops or online classes, how to paint a face, or as complex as business development or healing trauma through intuitive painting. Our classes include drawing, painting, writing, poetry, storytelling, circles, coaching and more and take an intuitive approach to both teaching and learning.
Research: Our research has been with thousands of students worldwide and our curriculum has been based in and developed in what we witnessed as working in the lives of our students. This work has been taught in Montessori Schools as well as global Phd programs. Our research is only really beginning.
Our Work reaches into many areas of our lives
RESILIENCE: Creativity is a tool for resilience helping us to overcome challenges and move through trauma. When we work with image through symbols and language how we experience ourselves and our world shifts. We are able to ‘move on’ or through things quicker and with a greater capacity to work with others who may still be in the experience of trauma. When we create we change our energy structure, which creates expanded freedom in personal experience.
When trauma happens our bodies, our hearts, and our energy patterns are disrupted. When we create, our natural harmony begins to recreate itself, sometimes little by little and sometimes in a big way. This is measurable both in behavior, longer term analysis and biofeedback.
EMPOWERMENT: Creativity gives us a way to work with our empowering our personal story through providing access to the often hidden self. Our stories of our lives can and does hold us back. We can change our capacity for creating new stories, but not just in a conceptual way, but through making form (art). This form, actually informs us about ourselves. Each of us has unique content, a way to make their way in the world, but most of us don’t know how to get to it or how to express it. Creativity creates new synapses in our brain, and therefore helps us learn to think in new and compelling ways that are unique to our own gifts, and express them.
This aspect of our work is supported by neuroscience, what happens in the brain when one creates, how our brain fires, as well as how our body responds.
CONNECTEDNESS: Creativity is a common language, as ancient as humans, and has no real borders. Many of our classes can be taught even without language through demonstration. It appeals to people from all walks of life and traditions and brings us together. We know that feeling all alone in your ‘stuff’ causes people to isolate – hence a huge part of our work is to offer creative learning environments online and in person. We teach that we are already connected – and including ourselves is one of the first steps of belonging.
The heart has the largest electromagnetic field of any organ in the body. If we could see the field from our heart, we would see that when we create, with intention, we the earth, and others around us, as well as our own heart is impacted and nurtured. As we know, to change the state of an atom, you change the state of the field or matrix in which the atom is suspended.
LEADERSHIP: What we have witnessed is that creativity gives people access to freedom, and to their own content and desire to serve. Finally having experienced enough healing to get out of their own way, having liberated their story, often people feel naturally called to serve others. We seek to provide a ‘way’ a method by which the students, enter into leadership as a natural self expression.
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CORE TEACHINGS within INTENTIONAL CREATIVITY
Intentional Creativity is a framework, a chosen approach, a viewing window and a portal of inquiry. Here is our essential operative vocabulary as seen through the framework of Intentional Creativity, meaning there is a lens through which you are viewing the words. Each word serves as a linguistic abstraction that can be applied to any medium, including thought, movement, art and sound – anything you make. And especially if you do it with love and or a sacred intent.
Intentional Creativity does not necessarily refer only to painting or writing, rather it expands on a philosophy of being, living, and falling in love with our lives, one another, and creation itself. There are, of course, 13 core teachings based on chosen conscious transformation. These are the practices of those in our tribe and the practices employed in every class or experience using Intentional Creativity.
These remain conceptual until brought into form, hence the reason we call ourselves the Guild of Intentional Creatives. We are makers and collaborators with quantum potential. We all contribute our ideas, dreams & curriculum to the greater community as we develop ways of working and self discovery. Here’s the amazing part, when we create with intention, all of these are somehow active at once without us needing to name them at all. Separating them out as words simply helps us take a better look. It’s rather like trying to lasso the mystery. This kind of thinking has been around since the beginning of time, it’s nothing new, but we may be new to it. The idea of working with image and word together as a path of intentional inquiry was sparked within the framework of our Intentional Creativity Lineage in the 1930ies by Lenore Thomas Straus and passed to my teacher, Sue Hoya Sellars, and in collaboration with my mom, Caron McCloud on to me. ~ Maestra Shiloh Sophia
13 Core Teachings of Intentional Creativity
CURIOSITY – Enter into the space of inquiry inspired wonder
ACCESS – Journey and establish pathways of connection with your heart and soul
AWARENESS – Inquire within, you are not who you think you are: ‘who lives in here?’
CONNECTION – Claim that you are a co-creator in the greater circle of sacred life
INTENTION – Activate quantum consciousness through mindful creations
INVITATION – Allow discovery, and being your own witness to enter into your processes
CREATION – Alchemize your content across the veil into form, and practice regularly
CATALYZE – Choose to continually move out of default settings into possibility
COMPASSION – Lovingly collaborate with the collective through your offerings
AWAKENING – Explore and expand the infinite palette of your many senses
COHERENCE – Create alignment between your gifts, your Source, and Creation
BELONGING – Choose to be embodied, and belong to a tribe of creatives
CEREMONY – Design experiences which both mark transitions and celebrate!
Who lives in here? ~ Sue Hoya Sellars
What are you here to cause and create? ~ Shiloh Sophia
What ancient knowing lives within these hands? ~ Lenore Thomas Straus
United Nations Commission on the Status of Women
Transforming the Experience of Trauma into the Experience of Empowerment
The Intentional Creativity Community drew together for two powerful sessions at the United Nations this year.
We were very honored to present our findings, research and presentation before the UNCSW as an NGO.