Hi, I’m Laura, Founder of HeartSplash.
HeartSplash creates a safe space to get out the paint and paper and begin. It’s an important first step so folks feel safe and free enough to explore all possibilities. I can help you learn to create with greater freedom.
HeartSplash was created to help people return to their inner creativity and make more possible.
I know how it feels to have that impulse to create and not know how to get started. I almost didn’t complete my graduate program application in Art Therapy because I was afraid to complete and submit my art portfolio. No one should have to struggle alone to make more art.
A bit about my credentials: I volunteered for over ten years with families experiencing childhood cancer and had the privilege to witness authentic self-expression as the children made art. This volunteering paved the way for me to see and believe what was possible when the desire to make art was nurtured and supported.
In preparation for my graduate program I took a variety of studio art classes given by teaching artists. Regularly making art introduced me to the many levels of learning available through the process of making art. I earned my master’s in art therapy and wrote my thesis, Passing Through, after establishing an art studio for homeless and runaway teens and working with women and children in a domestic violence shelter. With the latitude to create my own curriculum, I have been developing and honing these techniques for a long time.
I have worked in the overlapping fields of creativity, therapy, and education for over ten years.
With the latitude to create my own curriculum, I have been developing and honing these techniques for a long time.
I have had many different starts and stops as I looked for a career fit that allowed me both some measure of creativity and flexibility for motherhood. While teaching and freelancing in art I taught classes, led corporate workshops, presented at conferences, and published articles. All of these experiences helped me continue to demystify the creative process and discover my unique approach. By 2015 I knew that I wanted to start my own business.
What I noticed was that adults were itching to be creative. The explosion of DIY, adult coloring books, and journaling options pointed to adults’ underlying need to create. Through the years, my work in organizations showed me how much the staff wanted their chance to create. Teaching classes to young children and their caregivers demonstrated how eager the adults were to create right alongside the young ones.
My work with children and my understanding of art’s place in our larger society grounds this business. Children naturally create. Suddenly and unexpectedly, that very natural way of being is no longer nurtured. Suddenly children must do more serious tasks: sit straight ahead in their desks and forget about their childish messy paints . . . except that they don’t. I believe wholeheartedly in “that which you resist, persists.”
The opportunity for children to explore creatively disappears, but the impulse does not.
Our daily lives don’t seem to have very much room for this kind of creation and discovery. While HeartSplash was in the development stage I re-read Women Who Run With The Wolves, and it reminded me how important it was to tend to our creativity. We are so very capable. BUT if we don’t pay attention to our needs and creative impulses we will lose focus. Our spirit becomes diminished. There was my lightbulb moment.
I wanted to do something to help people nurture their inner creativity.
I have had a long term relationship with art, one that spans career changes, deep studio work, teaching, and motherhood. Even when I wasn’t working in the arts, I journaled, painted, drew and created for myself. This deep understanding of process informs my approach that artmaking belongs to us all and not to the exclusive realm of the paid professional.
Launching this business has been a great opportunity to learn and grow and expand my skills. I’ve had to learn some tough lessons through trial and error. For instance, I was a bit short-sighted when scheduling one of my first introductory workshops. I overlooked that fact the morning of the Chicago marathon may not have been the best time to run a new workshop. Whoops!
Like you, I know that learning something new isn’t always comfortable. Participants of my introductory workshops are repeatedly sharing that their experience of making art with me was much easier than they thought it would be.
Get started with ease.
My favorite media to teach is watercolor because of its spontaneity, flow, and transparency. I blend a welcoming approach with simple and rational instruction. You can expect to experiment with a series of basics and techniques, and to be guided to explore and experiment further and see for themselves what they can do with paint.
Making art in this open-ended way offers the following potential benefits, an increase in:
Empowerment: Shift your practice and experience of power from control and power over others to to finding the power within oneself.
Authenticity: Making art matters because it offers you the opportunity to discover and be completely yourself.
Personal Development: Learning to make more art flexes your creativity muscles that you may not use on a regular basis.
Creativity: Creating more often expands your imagination, helps you know with greater certainty what it is you want and need, and makes more possible.
Acceptance: Accepting yourself and all that shows up during a creative session loosens that resistance and makes more possible.
Discernment: Making art gives you the opportunity to get to know what is true for you in your art and life.
Beauty: Creating more beauty in your life allows you to go beyond the planning, step into, and experience what is possible.
Intention: Making art can help soften how we habitually seek to impose our will and approach our art making with a willingness and a readiness to practice.
Love: Borrowing the words from Estrus Tucker of Parker Palmer’s Center for Courage and Renewal :“Our work is grounded in love, the capacity to extend ourselves for the sake of another person’s growth.” It’s about love: loving yourself, loving others, loving what you do.
Creating has been a constant companion through the messiness of going away from, running toward, and experiencing the happy reunion with this authentic impulse to create. Try as I might I could not pin down those wild, creative urges that kept pulling me toward creative expression and helping others do the same.
Your art matters. It’s never too late to start making art.
I would love to discuss how HeartSplash can help you or your organization uncover greater creativity.
Laura Reyes is an artist and workshop facilitator who helps build wellness through the creative arts. Laura holds an MS in Art Therapy from Mount Mary University, a BS in apparel design from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and is the author of Passing Through, the culmination of her Master of Science research that explores how the art therapy studio experience transforms the lives of homeless and runaway teenagers.
After extensive work with children, families in crisis and organizations, and over a decade of an experience as an art therapist and art educator, Laura realized there is a universal need to give voice to one’s inner experiences through creative expression. From this realization Laura founded her business HeartSplash.
Through HeartSplash Laura demystifies the creative process so that individuals and companies can release their innate creativity and make more possible. Laura loves being a mom and lives with her son in Chicago.