Stealing from the Genesis Cards

In a Genesis Art mandala-making workshop, Shoko Yatabe took inspiration from Animal Wisdom, a card she gets quite often and identifies as the card that most expresses the core of her being. Look how much she ‘steals’ from the card. She ‘stole’ the colors, the label Animal Wisdom, the subject–the horse, the big eyes, the golden energy aura. And yet, look how original this work is. We would never call it derivative or the work of a copiest. This is art at is most powerful–because the artist takes full possesion of a work of art she didn’t create and then expresses it in highly original way through her own soul. Yes, steal from anyone who inspires you and steal well. Make sure you steal so well that your art is better than the work that inspired you in the first place.

How to make your own Genesis Art mandala:

Reading Carl Jung’s thoughts about the creative process–how in his approach the symbolism is the art itself–I did this experiment. I put words–attributes–aspects of myself I want to believe I have or strive toward–and see whether my subconscious mind/soul could show me whether these attributes are activated versus wishful thinking. The exercise goes like this if you want to try it: 1. Create a list of all your known or wished for attributes. 2. Lay out a range of rainbow colored papers and match each attribute to a color. You can use the same color for different attributes. 3. Next select a card randomly from the Genesis deck. 4, Study the colors, the imagery content, the label, the number next to the label, and anything else that strikes you about the card. 5. Now, in your sketchbook, paint intuitively, with the only restriction being that you use only the colors found on the card selected. (I was happy to discover that only two colors didn’t appear on my card. Interestingly, what was missing in colors were the two that for me represented money (purple for riches, and orange for giving). 6. With the awareness of what was missing, colors were added and not just colors, but the awareness of what those colors represented. 7. If you do this exercise, please send me a photo of your mandala and I will help you interpret it. Knowing how to read the colors becomes simple when you encode each color with heartfelt meaning.

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