Striking a Creative Spark
With age and experience comes wisdom . . . and plenty of grist for good advice.
Wendy Danko, a participant in the current Evolve class at Wilder Center, sees a huge opportunity for older adults to rediscover their creative selves and, at the same time, pass along something of value to future generations.
Wendy is owner of Wendy Danko Graphic Arts, Incorporated and, with the help of the Evolve class, has formed The Advice Project. The project helps people share their thought, insights and advice in visual form. According to Wendy, “putting ideas to art, like words to music, opens whole new frontiers and is a fun way to get people involved in conversation.”
Using a unique process that she created, Wendy guides participants in her workshops to make beautiful and expressive combinations of words and images. She starts by asking participants to ponder the question: “What advice would I give my younger self?” Participants walk away with art journaling skills that they can use in keeping a personal art journal long after the class.
Learn to play an instrument
—Pat, aged 54
Laugh. . .breath deeply, follow your
own path, use sunscreen, don't
push the river, beware of the tide.
—Echo, aged 65
Many people find an increased interest in creativity as they age. This is often a time of fewer demands from family and career and greater opportunity for reflection. Being creative can be good for you too. According to Wendy’s research people who engage in creative activities are better problem solvers. Creativity also seems to strengthen the immune system and speed recovery of injuries and disease (Cohen, 2000). “More research is needed but the results so far are promising,” says Wendy.
Wendy is building a website for the project: www.TheAdviceProject.org, which will be up and running later this spring. She has schedule two pilot sessions in senior housing settings and the project will be in full swing by summer 2013. For more information contact Wendy at firstname.lastname@example.org.