The Next Level of Empowered Creative Engagement From the Creator of SoulCards, Deborah Koff-Chapin
In 1995, I took a leap of faith. I published sixty of my drawings as a deck called SoulCards . A big YES resonated through my being as I worked on this project. There was nothing like them on the market. While most decks are illustrations of symbol systems and include a book describing the meaning of each card, SoulCards are evocative images with no written meaning. The user is guided to trust their own experience, finding insight through their personal response to what they perceive in a card.
The images in SoulCards were selected from among hundreds of drawings. They were chosen to express the spectrum of human experience – including some challenging images, not just expressions of ‘sweetness and light’. A guidebook offers creative ways to interact with the images.
Many people feel a sense of relief with the freedom to have their own experience and insights. Some others are disoriented when they realize the cards do not have specific meanings. But as they engage with the evocative images, they learn to trust their own perceptions and allow inner wisdom to emerge. Since their release in 1995, SoulCards continue to find their way into the hearts of people around the world. Over 80,000 decks have sold through word of mouth. Just a couple of days ago, this message came in:
“I got your first deck the year it was released because it jumped off the shelf at me. The shopkeeper said ’You better buy that deck – it wants you to have it lol.’ SoulCards have become my partner, helping me tap into the unlimited voice of my own soul’s wisdom. To this day I use the deck for guidance. I also use the cards in my development circles, to help participants tap into automatic writing. I am so grateful to you for presenting a deck that has no right or wrong answers. It provides the user unlimited access to the divinity within….”
SoulCards 1&2 have become sacred vessels through which my art moves out into the world. But I have created so many more images in the years since publishing them. My medium is Touch Drawing , a simple yet profound way of making marks on paper through the touch of the fingertips. (See the book Drawing Out Your Soul and CD Touch Drawing: A Guided Experience, both distributed by New Leaf) I love to take my drawing materials out of the studio and into inspiring settings. I have drawn in old growth forests, on the beach, in ancient stone circles, chapels and cathedrals.
I also find great fulfillment drawing in settings where emergent cultural awareness is being explored. I have drawn during many conferences, including the Parliament of the World’s Religions and Findhorn’s New Story Summit. I have had the blessing of drawing in the presence of many of our great visionaries, authors, indigenous leaders, and activists – the Dalai Lama, Ammachi, Mahatma Gandhi’s grandson, Charles Eisenstein, Joanna Macy, Marianne Williamson, David Spangler and so many more. I have developed an enormous archive of images – visual expressions of timely and timeless wisdom.
In the past few years, I have begun to burn with the question: What should I DO with these images? How can they serve? When the idea of creating SoulTouch Coloring Journals emerged, I felt the same YES resonate through my being that I had felt with SoulCards.
I began to look through my archives. I identified pictures that had the clarity and spaciousness that would allow people to color. Sorting them into categories by the qualities they expressed, I found five major themes: Opening to Love, Fullness of Life, Gifts of the Feminine, Creative Awakening, and Listening Within. It was such a joy to harvest the fruits of many years work. And it was deeply fulfilling to realize that I was inviting people into a more intimate relationship with my art through soulful creative collaboration.
While SoulTouch Coloring Journals activate a soul-engaging creative process, they don’t require the hand control and time commitment of many adult coloring books. This encourages use by a broader range of people. Users enter a dynamic, flowing engagement with the image, with the freedom to embellish and add new elements. The journal side of the page encourages further reflection.
One user describes their experience: “This is truly co-creation. I have no idea what it will be like when I finish coloring. The image speaks to my soul, and a story unfolds. I finished coloring this image. When I came back to gaze at it hours later, I felt something was missing. I added two leaves growing out of a seed. When I was adding the leaves, I kept hearing the words ‘Life is about celebration’.
And another user shares this: “These coloring journals are not just for passing time. Coloring the image, seeing it transform, rotating the paper to see it from different angles; evokes something beyond the ordinary experience of coloring. It is as if I have just experienced timelessness with an element of my own soul as I color. I cannot recall having ever had an experience of this kind from a coloring book.”
Just as SoulCards broke new ground in card decks by empowering direct insight, SoulTouch Coloring Journals open new territory in the fast growing genre of coloring books. Used together, imagine the potent possibilities!