My STORY

Hello! Welcome!

My name is Denise, I'm an art journaler, mixed media artist, teacher, guide, blogger and owner of Createful Community Mixed Media Art Studio in San Rafael, California.  On the blog and In this small, cozy studio, I bring people together who want more creativity in their lives. As we create and learn together, every day I get to live —and witness others live—a creative life.

And you know what? 

It all started with my art journal.

Createful Studio is the realization of a dream that goes way back—like way way back when I was commuting in my beat up Dodge Demon to my first real job at age 24. Every day, it seemed, I dreamed of this studio that one hour up Hwy 95 from New Haven, Connecticut to Norwalk— and I dreamed about it on the long ride home. 

Those day dreams popped up for decades.  Between one non-creative job after another, I dreamed of a space for people to create together.

It took decades to happen because, well, the journey to find myself was not a straight route, my friends. (Is it ever?) First I had to find my creativity again, and take my dreams seriously, and I had to learn skills and meet the right people—and I had to find art journaling.

It all really began in 2010.

One day a friend shared her art journal and talked about this "new thing" called art journaling.  I was instantly hooked!  It took me a while to gather my courage to start, but I fell so in love with the art journals people were making on the internet that I could not be stopped. My heart soared!

And so I began. I devoured online art tutorials and classes. I practiced and experimented. I made terrible, ugly pages!

And ones I liked too.

And I just kept going. Art journaling became an obsession, something I most definitely had to do.  I art journaled like a mad woman. I loved it!

Art Journaling brought me back to my HeART.

And from there, really crazy things happened.  I wanted to make other art with all those art supplies I was learning how to use. Canvases, handmade books, cards and ATCs and...then I remembered how much I always loved fabric and thread and discovered fiber art...I started making mixed media pieces. 

Because that's what seems to happen with art journals—art-making begins to spill outside of its pages.

And then there came a time when I felt compelled to share.

I found others who wanted to art and learn. We formed a weekly arting group...

I started teaching others...

And now, I've opened a mixed media art studio—adding a second art group as well as weekly classes—and I'm sharing on this blog, too.

I'm basically arting like the crazy madwoman I joyfully am. Spinning day dreams into creative lives. 

I share my creative life on this blog and in the studio because my dream continues to evolve:

I want to help others find their creative crazy, too.

If we start now, it won't take decades this time.