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For those of us using art for healing purposes…It’s important when taking healing art courses to be willing to let go of making a pretty page. Healing is messy and expressing our pain on the art page, well, just isn’t always pretty. I love a pretty page just as much as anyone and so I’ve struggled with this myself when working through my own pages. I felt this needed to be addressed and so I added this as part of my most recent course, Healing the Mother Wound, but wanted to share it here as well.  What’s interesting is that even the pain, the darkness, the grit, can be beautiful, just in a different way. I also want to note that this can also apply to any art journal page. I think letting go of the pretty page syndrome can have value in general.

I often suggest that you may want to have a separate journal, a healing art journal where you can be free to create your darker more personal pages and then keeping a regular art journal. I tend to do all may pages in the same journal as I am okay with coming across a more personal page, but for some of us it may be triggering, or we may want to share our art journal with others and not our more personal healing art pages. For those people I suggest that you have two separate journals.


Here are the contents of the pdf, here’s to not so pretty pages that tell the truth of what we feel at times. To download and keep the pdf, click here: Pretty page syndrome


Letting Go of the

Pretty Page Syndrome

From week 2: Grief, Healing the Mother Wound Course

For this course and most of my courses, you’ll need to let go of the pretty page syndrome. The desire to make things look pretty. Now that doesn’t mean you can’t create a pretty page, but you need to be willing to make an “ugly” page, or a page that represents an emotion you are not comfortable with.

You need to be willing to muck it up, to get dirty so to speak. To take a beautiful face and give her blood tears if that accurately represents the feeling you are trying to convey like I did above.

The work we are doing is healing work through art.  Healing is messy and hard and your pages will reflect that. We are going into the feelings of grief, anger, frustration, overwhelm, love, beauty, abundance, light, hope…and so some of it will require a dark page and some of it will require a light page. When I say “ugly” page, I don’t really mean ugly, I mean that it will be a page that accurately represents your pain. Be willing to go there and show that to yourself, to face your own truth. Be willing to go beyond the pretty page into the grit and growl of the truth and make room for what you truly deserve in life.


Ways to let go of the pretty page syndrome…

focus on expressing your deepest emotions, some may not be so pretty

take a nice looking face and add something grungy to it, or a mark to her, experiment with this

let yourself make a messy background

make some crazy hair

make scratchy marks and texture on the page

make a pretty face in your other journal, then make a darker face..its okay to have both.

let go of being perfect, healing is messy, two steps forward, one step back, there is no perfection in healing

look at your art healing pages as ways to let out steam, ways to release your pain

be authentic and truthful to the prompt…if the prompt is about something like grief, anger, frustration, disconnect etc, be accurate to that

let go of being too neat

let go of having an idea of how it “should be”

approach your page more intuitively, what do you feel like doing, be in the moment, make a mark here, put a circle here, put a color here, what does your hand want to do. Get out of your head.


Feel free to add to this list!!