WTF is PBA?!?

Art Newsletter Artist tips creativity creativity coach PBA process based art




is Magic! 

painted fingers on dianna fontes.artist


I am excited to share this FREE circle with you as a place to share creative ideas and to encourage all of us to tap into our creative process as a form of Magic and Healing. 

This culture of oppression and submission has programmed a lot of us to believe we're not creative or talented. This is rooted in the idea that your creativity is only valuable if you can SELL it. It says that your art is only good if others want to buy it. 

This is funny considering most people have never actually purchased a piece of art from the artist directly. When was the last time you bought an original piece of art? 

Do you think the artists all around you are not valuable because they don't sell their work? Of course not. 

Over the last two decades I've worked with kids and adults who have this message programmed into them, "I am not creative"

We don't realize that we're all creative. That is a key element to being human and it's the reason we found fire, invented wheels, and continue to innovate in reaction to our environment. Being creative is part of having the conscious minds we have. It is as vital to our survival and happiness as food, water, and love. 

So, why would capitalism and patriarchy want to convince you that you are not creative or talented? Why would it want you to believe that you're not worthy of making a thing unless it can be viewed, critiqued, criticized, and/or purchased by others? 

There are lots of reasons for this but the main one is the incredible healing powers available when we create just for the sake of creating. And this doesn't have to be fine art either. This is connected to ANYTHING creative; singing, performing, dancing, cooking, gardening...all of it. 

In this Circle, we're going to explore all the ways this culture has robbed us of our creativity and why. We can share stories of our experiences, project ideas, creations, and inspirations (or don't share, that's okay too!). 


But first, what the fuck is Process Based Art? 

It is simply a creative project we do because it feels good. We're not concerned with the product or outcome. We're not making something to display or share (but if we want to that's okay too). It's about learning to relax and enjoy the process of doing a thing rather than holding all that judgment about how it's gonna turn out so we never start. 

Humans are creative creatures. Creativity gave us all of our innovations but we ignore and shame it. This resistance to our creative nature is a weapon of whiteness and its goal is to keep us from the enormous amount of healing available in being creative. 

This isn't just about fine art projects either. We're talking about all creativity. There are no limits or rules in a Process Based Art space. Sing, dance, cook, perform, write, paint, make a HUGE mess... all of these creative expressions have a process too. 

It might be hard for some of us to step into this space. I've seen people literally have panic attacks at the idea of making something just for the sake of making it. I've seen all the reactions and excuses for why someone is convinced they can't create a thing. 


This is a safe place for you to be. You can definitely just stalk it and never say or contribute anything. You can participate in the project ideas and prompts and never, ever tell anyone about it. That's the beauty of PBA. It's for you and no one else. It's encouraged not to get attached to the product you'll create. It's the process you're seeking and all you have to do is show up with an open heart! 

Ready to get started?

Wanna know more about my story with PBA first?

As a kid, I didn't have a lot of things and I remember when I learned we had to buy all of our own art supplies in high school. I was grateful for the deep discount but it was still money I didn't have so I had to get creative. I worked as an assistant in the Art Room and the teacher hooked me up with things. I had awesome classmates that would give me their old supplies once an assignment was done and they knew they'd never use them again. And, I made use of free shit that I found in my life to make into art. I didn't always follow the assignments perfectly but I had an incredibly aware and open teacher who was one of the first people to "get me". We are still friends to this day. 

As upcycling and DIY culture became more and more "normalized" I felt like a pioneer of the concepts because I was a child of the 90s living in Portlandia. But soon I realized that the arts were still grossly underfunded and underappreciated in schools. I set out to create an after school enrichment program that was focused on the process of making rather than the product we make.  And then, Art(s)coolPDX was born.

I learned a great deal about PBA as a self care, healing tool from one of my dear friends, Beth Ann Short. They were instrumental in my education about PBA and so were Joy Leising, Aria Leighty, and the hundreds of kids I've had the pleasure to WeRK with over the years. 

Those six years taught me so much about my self and about the fucked up culture we live in. Instead of making art with kids and families, I spent most of my time fighting bureaucracies like school principles and PTA's and hustling to make a dollar. Pretty soon the joy of making was tainted by the work required to convince people that Art Matters. 

As I shifted to Astrology and Magic as the priorities in my journey I lost touch with my studio and my process-based art practice. That decline in making is one of the reasons I think I got so sick from 2016 to 2019. Once 2020 landed as it did I was able to take the time to return to my PBA practice. And- WOWZA- has my healing accelerated since the lockdowns began. 

I've also relaunched a Retail Shoppe that highlights all the weird shit I make using the PBA process. BUT/AND that's a key part of a PBA practice. The goal is not to make "products" but to have an experience during the process. In my case all the stuff that I process while making has wanted to be shared but that won't be the case for most people. 

This is the reason most people don't make art. They don't feel they are creative because they are comparing their creations to those in online shoppes and social posts. It's not about making it to share with others it's about making it because if feels better or helps you process an emotion. 

We have to unlearn that art is always commodified or it's worthless. 

And we will unlearn this in this Process Based Art Circle

I'll be sharing project ideas, techniques, prompts, and connecting them to the different Astrological Seasons and the literal seasons. As well as showing you how art can be a powerful spell or ritual. 

Come play around in here and create or enhance your PBA practice. 

Can't wait to share more of this with you! 

Many Blessings, 


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