Interpretive touch drawing artist, Deborah Koff-Chapin, shares her story one year on from Findhorn’s New Story Summit….
I am sitting at a café in Salt Lake City, Utah preparing to enter the Parliament of the World’s Religions. It seems time to reflect on my New Story Summit experience at this moment. My sense is that it prepared me for this day. Doing Interpretive Touch Drawing for a week amidst the intensity of the field we generated, brought me through some kind of passage. I feel ready to do it now in an event of this magnitude.
My experience at conference is different. It is a body and soul immersion to listen and translate the content and feeling tone into images. I wish more people could find a way to be so creatively engaged as they listen to speaker after speaker. I dream of a day when we can organize conferences in a way that allows for multiple ways of engaging with the content being presented.
In this year since the Summit, I have also given birth to a project that is surprisingly new and mind-bending. I think it relates in some way to the unknown emergent forms. For many years I have been asking the question – what do I do with all these images that I have created? How do I harvest them in a way that is truly engaging and serving the cultural transformation we so need. For many years I did not receive an answer. But this year a clear calling came in – to publish my images in the form of coloring books for grown ups. When the idea came in, it had an energy I could not deny. It emerged in the spring took and hold of my life. In five months I created five ‘Soul Touch Coloring Journals’. They are all printed and being released into the world right now.
I went through thousands of images in my archives. They had been created during many different presentations, and in sacred spaces and natural settings. I sorted them into different categories by the qualities they expressed. Out of this emerged the five themes – Gifts of the Feminine, Opening to Love, Creative Awakening, Listening Within, and Fullness of Life.
I worked on this project, driven by an unquestionable fire. At one moment I stopped and asked myself – What am I doing? How am I going to feel about other people coloring my images? I had invited friends to color samples for the inside back cover, to show how different people color the same image. As I began to receive these colorings, I knew everything would be okay. It was so amazing to see my images come alive in ways I never would have imagined.
So here I stand at the threshold of something new. My images are about to go out into the world in a manner that transforms my identity as an artist. They will exist in a place of collaboration and co-creation. I cannot quite grasp the magnitude of this as I stand at this threshold. I offer my images to serve the emerging human and planetary story.