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21 SECRETS Spotlight with Eva Miller MPS, ATR | Art Therapy Alliance Materials & Media in Art Therapy Series


Introduced earlier this month, The Art Therapy Alliance started showcasing individual art therapist and art therapy student experiences from the  art journaling workshop 21 SECRETS.   This on-line event created by Dirty Footprints Studio is dedicated to 21 different art journaling classes and has sparked the interest and participation of many art therapists and art therapy students!  Especially with the announcement earlier this month that registration has been extended until October and the workshop will be open until January 1, 2012- there’s now more time for all of us to play!  This Materials & Media Show and Tell series will offer reflections inspired by 21 SECRETS from members of the Art Therapy Alliance community to help stimulate ideas and interest about art journaling and offer some considerations related to art therapy. 

This spotlight features North Carolina art therapist Eva Miller MPS, ATR.  Eva received her undergraduate degree in studio art at UNC-Chapel Hill, and her masters in Art Therapy & Creativity Development at the Pratt Institute in New York City. She works with a variety of populations, including the elderly, adults with acquired brain injury, refugee children, and women with eating disorders.  Eva loves being a part of the Art Therapy Institute which is an amazing network of creative and passionate people. Thanks to Eva for contributing to this series and sharing her 21 SECRETS experience!

What interested you to become involved with 21 SECRETS? I was looking for some structure and inspiration in my own art making. 21 SECRETS came along just as I was getting some new creative energy after taking a local painting class.  The instructor introduced new methods and materials to me, and she was into art journaling which piqued my interest.  I started poking around the art journaling websites and magazines, and liked what I was finding.  When I read about 21 SECRETS, it was a bonus that there are several art therapists instructing!  As an art therapist, I do a lot of facilitation of the art process for others, and need to make sure I am feeding and nurturing my own creativity!
What class are you working on now? I started with Gretchen Miller’s ready for a revo’lution and still have an altered book in progress.  Erin Kenepp’s Becoming Brave is like a visual meditation- the video is gorgeous.  Right now I’m in Playing with Patterns, which is just plain fun.

What do you think are some of the therapeutic qualities inspired by art journaling approaches that art therapists should consider? I love the possibility of layering in art journals– using papers, images, tapes, stamps, paints to both cover and reveal.  The Three Little Words workshop lends so much possibility to exploring emotions that are being discovered and perhaps transformed.  In my own “rev’olution” art journal, I did a ton of layering on the “self care” page, adding images and words about the intention of taking care of my creative spirit.  In the end, there was so much collage material and glue that everything lifted right off the page revealing the original white washed background.  I laughed and realized my journal was reminding me an important lesson in self-care; keep it simple and give myself room and space to play, breathe, enjoy.

Tell readers more about some of the art journaling ideas, techniques, or concepts that you have learned in 21 SECRETS that you could incorporate into your practice as an art therapist and the population you work with? We work on art journals during my groups with women with eating disorders.  I love being able to bring new ideas, inspirations, and techniques.  I’ve never been much into stamping, and 21 Secrets introduced me to new possibilities with this material.  I brought a bunch of stamps and inks to group and was excited to see what was created with them.

Any suggestions or tips that you would like to share for the art therapist or art therapy student just beginning to explore art journaling? I love the idea of using kids cardboard books and reconstructing them into art journals.  They are such a great jumping off point (and super inexpensive at thrift stores).  So many things can become materials for journaling– bubble wrap, envelopes, junk mail…  no need to acquire a bunch of fancy supplies.  Just jump in.

What are you looking forward to next in 21 SECRETS? It is great that the classes will be available until the end of the year.  I am taking my time and enjoying the process.


21 SECRETS is an ONLINE, self guided, art journaling workshop where participants will receive the opportunity to learn different techniques, methods, and approaches to art journaling from this group of 21 artists. Learn more about each workshop and how to register here.

 Past 21 SECRETS Show & Tell Spotlights:

Rebecca Johnson, LMHC, ATR




About Gretchen Miller, MA, ATR-BC

Gretchen Miller, MA, ATR-BC, ACTP: Registered Board Certified Art Therapist, TLC Certified Trauma Practitioner, Art Therapy Community Organizer, Artist...


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