What is Living Language?


  • the method of human communication, either spoken or written
  • any nonverbal method of expression or communication
  • the system of communication used by a particular community
  • a system of symbols

Living language in the context of art making, art as process, transformative process and expressive arts, is information articulated through means other than words, in ways that enliven active experience and deepen personal expression.

A living language is felt and experienced as presence, often through the energetic body, when one connects with ideas, images, symbols, metaphor and materials.

Living language is experienced before it is fully known or understood.

Within art as process, concepts are conveyed through movement, engagement and insight, using color, texture, symbol, image and form to engage what may not be known.

Art is a language of the soul.

Creative expression and art making connect us to the inner realms, where active imagination is realized. The process of seeking and finding activates symbolic communication with self and other. This connectivity, which might not be understood without this specific language, offers insight, illumination and activation.

Art is a path to deep wisdom.

The language of creativity, for artists and non-artists alike, changes the way we see, sense and experience information. Creativity moves ‘in you’ and ‘through you’ guiding the journey of recognition in unexpected and profound ways.

Art is a path to healing.

Art making is a tool of the internal world, expressed externally. Art speaks of, from and to the deep subconscious, voicing the self, the collective, the conscious awareness and emerging awareness alike.

Art expresses truth, from the inside out and from the outside in.

Creating practice and cultivating a personal living language in your life, is vital.

Whether using simple art forms, writing in a journal, taking photographs on your phone, musing as you walk the dog, or finding new music that speaks to you, any creative form can be used to develop your living language. For instance, using JourneyCircles™, where there is a dynamic and defined way to articulate these pieces of your life using creative process, the living language can be experience intuitively at first, but more deeply explored, claimed and named as insight, sensation or experience. Learning more about your living language will guide depth and process organically.

Creative forms and materials can be used to explore feelings, memories, intuitive knowing, emotions, embodied sensing, information and states of being. A living language serves to amplify the expression and experience so that it travels with you, becoming more accessible to nurture your growth and evolving journey.

If you ask me what I came to do in this world,
I, an artist, will answer you I am here to live out loud. 
                 – Emile Zola

Explore these prompts, with image, symbol, words, materials, or creative musing:

What does living out loud mean to you?

How do you experience living language, in art and life?

If you ask me, I ____________, will answer you, I am here to live _____________.