Friends, family, co-workers… Not everyone understands your hunger to create. They think it’s frivolous. They look at people like us like we’re kinda weird.
And it's wearing on you.
Have you ever heard that you’re not fun to be around anymore?
Do you find yourself snapping at your kids or your partner?
Dreading going to work in the morning, procrastinating when you’re there.
You know that life shouldn’t be this way and feel this hard. But you feel stuck, and despite all your best intentions, night after night you find yourself watching TV, scrolling through Facebook, and wasting time until it’s time to go to bed and do it all over again tomorrow.
When did your life go off the rails?
The truth is, when you play in a Creative Sandbox, it doesn’t have to take a lot of time. Just a little bit is enough to make you look forward to your day, be more patient and kind to the people most important to you, and feel more like yourself again.
We are a community of open-hearted women, recovering our creativity together in the spirit of play.
We know that living our lives in shades of grey is not the only way to live. Making time and space — even just a little bit — for creative play turns up the saturation on our lives.
It allows you to step into the biggest possible vision for yourself and for your life.
Why is giving your creative spirit free rein so powerful?
Because making space in your life for creative expression requires risk-taking.
Think about it: every time you write, paint, make music, sew, bead, or however you like to create, you have to:
Gimme a break — those are some badass leadership skills right there!
And the beautiful thing is that every time you do your creative thing you are strengthening those leadership muscles!
Not to mention modeling to others that creative expression is important, not frivolous.
Which is in itself important, because of course you and I both know that the world hasn’t caught on yet.
(And goodness knows if you don’t make money from it, Capitalist society sure isn’t gonna take you seriously!)
Your creativity is important. Which is why we need to gather people like us together. Other women who “get” us, and can help keep us going, when the world feels cruel and unfeeling.
Other women who can inspire us:
Dr. Angi Orobko
"Just wanted to let you know that in the short time I've been in the Sandbox already that I've been inspired, not only to move forward in my creative efforts, but have made the beginning steps in starting a business that I've been wanting to do (and talked myself out of) for several years. I have taken several leaps of faith in the last couple months, and it has led me to believe that the time is right to do this."
Kristine Boyle-Topee, Communications Professional
"The Creative Sandbox Community has helped me tremendously with accountability to help me get moving and keep going on my chosen work, with sharing daily (or at least frequent) creativity prompts to get the ideas moving, and with emotional support during a difficult time. I am immensely enjoying getting to know women from all over the world who share my love of art, writing, and all things creative. The resources, both human and informative, are priceless."
• Meet other creative, open-hearted, like-minded women (From all over the world, at every stage of the creative journey)
• Support, encourage, and learn from each other (Get answers to everything from art supplies and techniques, to how to overcome your latest creative block)
• Find inspiration every day (Through weekly activities and a 365/24/7 online forum)
• Bathe in our drama-free, kindness-infused culture (Practice sharing your unique contributions in a safe space — the ideal leadership training ground!)
"I love the Creative Sandbox. I was initially hesitant to join, fearful that the “comparison trap” would just add to the gremlin voices in my head, but I have found quite the opposite - a group of incredibly talented and supportive people who encourage and inspire me. As I see kindness modeled, I am learning to speak kindness to myself. Thank you, Melissa!"
Cathy Duffy, Entrepreneur
"Melissa has given us the tools to deal with fear, perfectionistic tendencies, and comparison to others. I am becoming more compassionate with myself, and the group is so supportive with each other."
Claudia Tammen, Photographer, claudiatammenimages.com
"I love the sandbox because it is a great place to be creative with other like minded people.
It is easy to feel disconnected and this group makes me feel connected 24/7. A special place to meet special people. :)"
Omaste Witkowski, Photographer, owfotografik.com
"You've been the catalyst for everything great in my life. Thanks to you, I became AWAKENED and empowered to finally DREAM BIG and know that I could actually reach what I placed before me. I will forever be grateful to you for having reawakened my heart and my passions. It is something I will forever owe you."
Nana Campana, Speaker/Educator, nanacampana.com
• 24/7 access on web & mobile to smart, generous, kind, open-hearted women like you, who get it that your creative side is essential to who you are — we are here to support you as you grow!
• Creative Sandbox 101 — my flagship 7-day eCourse. ($40 value)
• Monthly member-hosted creative challenges — a different member volunteers to design and host each month’s challenge, so there’s always some creative inspiration if you need it!
• Accountability — accountability threads to help keep you motivated and moving forward.
• BONUS: Hefty discounts on live Retreats and Playdays with me. (Over $218 value)
A full-time freelance artist and calligrapher for 15 years, I developed a set of tools, based on the metaphor of a "creative sandbox," for pushing past creative block out of sheer desperation, to deal with my own decade-long crushing perfectionist paralysis.
Over time, I realized that the tools that worked to open up creative flow — for me and hundreds of my students and clients — transformed not just their creative lives, but all areas of of life, especially when the tools were used in the context of a supportive community.
I founded the Creative Sandbox Community as a women's leadership lab for practicing my Creative Sandbox philosophy in August of 2015. Then in 2016 I quite literally wrote the book on the subject, The Creative Sandbox Way™: Your Path to a Full-Color Life.
I'm also host of the Creative Sandbox Way™ podcast, and founder, CEO, chief instigator and lead facilitator of Creative Sandbox Solutions™, a creative consultancy that helps leaders, teams, and organizations cultivate mindsets and cultures of creativity through the strategic use of play.
In other words, whether in the Creative Sandbox Community, on my podcast, or with my consultancy, my goal is to help you be you... only better! Using the tools of play and creativity.
None of these achievements would have been possible without the Creative Sandbox tools we learn and practice inside the Creative Sandbox Community!
"The world needs your contributions! Come practice them here. See you in the Sandbox!" - Melissa Dinwiddie, Founder of the Creative Sandbox Community
"I really enjoyed the call today. It gave me a lift for the whole day! Consider this a testimony!"
"I wouldn't be [a Skillshare instructor] now if I hadn't been in the Sandbox. The encouragement, gentle pushes forward, and support has been an important key helping me move forward in creativity, art, and life. Thanks a million, Melissa!"
Jessica Sanders, Skillshare Instructor
That's completely up to you! The Creative Sandbox Community isn't a course, it's a lab for women to reclaim our creativity and step into our full potential together, wherever you are on your journey.
Members are continually addressing the kinds of issues that hold us back — as creatives and as women — but more importantly, we look at what works to move us forward.
Most importantly, this is a space for women who are ready to take action, not for people who want to stew in the "poor me's."
If that sounds like a good fit for you, we'd love to welcome you inside!
The Creative Sandbox is a private, dedicated online space, free from the distractions of advertising and a zillion other groups and Facebook-sponsored ticklers pulling at your attention. We exist to support you in doing more of your creative thing — not dump you in a zone of distraction!
Plus, most free Facebook groups exist as marketing tools: the owner of the group provides free space as a way of more effectively marketing their products and services to you. Nothing wrong with that, but the main goal of those groups is for marketing, not community.
Community-building isn't an afterthought for us, it's the reason the Creative Sandbox Community exists. We are a paid community because we want to attract members who truly want to be here, not "freebie-seekers" who aren't truly invested in growing our community together.
If that resonates for you, we'd love to have you join us!
The Creative Sandbox Community has members ranging from early 30s to late 70s. Some members identify as "artists," but many members do not. Some identify as scientists or accountants or writers or designers or teachers or musicians. A lot of us are "passion pluralites," with a lot of creative interests.
Some members still do not think of themselves as particularly "creative," while others are full-time artists or designers. We've found strength in our diversity.
What we all have in common is a desire to bring — and keep — creative expression at the forefront of our lives. We know that the wider society doesn't tend to support this desire, and we've found a tribe that supports us and helps keeps feeling sane and happy.
If you'd like to join us, we'd love to welcome you inside!
Nope. It's up to you. Our platform is hosted by Mighty Networks, and there is a Mighty Networks mobile app (available at both the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store) which makes it easy to take the Creative Sandbox Community with you wherever you go. However, none of our content requires the mobile app to make use of it.
Lots of our members find that they check in more often than they would a traditional online forum because they have access to the app.
Of course, you can also access the Creative Sandbox Community on your laptop or desktop computer.
Nope, the Creative Sandbox Community membership is a non-refundable investment, and here’s why:
Part of the reason we struggle with creating (and sharing) creative work is because of the emotions tied to it. This community will, by its nature, bring stuff up. That’s one of the reasons a membership in the Creative Sandbox can change your life!
The Creative Sandbox is a container to work on that stuff. It would be irresponsible of me as a teacher and changemaker to offer you an easy out anytime you get the tiniest bit uncomfortable.
In other words, please do not click that buy button unless you’re sure you want this!
Shoot me an email. Or phone me at 866-538-8268. I’ll be happy to answer whatever questions you’ve got!
I just wanted to say how much I've enjoyed your programs and how much I've gotten out of them.
As you know, I've done a variety of them now, and I keep coming back because your groups have a really special blend of enthusiasm and energy. I never fail to make true friendships that have continued on outside of the groups, and deeply relish the special connections within the groups that I make with fellow artists or folks in the process of discovering their creativity. We all have different starting points, but it's wonderful to walk together.
Beyond the connections, there is something about the blend of energy and focus in the groups that gives me that little extra push when working on my own goals, whether it be clutterbusting, creative exploration, or playing in the sandbox.
Invaluable and worth every penny.
Thanks for all that you do, your vision and enthusiasm. I'm looking forward to enjoying more of your programs!"
Jeannie Harwell, Jewelry Artist
"I love to see the variety of projects that people work on. Gives me great ideas. And it feels like such a safe place to show things and to ask questions."
Sharon Wildwind, Author