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On-demand edition adapted from the session recordings of our live playshop series, including the season retrospective, is available here for you to benefit at your own leisure. You are also welcome to check out session reviews in Essinova Journal by clicking on the gallery images below. 


Join our Artful Life community to stay updated on our future programming.


On-demand Edition


Season Retrospective


About the Program

This playshop series is designed for anyone who would like to commit to a regular creative practice, but is finding it difficult to carve out the time and space on their own. 


Tapping into the knowledge and diverse talents of Essinova's existing global community as well as outside experts, this weekly salon-studio is an opportunity to organically raise our collective creative power by sharing with and learning from each other. 

Collective creativity energizes the soul,  heals the mind and facilitates meaningful connections.  A healthy mind platter consists of seven essential daily activities. Join us to develop the health habits of Play Time, Inner Time, Connecting Time and Down Time in a safe space amongst friends.

This initiative is part of Essinova’s mission to nourish our soul and help humans develop their full potential by aligning head, heart and hand, and by integrating art with life and work.


Session Reviews


July 11th

The Write Way to Draw  

With Vera Stankovic, multimedia artist, art instructor and creative director based in Ljubljana, Slovenia.


The Write Way to Draw is an interactive playshop that will make you explore the visual qualities of your handwriting and implement them in your drawings. This meditative drawing process may help you release tension and suppressed feelings while making beauty. (More information here).

Please bring:

- an ink pen or even better two (one thin, one a bit thicker)

- drawing paper (1 A4 or Letter size, 2 A3 or so)

- a surface you can put your paper on and draw comfortably

- your favorite book 

Time: 90 minutes

July 18th

Looking Deeper - Symbolism in Art

With Belinda Chlouber, artist and climate activist, based in the Bay Area, California.

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In this playshop, we will learn about the rich history of symbolism and how it has been used since ancient times to create an instantly recognizable representation, or mental picture, of a concept. We then will apply this knowledge to our modern world and use it to create a piece of artwork that speaks to your deeper self.

Please bring

- Drawing paper (preferably graph paper if you have some)

- Pen, pencil, and colored pencils 

- Ruler (optional)

Time: 90 minutes

July 25th

The Language of Longing

With Adeline Carrie Koscher, a poet based in Cape Cod, Massachusetts.


Poetry can be a solitary art. We write in solitude, but we reach out with all our might to connect with the audience on the other side of the poem. Much like when we are in love, when we write poetry we long to be known, to be understood, to connect, to move another. Poetry tends to involve powerful feeling and revelation. In this playshop we will explore the intersection of these aspects of writing poetry, and we will do so with a focus on longing. 


Think about what you long for now or what you have longed for in the past. Consider what drew you so strongly. We will aim to capture the power of this emotion in language. 

Please bring

- plenty of paper 

- a writing utensil 

- some ideas of people, times,places, futures you have longed for

Time: 90 minutes

August 1st

Drawn Together: Improvisational Drawing for Couples

With Sasha Mikhailova and Dr. Daniel Friedman, artist-scientists based in Davis, CA, USA.

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In this interactive workshop, partners will improvise with each other to develop communication skills and build intimacy. The workshop will begin with an overview of relevant research in neuroscience, art therapy, and narrative co-construction. 

For most of the workshop, physically-colocated couples will create their own shared masterpieces in response to prompts. All ages and levels of drawing experience are welcome.

Please bring

- 10 pieces of plain paper (printer paper or larger)

- minimum: 2 black pens, 2 red pens, 1 thick black pen (like a sharpie)

- optional: other color pens.

Time: 90 minutes

August 8th

Seeing the Overlooked through Abstract Photography

With With Daniel Storch, an abstract photographer and digital artist based in Denver, Colorado, USA.

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Abstract photography focuses not on the entire object or scene, but on its details, patterns, lines, textures, shapes, and colors.  In this interactive playshop, we will explore this little-known (but fun!) type of photography.  After a brief introductory discussion, we will take abstract photos of everyday items in our homes and explore techniques to digitally manipulate them.  We will then share our images and discuss their metaphorical and emotional content. 

Please bring

- cell phone with camera (in addition to the device you will use for Zoom)

- optional: take a few close-up photos of interesting patterns or textures you see in your home

Time: 90 minutes

August 15th

The Art of Sensory Cooking 

With Shalini Singh, a culinary artist, based in Brooklyn, New York and Hojat Mohseni, a green living community builder, based in Shiraz, Iran.


From the sound of sizzling spices, the texture and delightful aromas of fresh vegetables, to the abundant colors that fill up our plates, and the satisfaction as we take the first bite, cooking is a multi-sensory creative experience that allows us to engage and connect with our minds and bodies.  


In this playshop, we will take a culinary journey through our senses to create colorful and flavorful dishes, using fresh, seasonal ingredients and everyday spices. We may also come away with fun artworks made of peels and scraps. All natural and nothing wasted!

Please bring

- A suggested list of ingredients and kitchen equipment

Time: 90 minutes

August 22nd

The Theatrics of Life: To Be or Not to Be?

With Burcu Erturk Kilic, a theater actor and instructor based in Istanbul, Turkey

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Using Hamlet as a backdrop in this workshop,  we will learn how theatre is a magical mirror that reflects the dramatic conflicts of humankind. 


By delving into theories on theatre, storytelling, and psychology, we will collectively experience the hero’s journey and find our way through highly turbulent and transformational times. 


What will you choose for your journey? To be? Or not to be? 

Please bring

No supplies needed - just bring yourself!

Time: 90 minutes

August 22nd

The Yin and Yang of Dance

With dancers and educators Fides Matzdorf and Ramen Sen based in Sheffield, England and Sarah Holmes based in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

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Our bodies are designed to flow in space, and when paired with music and another human, the energy we unlock can help us become more present, authentic and connected to ourselves and our world.


In this playshop, we will play with the concepts of dance, the roles we play as leader and follower, movement and somatic practices to help us make sense of today’s reality.

You will need

  • Enough space to sit (in a chair), lie down with body fully stretched (on a yoga mat or similar), and move/dance comfortably 

  • A table to put your laptop/device, so that you are visible to your paired fellow participant when moving together 

  • Large cushion/pillow/plush toy (such as a big teddy bear)

  • Creative tools like paper, pen, crayons, playdough, Lego, phone camera etc.

  • (For party: your favorite drink to celebrate the playshop season finale)

Time: 90 minutes + party

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