Griffith graduate explores the art of mindfulness

Queensland College of Art alumnus Georgina Hooper is the author of a new book on mindfulness and making. Photo: Mia Forrest

Queensland College of Art (QCA) graduate Georgina Hooper explores how making art can foster mindfulness and improve wellbeing in her new book.

Mindful Thoughts for Artists reflects on the joy of making and the journey of self-discovery that accompanies the creative process.

“Making with our hands taps into our innate creativity, and is uplifting, nourishing and soothing for the mind, body and soul,” Georgina said.

“The book encourages creators to live in the moment, observe the beauty in everything, and make sure the creative process is driven by love and joy.”

Georgina was inspired to write the book after her young family relocated to a remote coastal town in north Queensland for 12 months.

“I moved from a flurry of activity, juggling lecturing and exhibitions, to nothing.

Photo credit: Mia Forrest

“I spent a year digging deep into my art practice, and thinking about the connections between Zen meditation and painting.

“I was offered a chance to write the book after the commissioning editor read one of my blog posts on mindfulness and art – a total needle in a haystack.

“The response from readers has been amazing – some people have been inspired to start making art for the first time, others are deepening their practice.”

Photo credit: Mia Forrest

Georgina’s signature style features calligraphic strokes inspired by traditional Chinese painting. She produces immersive abstract works created by a meditative repetition of five strokes on a coloured field.

Georgina’s creative journey started more than 20 years ago. Fresh out of high school, she left her Rockhampton home for Brisbane to complete a Bachelor of Fine Art at the Queensland College of Art, graduating in 1999.

She completed a Bachelor of Education (Secondary) in Visual Art at Griffith University in 2003.

“My time at the QCA allowed me to experiment and try so many things. The painting department was a real community, and I came away with a sense of place and purpose,” she said.

After teaching secondary art for almost a decade, Georgina took up lecturing roles and further study before deciding to take a six-month sabbatical to do a series of artist residencies in China and Japan.

Photo credit: Mia Forrest

The encounter with Eastern philosophy and traditional Asian art has set her on a new career path.

Georgina is completing a PhD and working on a new book – Mindful Thoughts for Students. She is also completing illustrations for her first children’s picture book and collaborating on textile designs with local fashion label Dogstar.

“We all like to be busy and feel productive, but it’s about finding self-worth beyond the next project or the next exhibition – it’s about enjoying the creative process itself .”