About Joan

Joan H. Stanford

Joan is a board-certified art therapist and full-time innkeeper who has been facilitating creativity groups for over twenty years encouraging people of all ages, especially non-artists, to expand their awareness through playing with art materials. She has been recognized with the Soroptimist “Making a Difference For Women” award for an art-based curriculum she co-created and taught in local schools. Her poems have been published and her art exhibited. She lives in Mendocino, California with her husband, and offers imagination playshops and creativity retreats at their inn and wellness center— The Stanford Inn by the sea and the Mendocino Center for Living Well.


As an adult in my forties I rediscovered my creative spirit, that spirit that infuses every child’s world. That rich imaginal space that children naturally visit does not disappear but rather lies untapped, an amazing resource. Many of us turn to journal writing when troubled to listen to that still voice within. We may have had a diary when young that was a safe place for our thoughts. We know feeling safe allows us to open up and my intention is to create that safety, to offer complete permission for exploration without judgment. I trust our inner knowing and offer avenues to allow that wisdom to be expressed through the expressive arts. Having a playful approach is key. Plus play is simply fun and a proven path to stimulating creativity.Joan Stanford