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Archive for the ‘Cultivating Creativity’ Category

“One does not discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time.” – Andre Gide

DSCF6340Well, it has been a month since I posted the last challenge… but I have been fruitfully working towards accomplishing it!

The last challenge was to set up my creative space.   With a little help from my husband, I was able to set up a metalsmithing studio in a shed in our back yard.  My handy husband installed a ventilation fan and lighting and helped me move in and set up my workbench.  Everything is now up, organized, and in working order!  Though it took a little longer than planned, it was well worth the wait!  The photo to the right is my first project completed in my new creative space!

I am still working on the finishing touches – little details to make the space an environment that inspires creativity!  I think this will always be a work in progress – and I plan to enjoy the journey!

THIS MONTH’S CHALLENGE:
Word Art. I have a large affection for words.  I devour books and am very attuned to the lyrics of songs.  This week, I plan to make art out of words (or a word).  I’ve been inspired by this blog post and this photo.  I can’t wait to get started!

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We like to focus on having learned a skill or on having made an artwork. This attention to final form ignores the fact that creativity lies not in the done but in the doing. ~Julia Cameron

DSCF1428_2Last week’s challenge was to be inspired by a child.  My husband and I spent the past two weeks at the beach with his family.  It was an amazing time of relaxing and reconnecting.  While there, we were surrounded by our nieces and nephews and their uninhibited imaginations!  I spent time building sandcastles, chasing crabs, swimming with the fish, listening to stories they’d created, pretending to be mermaids… and learning from their creative freedom.  Their creativity lacks rules, guidelines, demands for perfection.  Their creativity is fun and freeing and genuine.

THIS WEEK’S CHALLENGE:
Set up a creative space.
This week I will be setting up my soldering studio.  As I gather my supplies, organize my creative space, and hook up my equipment, I will aim to establish an environment that inspires creativity.

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The creative is the place where no one else has ever been. You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. What you’ll discover will be wonderful. What you’ll discover is yourself.  ~Alan Alda

DSCF4354Last week’s challenge was to get out into natutre with my camera and sketchbook.  I took  some time (though not as much time as I’d like…) to get out, to think and to let my mind wander, to be refreshed and inspired by the beauty of the local landscape.  I took this photo in one of my favorite little spots in our neighborhood – a place teeming with wildlife – a place that feels set apart though it is just a short walk from my front door.  Though life is busy, this little retreat into nature is something worth making time for!

THIS WEEK’S CHALLENGE:
Allow yourself to be inspired by a child.
We’re on vacation this week with my husband’s family – grandparents, parents, brothers and sisters, nieces and nephews all in one giant house.  It is a very special time.  Here, I am surrounded by many little ones who constantly embrace their unlimited imaginations and allow themselves creative freedom.  While I’m here, I am going to allow myself to be inspired by them!

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Scan0003You cannot force creativity – but you can do things to help urge your creativity along…
… feed the brain, rest the brain, let your mind wander

Scan0004Last week’s challenge was to take some time to doodle – to open the door to creative freedom and get over my need for perfection.  It was a wonderful exercise for me – I am not great at drawing, but I enjoyed the task.   I found myself doodling flowers quite often, but I also had a little fun with patterns.  This was definitely a worthwhile exercise for me – one I’ll have to keep up (I need to keep working on my perfectionistic tendencies!).

THIS WEEK’S CHALLENGE:
A Walk through Nature.
Wherever you live, I hope you have somewhere you can go to experience nature.  Where we live, we are quite close to a national forest, and there are a few spots that I love to go to get alone, to think, to be refreshed.  While we live quite close, I have not found myself enjoying the benefits lately.  This week, I will make it a priority to get out there – and when I go I will be sure to bring along my sketch book and camera – I will allow myself to be inspired!

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Creativity is not something you are born with –  it’s something you must cultivate, nurture, strive for.

Here it is – my new sketch book!  I am quite pleased with the result of last week’s challenge.  This little baby is the perfect size – 3.5″ by 5″ – to fit into my purse and accompany me wherever I go!  I even had a little fun and personalized my new companion (I had to dust of my sewing machine so that I could add the stitching detail…).  I’m still getting into the habit of using my sketch book consistently, but I’m making progress!

THIS WEEK’S CHALLENGE:
Doodle.  I used to doodle all the time.  Doodling kept me sane and help cut the boredom of high school history class and the dreaded freshman seminar.  Somehow through the years, I’ve gotten out of the habit of letting my pen wander.  This week, I will carve out a bit of time each day to sketch or doodle with no particular purpose in mind.

I’ll admit it – am a bit of a perfectionist.  Through doodling, I will face my fear of making mistakes.  I will put pen to paper without hesitating or thinking too much, and I will open myself up to creative freedom!  Plus, you never know what a little doodling can lead!

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WRAP-UP from LAST WEEK
Last week, I posted about my plan to stimulate and cultivate creativity in my life.  My goal is to open the creative gates, to let life inspire, to challenge myself, to allow creativity to permeate my of life.

I started this little experiment with an easy exercise – taking in a sunset.  I had the great fortune to do a little traveling this past week.  On our first day of travel, I had the unique opportunity to watch the sun rise on the east coast (viewed from our plane) and set on the west cost over beautiful San Diego Bay.  I just love the awestruck feeling I get while watching the sun set – it is inspiring and restorative each and every time!

THIS WEEK’S CHALLENGE:
Obtain and use a sketch book or journal. Over the past week, I have become very aware of the fact that I need to do a better job of capturing and storing my creative ideas.  Most of my design ideas are scattered around my studio on post-it notes  or in my purse on “recycled” envelopes.  My goal for this week is to find a sketchbook and to get in the habit of carrying it with me and putting it to good use.

Please feel free to join my adventure! Share how you cultivate creativity in your life.  How do you caputre your creative thoughts and ideas?

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TreeLet me be honest with you.  I’ve been working through a period of creative block lately.  While I continue to create, the ideas and designs are just not flowing as easily as they used to.  I need a little boost, and so I am embarking on a Cultivating Creativity Challenge.

I would like to challenge myself to cultivate a creative outlook on life, to find inspiration in the world around me and the people I meet, to express myself and be uniquely me through my creative process,  to consider new ideas, new mediums, new avenues of creative output.

THE CHALLENGE:
I plan to challenge myself (and you if you choose to join me!) to complete an exercise or activity each that will nurture creativity.
I’ll share with you the outcome the following week, and I would love for you to share your experience as well!

WILL YOU JOIN ME?
I would love to invite you to join me in cultivating creativity!  Whether you are an active and fruitful artist/crafter/writer/etc. or you think you are creatively challenged, consider joining me in branching out, embracing inspiration, and growing creatively.  I will post a new challenge each week – you can choose to complete each activity/exercise as they come.  PLEASE feel free to SHARE your experience and encourage me and others (you can email me or post a comment below)!

THIS WEEK’S CHALLENGE:
We’ll start with something simple.  This week, the challenge is to witness a sunrise or sunset (or both!).  The majesty and splendor of the sunrise and sunset always inspires awe in me!  I think this is a great way to begin the opening of our creative gates!

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