Monday, February 25, 2013

Creative Exercises to get my Juices Flowing

Everyday I go into my studio, I WILL myself to create.  To create what I *feel*.  Which is SO.HARD.TO DO.  (I may have mentioned it before.)  What does making what you *feel* EVEN MEAN?  I get so frustrated, trying to work it all out.  Fortunately for me and YOU (yay, you amazing reader ;)...) I have come by some techniques that have been helping me to get into the right frame of mind to create more freely.

Stream-of-consciousness journaling

Journal Cover I made for a standard $1 journal
you can find pretty easily at Target/Walmart/dollar store...
Click here for a tutorial to make your own.
I have actually been doing this for a few years now.  I learned about the process when I started reading The Artist's Way.  It was one of the few things I actually did from the book and it has been literally LIFE changing (journaling, that is - not the book.  I didn't finish reading the book).   I journal when I am depressed, sad, anxious, insecure.  And every single time, I feel MUCH better after I do it.  I rarely even read the entries later.   Sometimes when I recommend this to my friends and family, they express concern that a household member may read their private thoughts.   Well, in my opinion, it would still be beneficial if they burned the pages afterward!  Seriously, if I ask a question in my journaling and then be completely open for the answer, I swear, I will get an answer that seemingly comes from nowhere!  I love it.

Free-form dancing
This was actually recommended to me by Angelina, a creative consultant (that is what I call her).  I first met Angelina through my son's preschool.  She was his teacher.  And if you have watched a few of my vlogs, you know that I LOVE his preschool and his teachers!  I will talk about the reasons why in another post.  One of which includes the fact that Angelina is a child intuitive!! (something else she does not call herself - but it is true!).  She is able to observe your child for a short amount of time, and know exactly what he/she needs - and then tell you how to give it to him/her in a holistic way.  And apparently she can do the same for adults!  I had a telephone conversation with her about my artist journey and  it was AMAZING.  Anyway, she gave me a lot of great advice that day - one of which includes doing free-form, tribal-like dancing to clear your chakras. Her pinterest board has some really good videos on it.  

This one was mind blowing:

Did you know that we were ALL dancers?
Here is Angelina's facebook page  if you are interested in speaking with her yourself.

Sketching from a photo
Sketch from a photo used in an art journal entry.
This is one is one that I stumbled upon on my own. I am currently trying to teach myself how to draw and I am kinda obsessed with faces.  Usually, that is the last lesson in drawing books and I may be slightly impatient.  Also, I am kinda obsessed with drawing/painting women of African descent and finding a tutorial/lesson/drawing book that teaches how to draw those faces is pretty tough. Oh, and trying to find a lesson on how to draw our hair?  Forget about it.   So, I have been finding faces on the internet to practice drawing.  And it is an extremely satisfying activity.  I would love to take one of those sketching classes where you have a live model and sketch him/her.  Ahhh, some day ;).

That is all that I have so far.  I have heard of other inspirational tactics like looking at other artist's work, following a tutorial, or being with nature.  Unfortunately, those do not work for me.  When I look at other artist's work,  I get so CONSUMED with the artist and their work, I cannot hear my own inner artist...  When I follow tutorials, I am so determined to learning every single thing, I do not give myself permission to deviate from the lesson and so the activity never becomes self-expression.  And lastly, my main creative time is late at night, so I am not about to go outside on a nature walk...  especially since I don't live in the *best* area.  

Anyway, I am by no means a creative expert (YET! Ha!).  But these are just some things that I have discovered about myself and I wanted to share.  You're welcome ;).

Sooooooo, I would love to know: how do you stay creative?

1 comment:

Libby said...

My aunt recommended that same book to me once. I still never got it. For me, I can't force myself to be creative, I've just go to feel creative and then do it. My problem more lies in not having the optimal time to create what is in my head. Summer spoils me in that regards. But with the demands of my job, and the strong desire to do certain crafts in the daytime (when my mind is clearest; I love natural lighting), it makes me not as productive as I would wish.

When I'm not creating or not in the "mood", I just read and watch what others are doing, visit the Arts Council, or flip through magazines of any kind. I usually look at the pictures first anyways. lol