Does this sound familiar? You used to create regularly. Sketching or doodling on whatever paper happened to be nearby. Or carrying a notebook around so you could jot down story ideas or capture quotes and phrases that you loved. Maybe you loved creating new dishes in the kitchen or took your camera everywhere.
However you used to create, it just doesn’t seem to be a part of your life any more. And you feel unsettled – something’s missing!
I know that feeling!
Before college I was always sketching and doodling, but after graduating I got out of the habit. Over the last year I’ve started again, in fits and starts. While I haven’t really made any 2017 resolutions, I am making it a point to make more art. Nothing serious, just art for me, for the fun of it.
And since starting in December, I’ve been having a blast! One of my sketchbooks is with me everywhere and my “waiting” time has been so much fun as I sketch whatever I happen to see around me.
I’d love for you to join me on this creative adventure!
Every morning for two weeks I’m going to send out a short email with a creative prompt and some encouragement. And I’ll be sketching or drawing every day, creating right alongside you!
(While I will generally be sketching, you could write, draw, make music, cook, paint, crochet or knit, make mud pies, take photographs, color, a combination of the above, or anything else that delights your creative inner self.)
As a creative, at least for me, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and think too much and generally not get anything made. Plus, between work, family, friends, communities, and everything else, who has the time?!
Fortunately, it doesn’t actually take much time to be creative. What if you set aside 1% of your day to make something? And that’s enough time to not only have fun and make something but to help you feel better. Like meditation, acts of creation have been proven to help to focus your mind, draw you into the current moment, lift your spirits, and improve your mood. No wonder kids are so happy – they’re always creating!
That 1% of our day? It’s only 15 minutes!
What do you think – can you find 15-20 minutes every day for an activity that will not only let you do something that you love but help you feel better?
Think of this as a two-week experiment. Every day for a fortnight I hope you will join me for 20 minutes. Each morning I will send you a creative prompt and some encouragement to create (that’s 5 minutes for encouraging and 15 for actually creating – only 1.4% of your day). The prompts will be sent via email and you can access them whatever time works best for you.
This is the trial first run. Since it’s the inaugural Let’s Create! class, you’ll be helping to shape future sessions. With your feedback we’ll be creating the best possible version of the class, while you make some art for yourself! If you love it, there will be more, and possibly longer-running, future sessions.
If this sounds like something you’re interested in, sign up below. The first prompt will be sent out on Sunday the 5th with one following each day until Saturday the 18th.
Studies have shown that investing in a course prompts you to actually follow through with your intentions. Free classes don’t provide sufficient motivation to actually act upon the information. If you don’t want to spend any money, simply set aside 15 minutes each day and spend it creating! If, like me, you’ve tried that before and it doesn’t seem to work, come join me and really form the creative habit!
Still have some questions/concerns?
What can I do in 15 minutes?
That doesn’t sound like a long time, does it? And, really, it isn’t (it’s only 1% of the day, after all!) But added up over 14 days that’s a total of 3 and a half hours!
While I give more specific project ideas in the course, the goal isn’t necessarily to complete a project, but to spend the time creating. Maybe that means you spend 15 minutes each day coloring in an adult coloring book or you do speed sketches of people on the sidewalk. While it might be ideal if this practice results in improved skills or a finished work, you could also be successful if you simply have a better day because you created. Letting your inner artist/child play and have fun is never a bad way to spend some time!
What about set-up?
As a sketcher/drawer, it only takes me moments to pull out my sketchbook and pencil/pen and begin drawing. But I know that there are more time-intensive creative pursuits. Setting up a pottery wheel, dropcloth, and getting clay to the correct moisture can take longer than 15 minutes before you even get started making! As can prepping canvas, easel, and palette for a painting.
Since we’re pursuing the creative time and process rather than a finished project, don’t let yourself get caught up in intensive preparations. Use acrylic paints on a disposable palette to create mini paintings – all set ready to go on a workstation (baking tray) that you can just set out of the way when you’re done. Have a goal of a single photograph each day, with only limited editing allowed. Don’t worry about editing your writing, just aim to write for the entire time.
These smaller goals also mean that you shouldn’t need much in the way of supplies, or even working space.
I’m not an Artist!
That’s perfectly ok! Though I earned an art degree and have won a “best of show” award, I’m not an Artist either! In his book, Art Before Breakfast, Danny Gregory says:
Art with a big “A” is for museums, galleries, critics, and collectors. art with a small “a” is for the rest of us. Art is a business, an industry, a racket. art is about passion, love, life, humanity – everything that is truly valuable.
We aren’t trying to make Art. He also says that:
Art stops time. When you draw or paint what’s around you, you see it for what it is. Instead of living in a virtual world, as we do most of the time these days, you will be present in the real one. Instead of focusing on all the things whirring in your head, you will be able to stop, clear your mind, take a deep breath, and just be. You don’t need a mantra or a guru. Or an app. Just a pen.
You’re observing your daily life, making sure that your creative inner being gets to express itself. That act of creating will help to calm you down while exhilarating you and building your energy. Plus, you’re just trying to have some fun!
Where am I supposed to find the time?
The big question of “where do I find time to create?” doesn’t seem quite so terrifying when you are intentionally limiting it to just 15 minutes. There is a lot of wasted time in our daily lives, commonly frittered away with social media, TV, or just waiting. There are a lot of ways you can carve out 15-20 minutes, which I share in the Let’s Create! course.
Have other questions or concerns? Email me and I’ll help out in any way that I can!