Welcome back! I hope you were able to play around a bit with some of my suggestions from last week for simple, mindful, stress-free, pressure-free ways to start flexing your creativity muscle. If you found coloring or creating a collage enjoyable, you don't have to stop. When you find something that feels good to you, keep doing it. But if you find interest in other creative endeavors, which is likely since creativity breeds more creativity, don't hesitate to give yourself time to dabble in other creative interests as well. One thing I have learned over the last year is that I actually feel much more satisfied when I diversify my creative endeavors. It keeps me interested and engaged. For example, today I was working on a total separate creative endeavor I have going on, the podcast I am working on launching end of this month. I had to learn how to fade music in and out to create an Intro and Outro. Now that I learned it and I am so excited about the end product, I feel super empowered. Challenging yourself to try and learn new things every day can bring you a sense of happiness and satisfaction that we all deserve in our daily lives.
So here are two new suggestions that you might want to try for this second week of Flexing Your Creative Muscle.
Creative Suggestion #1: Write poetry.
That sounds super daunting, right? Believe me, if someone said, "C'mon! Get creative in a simple, mindful, stress-free, pressure-free way!", poetry would be the last thing I would say would fit under those categories (okay mindful maybe but none of the others).
So taking inspiration from someone else is consumption but as long as we put it into our own action and be creative with it, it is encouraged. And I have taken this inspiration from Austin Kleon who wrote Steal Like an Artist and Show Your Work, which are amazing books that I highly recommend. Austin is known for his newspaper blackout poetry, where he blacks out most of a newspaper article leaving only some words visible to create a poem. It's pretty awesome and in my opinion, not as stressful as writing out some Neruda-quality poetry off the top of your head. Below is an example of his newspaper blackout poetry and if you are intrigued to try it, please do.
The two ideas I wanted to try I found on his Instagram just in the last few weeks. The first is to take all the books you have read this year and stack them in whatever order works to create a poem out of their titles. In mine I left out two titles, one because I lent it to a friend and didn't have it on hand and the other two because they didn't work well. I'm kind of a rule follower so for a second I felt like, "Oh Gee! I need to include all of them." But then I thought that this is a good lesson for myself and for all of us. You don't need to follow anyone's rules when being creative. Following rules is not only kind of a consumer behavior but it also doesn't allow for your own unique creativity and flavor. And we don't want to just be producing clones of the work of others. We want it to be unique to us and that is what makes art interesting and fun. So break the rules as it feels right for you. If you want, break all the rules.
So here is my Book Poem.
In A Sunburned Country
A Walk in the Woods
Así es como la pierdas (This is how you lose her)
Steal Like an Artist
Amarse con los ojos abiertos (To love each other with open eyes)
** I love the intermixing here between English and Spanish. I try to read every other book in Spanish to keep up my fluency but you can see this year I wasn't so successful. :)
The second idea is to take headlines from newspapers and magazines and cut them out to make poems out of them. This is mine. Kinda appropriate for my blog this month.
Creative Suggestion #2: Capture the Beauty You Find in the World
You have a great artistic tool in the palm of your hand. Your phone! And I suspect every day you pass by beautiful scenes or scenery that should be appreciated. By consciously challenging yourself to pay attention to these items, you open yourself up to more inspiration, more creativity, and more appreciation of the world.
So give yourself a challenge. Check out #photochallenge on Instagram for inspiration and possible challenges to jump on board with. I did one last week that was hosted by A Color Story app that was called #acolorweek shown in the slideshow below. I also did one when I first heard my grandmother was terminally ill which involved taking a picture of a flower everyday to show to her because she loved flowers. An example of some of the flowers for my Grandmother are at the bottom of this post.
You can also do your own challenge. Pick how often you want to take a picture and for how long. Once daily for a week, for example, might be a good start. Then choose the subject you are looking for. Sometimes it helps to narrow it down a bit and that goes for all creative endeavors but that is totally up to you. Some examples of subjects could be light, urban beauty, people, a certain color, food, books, etc. Have fun with this. Y can put them on Instagram or on your website or whatever social media site or you can just leave them in your phone and enjoy them yourself. But wouldn't it be fun to have an end product of something you created? Maybe get them printed and frame them or hang them in your office. There is nothing like a tangible finished product to make you feel accomplished.
Let me know if you try any of these suggestions out and happy making!