I've been thinking a lot about creativity. On Friday I wrote about venturing out of my comfort zone in my sketchbooks and how valuable that can be. Trying new things, experimenting, playing -- it's the only way you'll grow.
I think it keeps things fresh, too. Straying away from your focus from time to time helps you to return with renewed energy, with fresh ideas, with invigorated creativity.
By creativity I don't mean just painting and drawing. I've been coming to realize how important it is to be creative in many ways. Of course, this isn't new for me -- I've always liked to make things, whether those things are gardens or food or clothes or art -- but I have narrowed my focus (for good reasons) and all those other creative muscles don't get exercised as much as they used to. I know part of it is that there are only so many hours in the week and this year between Matthias' illness, my art and my other job, there often isn't room (or energy) for other things.
I think there's only one solution. To all of it. To the Mondays. To being creative. To not having enough time (or energy). We need to jump in there and do it. We need to make creativity a priority.
Maybe that sounds simplistic, but it's the only way to accomplish anything.
"The secret to getting ahead is getting started."
Getting started is the hard part, but once you get started the actual doing isn't so hard.
I believe we can all fit more creativity into our days. And I think we should, whether that creativity is painting or sewing or cooking or something else.
It helps if creating becomes a habit, a regular part of our days (I've written about the benefits of daily art here and here -- and my assertion that "painting leads to a lot more painting" is true about any creative activity. The more you do it, the more you're inspired and energized to do it).
Because I believe that a daily art practice is so beneficial, my second class on Skillshare is all about developing one.
In it I walk you through designing a challenge to create art every day for a set number of days (you choose how many). I give suggestions for how to design your challenge to help you be successful and I provide a set of 31 prompts to inspire your creativity. I also demonstrate seven days of creating from those prompts using watercolor, gouache, pen and collage.
This class is now available on Skillshare and I'd love for you to join me there! If you're new to Skillshare and you sign up following any of my links you there's a special offer of 3 months of Skillshare membership (and access to nearly eight thousand classes, including both of mine) for only $0.99. The regular Skillshare price is $9.95 a month, so this is a substantial savings!
Of course, my new class is bringing me joy (and I hope it will bring you joy, too), but because it's Monday, I can't for get my Joy List.
Joy List Monday:
a weekly ritual
a reminder to stop and pay attention to the little beauties and graces that make life magical and to set aside time for gratitude each day
Other things on today's list:
- sunny skies
- long walks
- a toad taking a bath in the dogs' outdoor water bowl (I made sure he could get out)
- cooking together with Matthias, listening to music, singing and dancing
- eating the zucchini bread and calzones we made
- getting out my sewing machine and doing some sewing
- mint tea
- getting together with my parents and brother for a shish kabab dinner and later some fireworks
- the smell of roasting tomatoes
- knowing there are roasted tomatoes in the freezer
- working in the sketchbook I bound for myself in January of last year
- chilly nights for good sleeping
- birds enjoying the seeds from my sunflowers
Wishing you a joy-filled and creative week!