Hi! Recently I've seen several articles with headlines such as "Ten, 30 minute art projects!", "Projects you can make in one hour!" "Fast collage techniques!". I applaud anything whose intention is to inspire others to create. However, for me, one of the very pleasures of creating is when it is done without a deadline, time line or focus on completion.
Our days are filled with tasks to cross off. A good day is often defined as one in which "I got so much DONE!". We race to finish things. A lot of praise is given for completing things. This is where any hobbie or activity that you enjoy can run into trouble. We forget to switch hats and try to "power through". We forget to slow down and enjoy it. Like the slow food movement, I recommend we slow down and savor the process of creating. Creativity does not like flow charts. It likes to go off the charts, wander down the street, watch people, look at the trees, listen to sounds, touch velvet, smell fresh cut grass, mull over all the colors on the palette, and then begin without pressure to unfold all these impressions into a rich cacaphony of visual shapes and textures. How fun it is to swoosh and blend paint, smear charcoal, smudge craypas, watch ink flow from your pen to the paper, stamp objects into wet acrylic, scratch in shapes, and sprinkle in glitter. Next time you sit down to create, if you have a limited amount of time, set a timer so you don't have to keep looking at the clock. Put it where you can't hear it ticking. Now take some deep breaths and just play. Do this and you may find, like me, that your favorite pieces will be the ones that you didn't try to force, but let unfold without judgement or expectation. When you don't predetermine the outcome--your creativity has the freedom to take you to a place you haven't been before!
With the recent snow days here, I was inspired to set up an art table in the living room where I could watch the cozy fireplace, the birds at the feeder and have a change of scenery from my studio. I also admired the squirrel who hung by his toes, and ate upside down in a snowy wind!
Are there little things you can do to make your art space for wonderful? For me, occasionally I like to light a cozy, scented candle. Add to that a fresh fruit smoothie and my art supplies and I'm happy as a clam.
And to help ME remember that art is for fun... I started my journal with a quote to help me get in the right frame of mind. And I had a lot of fun playing with different styles of lettering!
Make some time to play with your art supplies if you can!